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For Faculty: First-Year Writing Frequently Asked Questions

What is the focus of LinC 101 First-Year Writing Seminars (FYWS)?

The engaging, focused topic and types of writing assigned in each writing seminar are determined by the individual faculty member, growing out of his/her specialty and interests. (View a list of this year’s LinC 101 topics and course descriptions.) The threads of academic literacy that connect all First-Year Writing courses—designed to foster the transfer writing skills from FYW to other LinC and upper-division writing courses—are the critical reading and writing-related outcomes and an emphasis on the development of writing abilities through the integration of key concepts such as discourse community, research, rhetorical situation, audience, purpose, genre, writing process, and reflection.

How many students are typically placed into each LinC 101 FYWS section? What is the course format? 

FYWS is based on the concept of the seminar—teaching a small group of students (~18). The format of FYWS features ongoing, frequent meetings that encourage participation and interaction between students and faculty, between students, and between students and representatives of campus organizations and offices.

What is the role of the Writing Fellow in the FYW classroom? 

Selected upper-level student Writing Fellows are trained as writing tutors to work alongside faculty in FYW classrooms to provide academic support to students. Please note that Writing Fellows are not TAs and while they may be asked to read and comment on drafts of student writing, they are not allowed to grade it or input grades for assignments into Canvas. 

How does the Writing at Moravian program support FYW faculty? 

Support for faculty is provided in the form of focused professional guidance in writing instruction for first-year students, periodic gatherings for discussion, and a $1000 stipend for fully engaging in the preparation and teaching of this important course, which includes attending workshops, developing new course materials, and participating in programmatic assessment efforts. 

Can my FYW class go off-campus? 

We encourage faculty to incorporate high-impact practices such as service learning and out-of-classroom group experiences; however, as much as is possible, these out-of-class commitments and any associated costs must be identified in the course description. 

Are there any materials for FYW faculty? If so, where can I find them? 

The First-Year Writing section of the Faculty Writing Resources page on Canvas contains many supplemental materials—such as sample syllabi, assignments, grading rubrics, in-class activities, and more—to assist faculty in teaching FYW. All official documents, including a copy of the current FYW handbook and syllabus template, can be found there as well. New faculty can add themselves to Faculty Writing Resources through the link provided on the Faculty tab in AMOS or by contacting

What is the summer reading and how does it connect to the FYW program?

All first-year students who begin in the Fall semester participate in a common first-year reading and writing assignment. This year students will receive an assignment in Canvas on August 1 that asks them to read sections of Ellen Carillo's A Writer's Guide to Mindful Reading. They will then be asked to apply mindful reading practices to an article and share their reflections about the transition to college with their first-year writing professor in the format of a formal email. For the Fall 2023 semester, these summer assignments will be due by Monday, August 21 in Canvas.  

Am I the advisor for the students in my LinC 101 FYWS class?

First-Year Writing Seminar and First-Year Advising have been separated as of Fall 2018 based on a new advising policy voted on by faculty. If interested, an FYWS faculty member may elect to advise first-year students, but that model is no longer a requirement for those teaching the course. 

How does FYW support students' transition to college? 

FYW introduces first-year students to the many resources offered by Student Life and other student support offices and to the many activities, organizations, and opportunities that enrich their lives as Moravian students.