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Writing Mentors

Module by: The Cain Project in Engineering and Professional Communication. E-mail the author

Summary: This handout was prepared for students enrolled in a class employing writing mentors. The handout can be modified as appropriate, depending on the way in which writing mentors are involved. For example, in this handout, students are informed that they are required to meet with a writing mentor on the first of a series of four writing assignments in the class. In many classes, students are never required—only encouraged—to meet with a writing mentor. You may adapt the handout to fit your particular needs.

What are writing mentors?

Writing mentors are Rice undergraduates who have extensive experience and training in writing and advising writers. Working with a mentor can be useful throughout the writing process. A mentor can answer questions that you have about assignments, as well as help you to organize your ideas, brainstorm ideas, or focus your discussion. When you have completed a draft, writing mentors can help you to assess it for argument, organization, readability, and coherence. Mentors may be responsible for grading your submitted papers.

Who is my writing mentor?

The following table shows the name and email address of the mentor that you’ve been assigned.

Table 1
Your last name: Your mentor: Mentor’s email address:

Is working with a mentor required?

For Paper #1, you must work with your assigned mentor. You can set up a consultation at any time in the writing process (even before drafting). However, you are required to submit a draft with your final Paper #1, showing your mentor’s comments and signature. For Papers #2 through 4, you are encouraged, but not required, to work with your mentor.

How do I work with a mentor?

First, contact your mentor by email. Tell him/her what you would like from a mentoring session: Do you want to brainstorm ideas? Do you want feedback about a draft you’ve written? Then propose a day, time, and place that you would like to meet. If you are in a hurry or prefer to communicate by phone, provide your phone number. Otherwise, your mentor will respond by email to coordinate a consulting session with you.

What if I don’t work with a mentor ahead of time on Papers #2 through #4, but I need last-minute help?

Because the mentor that you’ve been assigned is responsible for assessing your assignment, he/she is the best person for you to consult. However, if you need last-minute help, one or two mentors will be available in the Meyer Conference Room of the Rice Memorial Center from 8-10 p.m. on the night before each assignment is due.

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