For Faculty

Writing is a throughline in the Princeton undergraduate experience. By the time our students walk through FitzRandolph Gate on Commencement Day, they have not only produced numerous papers, reports, and discussion threads for their coursework, but one or two Junior Papers (JPs) in their departments and a Senior Thesis or other substantial independent work to finish their degree. The emphasis on writing at Princeton stems from the University’s recognition that writing is a central component of all academic work, and that the ability to write cogently and coherently is the hallmark of a liberal arts education. 

To begin preparing students for the rigorous demands of writing at Princeton, every undergraduate, without exception, completes a one-semester writing seminar that focuses on argument and inquiry. Writing seminars are both writing-centered and topic-based; students are given scaffolded opportunities to strengthen critical practices, and the seminar experience centers on peer feedback, mentored research, and cultivating scholarly habits to serve students in the long run (e.g., backward planning different steps of a writing project, developing strategies for locating and questioning source materials, and keeping track of source citations). But the First-Year Writing Seminar is just a beginning: it can provide a solid foundation for writing at Princeton, but students need ongoing guidance if they’re to develop as proficient writers in the disciplines. 

The Writing Program offers consultations on integrating writing instruction into courses, designing writing assignments, responding effectively to student writing, and grading consistently and equitably. We invite colleagues to explore the resources made available on our website and to get in touch to begin a conversation about writing at the University! 

These resources draw extensively on “Teaching with Writing” (2008), written by former director Kerry Walk, as well as the latest curricular materials created by Princeton Writing Program faculty.