In the Workshop, the Writing Project offers one-on-one writing assistance to writers in any course and at any phase of the writing process. Students can reserve a conference or drop in during open hours. Walk-in clients will be welcomed as time permits on a first-come, first-served basis. All conferences are held in the Center for Learning and Teaching on the first floor of Kanbar Hall.
Writing and Rhetoric
Communication takes many forms at Bowdoin. The support that we offer for writers and speakers is equally diverse.
We understand that there are many ways to communicate, multiple approaches to teaching writing, and more than one writing process.
The Writing and Rhetoric program works both with students and faculty, working to create a dynamic conversation about writing and speaking at Bowdoin.
The Writing Project
Designed to strengthen writing skills through working with peers, this program is based on three premises:
- Writing clearly about a subject helps you know it;
- Writers need feedback from readers;
- Peers can give especially helpful feedback because their own experience as students gives them a firm understanding of the needs of their fellow writers.
A Writing Partnership is a semester-long writing tutorial that focuses on the individual needs of a writer. A partnership gives a student the opportunity to work with a trained peer on writing assignments in any or all of the writer's courses and at any stage of the writing process.
Resources are available for student writers and for teachers of writing.
A collection of online resources are available here.
The Writing Project book collection is located in the main study area and in the teaching resource library and conference room in the Center for Teaching and Learning, 102 Kanbar Hall. Faculty members and students are welcome to look at the books and, in most cases, to borrow them if needed.
The library offers excellent guidance and support to students writing papers. Visit the research overview site, or better yet, talk with a librarian at any of the Bowdoin libraries. To learn more about the CLT's writing resources, contact Meredith McCarroll or stop by in person!
For all students in courses assisted by the Writing Project, Writing Assistants read drafts of two or three essays, papers, or lab reports. Students then meet with their writing assistants to discuss the writer's ideas and ways to improve their presentation to a reader. To learn more about writing project courses, click here.
The First-Year Seminar
The First-Year Seminar Program is designed to help introduce students to what it means to undertake serious intellectual work at the college level. The seminars provide small class settings where students can engage with a particular topic, a professor, and their peers.
Each fall, Bowdoin offers over thirty-five first-year seminars on topics that traverse the Bowdoin curriculum. Students choose and register for seminars during orientation in conversation with their faculty advisor. They provide an opportunity for in-depth study of a subject of mutual interest, as well as a place to develop college-level skills of critical thinking, both reading and writing. The development of such skills is a central feature of first-year seminars. All first-year seminars involve frequent writing practice, individualized feedback on writing, and an assignment structure that teaches students how to draft and revise.
Additionally, the seminars provide both an introduction to library research and an overview of the expectations of academic honesty and citing sources. This opportunity to learn and practice academic writing is both an independent goal of first-year seminars, and an additional means through which faculty can introduce their discipline and help students to engage with a particular subject.