University Writing Program

UWS Instructor Resources

Shortcut to this page:

Recommended Handbooks

Index to Categories on This Page

Administrative Resources

These resources include useful academic forms, lists of academic advisors, and lists of important student services.

Syllabus Materials

Contained here are resources for syllabus creation such as required language, grading tips and rubrics, schedule templates, and sample syllabi.

Lens Essay

The lens essay is a 6- to 7-page assignment in which students are asked to apply a theoretical "lens" text to a primary text; they do this in order to interpret or "re-see" the primary text in a new light and to arrive at new insights that they wouldn't otherwise have come to.

Comparative Genre Analysis (CGA)

The Comparative Genre Analysis (CGA) unit asks students to compare writing styles in 3-4 articles from different genres to identify – and understand the reasons for – commonalities and differences between the disciplines. This prepares students to read scholarship in multiple disciplines and teaches them to be aware of their own stylistic and formal writing choices.

Research Essay

The 10- to 12-page research essay builds on the lens essay as it asks students to use multiple lenses and engage in close reading to make an original argument. As the first part of the research process, students prepare a research proposal (graded on completion) that includes their assessment of the literature on the topic, their proposed methodology, an annotated bibliography, and a weekly timeline.

First-Year Experience

These are core elements of every UWS that provide first-year students with foundational experiences to help them succeed at Brandeis. Critical Conversations – public discussions on a key theme featuring two or more faculty from different disciplines and a third faculty moderator – build first year cohort identity and introduce students to Brandeis’ intellectual and scholarly discourse. Experiential Learning assignments occur on campus and are chosen or designed by the instructor; sample Experiential Assignments include small-group discussions between students and a faculty member, visits to the archives, a campus scavenger hunt, or attending a lecture or performance.

Teaching Technologies

Contained here are overviews of useful teaching technologies (LATTE, Perusall, Zoom, Zotero, etc.) and tips on using them effectively in class.

Reference Library

These resources range from scholarly articles on writing pedagogy, to open-access writing resources, to UWP handouts and exercises, to an archive of recent, successful UWS essays and proposals.