Resources and Information for Graduate Student TAs

UCLA Office of Instructional Development (OID):
The UCLA Office of Instructional Development (OID) supports the instructional
mission of the University and enhances teaching and learning opportunities.
OID Resources and Training for TAs
OID Writing Resources for TAs
OID Home Page

Graduate Writing Center (GWC):
The Graduate Writing Center provides one-on-one writing consultation and writing
workshops, programs, and resources to registered UCLA graduate students.
GWC Assistance on Teaching Writing Issues
GWC Workshops on Teaching Writing
Further Resources on Teaching Writing
GWC Home Page


OID Resources and Training for UCLA Graduate Student TAs

The primary source of support for UCLA graduate student TAs is the Office of Instructional Development (OID). OID runs the TA Training Program and every year holds the TA Conference at the beginning of Fall quarter. OID provides information and resources for TAs on its website. Here are some quick links to a few of their topics:

Please contact the TA Training Program coordinators if you have any questions.

OID Writing Resources for UCLA TAs

OID has also developed a website specifically for issues related to teaching writing. The Teach2Write web portal has extensive information on UCLA undergraduate students, UCLA writing requirements, teaching writing, writing assignment design, grading and commenting on student papers, as well as handouts on a variety of writing issues.

Every year there is a Teach2Write Coordinator who can answer questions about the Teach2Write website, make presentations in 495 courses and assist graduate student TAs with writing issues.

If you would like further resources on teaching writing, take a look at some of the books, websites, and articles at the bottom of this web page.


GWC Assistance for UCLA Graduate Student TAs (Teaching Writing Issues)

What assistance the GWC can provide
When you are a TA (teaching assistant or teaching associate), you are welcome to use an appointment at the GWC to discuss how to address the writing issues of students in your course. We strongly recommend that you thoroughly review the OID teach2write website, particularly the handouts page, as well as all other available resources before making an appointment here. In an appointment, you may review handouts and instructional materials on writing issues that you wish to distribute to your students. You may also consult with the GWC writing consultants on specific writing topics, additional resources and material, and lesson plans for teaching writing concepts.

What assistance the GWC consultants cannot provide
The GWC consultants do not proofread or edit. Written material discussed in an appointment will be reviewed for content, accuracy and clarity only. The GWC consultants are mandated to work with graduate students only, so they cannot meet with any of your undergraduate students directly.

GWC Writing Consultants
Our consultants come from a variety of fields and are trained to work with graduate students from all disciplines. You may find it helpful to meet with the writing consultants closest to your field. In addition, some of our consultants have more experience with issues related to teaching writing. Click here for graduate writing consultant bios.

Graduate Writing Center Workshops on Teaching Writing

The Graduate Writing Center offers a variety of workshops on both general writing issues and specialized topics, such as dissertation and thesis writing. We plan to add workshops on teaching and writing issues in the academic year 2008-2009.
For more information about our programs and workshops, click here.

Further Resources on Teaching Writing

Articles     Books      Websites

Articles
These articles provide general overviews of how to integrate writing into your course.

Elbow, P. (1994). Writing for learning—not just demonstrating learning. Retrieved from the National Teaching and Learning Forum Library. A classic article on the benefits of “low-stakes” writing, or writing-to-learn. Also discusses strategies related to assigning, responding to, and grading writing.

Kiefer, K. (2000). Integrating writing into any course: Starting points. Academic.Writing, 1. Retrieved from  http://wac.colostate.edu/aw/teaching/kiefer2000.htm
An article that will help you align your writing assignments with your course goals.

Gross Davis, B. (1993). Helping students write better in all courses. Retrieved from the University of California, Berkeley, Office of Educational Development, http://teaching.berkeley.edu/bgd/writebetter.html
An excerpt from Gross Davis’ book Tools for Teaching.  Provides brief tips on how to integrate writing into a course, such as regularly assigning brief writing exercises and giving students opportunities to talk about their writing.

Books
Although only Hedengren’s handbook is written specifically for TAs, all of these books will guide you through nearly every aspect of teaching a writing-intensive course in a discipline, from designing assignments to responding to students’ writing.

Hedengren, B. F.  (2004). A TA’s guide to teaching writing in all disciplines.  New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s.
A comprehensive handbook for TAs that covers how to teach the writing process (prewriting, drafting, revising, editing, publishing), ways to teach writing (office hours, in-class sessions, written comments), and ways to evaluate writing, develop assignments, deal with plagiarism, maintain professionalism, and manage time. The online companion provides free access to sample rubrics, assignments, and planning sheets: http://bedfordstmartins.com/ta_guide

Gottschalk, K., & Hjortshoj, K. (2004). The elements of teaching writing: A resource for instructors in all disciplines. New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s.
Covers such topics as developing writing assignments and assignment sequences, assigning and responding to revision, informal writing, teaching writing at the sentence level, orchestrating a research paper, making connections to discussion and oral presentations, and integrating writing into large courses.

Young, A. (2002.) Teaching writing across the curriculum (3rd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.  Available online at http://wac.colostate.edu/books/young_teaching/
Based on the authors’ workshops for faculty in a variety of disciplines, this 69-page booklet covers writing-to-learn (e.g., one-minute essays, journals, poetry, notes, letters) and writing-to-communicate (i.e., more formal writing assignments).

Bean, J. (1996). Engaging ideas: The professor’s guide to integrating writing, critical thinking, and active learning in the classroom. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Includes chapters on understanding the connection between thinking and writing, designing assignments, coaching students as thinkers and writers (e.g., helping students read difficult texts, enhancing critical thinking in essay exams), and reading and grading writing (e.g., handling the paper load and developing grading criteria).

Walvoord, B. (1986). Helping students write well: A guide for teachers in all disciplines. New York: Modern Language Association.
Discusses ways to coach the writing process, set up peer response groups, and respond to student writing. Devotes separate chapters to responding to problems with organization, style, and grammar.  Also includes case studies of courses in literature, biology, sociology, psychology, history, and marketing that have integrated writing.

Websites
Most of these websites function as one-stop shops for the TA or faculty member. You can find information on nearly every aspect of teaching writing in your discipline, and many of them provide handouts that you can download.

Resources for Working with Student Writing from UC Berkeley's website for graduate student instructors, which links to another page with Additional Resources on writing-related issues.

“Integrating Writing into your Course,” University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Writing Across the Curriculum Program
http://vanhise.lss.wisc.edu/wac/?q=node/15
Information and handouts on designing a syllabus and assignments, assessing your course, conferencing with students and incorporating peer review, responding and grading, teaching the conventions of your field, and teaching grammar and oral communication skills. You can also search for materials by discipline.

"LabWrite," North Carolina State University
http://www.ncsu.edu/labwrite/
This site, devoted to writing better lab reports, contains separate sections for students, lab instructors, and faculty, and offers downloadable, printable template forms and online interactive resources for improving lab reports. This site is especially useful for TAs teaching in lab courses.

“Teaching with Writing,” University of Minnesota’s Center for Writing
http://writing.umn.edu/tww/index.html
Handouts and articles on designing courses and assignments, responding to and grading student writing, addressing grammar and mechanics, working with non-native speakers, and preventing plagiarism.

“An Introduction to Writing across the Curriculum,” the Writing across the Curriculum (WAC) Clearinghouse
http://wac.colostate.edu/intro/
Answers to frequently asked questions such as “Why include writing in my courses?”, “Do I have to be an expert in grammar?”, and “How can I avoid getting lousy student papers?” that contain short articles, links to other resources, and commentary from instructors in various disciplines.

“WAC Resource Binder,” University of Richmond Writing across the Curriculum Program
http://writing2.richmond.edu/wac/binder/
Contains chapters on developing writing-to-learn assignments and formal writing assignments. Two sections of 100 pages each are devoted to writing-to-learn and formal writing assignments in biology, chemistry, dance, geology, history, music, political science, psychology, physics, and sociology. The PDF files may take a while to download.