Writing Specialist, 9.5 Month
The University of Chicago

Chicago, Illinois

This job has expired.


College Writing Program

About the Department

The Writing Program serves academic and professional constituencies across the University by providing academic and professional writing resources to all University divisions, schools, and academic and administrative programs. These resources include for-credit and non-credit courses, seminars, workshops, workshop series, training in writing pedagogy, a resource library of materials for teaching writing, individual tutoring for undergraduates and graduate students, and consultations with faculty and staff on the specific writing needs of specific programs and individuals throughout the University. The program hires, trains, supervises, and evaluates full and part-time writing instructors for 280-320 teaching positions per year. The program's pedagogical training and mentored employment opportunities support graduate students seeking mentored teaching experiences and undergrad students developing professional opportunities. The program's writing courses and tutoring programs serve approximately 2700 undergraduates per year (all departments and divisions) and approximately 350 graduate students, professional school students, and post-doctoral students (all departments and divisions).

Job Summary

We seek experienced and committed teachers of writing for the full-time, benefits-eligible position of Writing Specialist. Reporting to the Senior Associate Director, Specialists assist Humanities Instructors in a first-year Humanities Core sequence introducing undergraduates to humanistic thinking and inquiry. For these courses, the Humanities curriculum is developed and taught by Humanities Instructors, while Writing Specialists provide the specialized service of helping students face the challenges of college-level writing. The Specialist's goal is to work with students on their Humanities papers in particular, but with an eye to helping students develop transferable skills in analysis, revision, and argumentation. Successful Specialist candidates will have experience in and passion for the teaching of writing, as well as deep familiarity with the methods and argumentation of one of the Humanities disciplines introduced in the Core. These disciplines include: literary studies, comparative literature, philosophy, religious studies, classics, linguistics, cinema and media studies, and poetry.

After a period of initial training during the first month of paid employment, Specialists are assigned to particular sections of the Humanities Core (4 in Autumn, 4 in Winter, 1-2 in Spring). In each section, the Writing Specialist consults with the Instructor about the course's writing goals, and then furthers these goals by developing and teaching a sequence of free-standing small-group writing seminars and tutorials. Specialists reinforce their teaching with written feedback on student papers, sharing that responsibility with each Core Instructor. Writing Specialists sit in on (but do not teach) as many of the Humanities course sessions as time allows. In the Spring quarter, when the teaching load is lighter, Writing Specialists participate in professional development workshops that allow them to refine their teaching practices for the following year, fostering a collaborative teaching community with other Specialists and improving the training for future Specialists. This position is an excellent opportunity for people with degrees in a Humanities discipline to explore writing instruction in a Humanities-focused context. In Spring and Summer, other (paid) Writing Program teaching is available in advanced courses for students in other disciplines ranging from biology to business, providing Specialists with opportunities to leverage their writing pedagogy skills in a broader teaching context.

The position is a 9.5-month position with an annual work period from September 1 through June 15, and the salary is paid over 12 months, from September through August.

Applications are on a rolling basis and will be accepted until all positions are filled, though preference will be given to applications arriving by June 20.


  • Collaborates with the Humanities Instructor of Record to design writing instruction to support the HUMA Core course's learning goals.
  • Creates teaching materials to support learning goals for the writing component of the HUMA Core course.
  • Reads assigned texts for the HUMA Core course.
  • Attends regularly-scheduled class sessions of the HUMA Core course, as arranged with the Instructor.
  • Schedules and offers small-group writing seminars for each section of the HUMA Core course (four in Autumn, four in Winter, one-two in Spring).
  • Shares responsibility with the instructor for providing written feedback on papers to students, by the deadline set by the Instructor.
  • Meets with the instructor as requested to discuss grades for student writing.
  • Plans changes in seminar practice and teaching materials as necessary, after engaging in self-reflective formative assessment, reviewing student evaluations, and seeking feedback from the HUMA Core instructors and Writing Program supervisors.
  • As seminar schedules allow, participates in Writing Program professional development workshops.
  • Drafts teaching materials that support academic and professional writing and writing pedagogy. Implements and assists with evaluating writing program curricula, policies, and procedures.
  • Gathers and analyzes data for possible solutions concerning program performance. Writes reports and expands knowledge and experience in the area.
  • Performs other related work as needed.

Minimum Qualifications

Minimum requirements include a college or university degree in related field.
Work Experience:

Minimum requirements include knowledge and skills developed through 2-5 years of work experience in a related job discipline.


Preferred Qualifications

  • MA or MFA in related field.
  • Ph.D. in a related field.

  • Experience as a teacher of argumentative/expository writing in college.
  • Teaching in a Humanities discipline at the University of Chicago.
  • Experience as a Writing Program Lector or Writing Intern.
  • Creating teaching materials for writing instruction.

Technical Skills or Knowledge:
  • Proficiency in Mac and PC environments.
  • Proficiency in Word, Excel, Outlook, Zoom, Google Docs, Google Drive, and online organizational tools.

Preferred Competencies
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills including excellent editing/proofreading ability in English.
  • Foster an inclusive atmosphere for all students.
  • Foster creativity.
  • Handle multiple concurrent projects in a competent and professional manner while also managing details and meeting deadlines.
  • Work effectively with supervision and as a part of a team, individually, or in concert with other offices and campus partners.
  • Work autonomously, taking initiative and without detailed instructions.
  • Maintain confidentiality/discretion at all times.
  • Handle stressful situations.
  • Critical thinking skills.
  • Problem solving skills.
  • Decision making skills.
  • Reasoning skills.
  • Attention to detail.

Working Conditions
  • 9.5-month position paid over 12 months with a yearly start date of 09/01.
  • Office environment.
  • Some evening and weekend work.
  • Fast-paced environment.
  • Work at a computer for 4-6 hours.
  • Periodic movement between campus locations.

Application Documents
  • Resume/CV (required)
  • Cover Letter, which is to include your interest in this position (required)
  • References Contact Information (3)(required)
  • Writing Sample, academic or professional writing (required)
  • Three comments on student papers; applicants should anonymize the student papers (required)
  • One teaching handout or pdf of a slide presentation (no videos please) teaching students something about writing that you think is crucial for first-year college students to know (required)

When applying, the document(s) MUSTbe uploaded via the My Experience page, in the section titled Application Documents of the application.

Job Family

Academic Affairs

Role Impact

Individual Contributor

FLSA Status


Pay Frequency


Scheduled Weekly Hours


Benefits Eligible


Requires Compliance with University Covid-19 Vaccination Requirement


Drug Test Required


Health Screen Required


Motor Vehicle Record Inquiry Required


Posting Statement

Employees must comply with the University's COVID-19 vaccination requirements. More information about the requirements can be found on the University of Chicago Vaccination GoForward.

The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Disabled/Veterans Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law. For additional information please see the University's Notice of Nondiscrimination.

Staff Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should call 773-702-5800 or submit a request via Applicant Inquiry Form.

We seek a diverse pool of applicants who wish to join an academic community that places the highest value on rigorous inquiry and encourages a diversity of perspectives, experiences, groups of individuals, and ideas to inform and stimulate intellectual challenge, engagement, and exchange.

All offers of employment are contingent upon a background check that includes a review of conviction history. A conviction does not automatically preclude University employment. Rather, the University considers conviction information on a case-by-case basis and assesses the nature of the offense, the circumstances surrounding it, the proximity in time of the conviction, and its relevance to the position.

The University of Chicago's Annual Security & Fire Safety Report (Report) provides information about University offices and programs that provide safety support, crime and fire statistics, emergency response and communications plans, and other policies and information. The Report can be accessed online at:http://securityreport.uchicago.edu.Paper copies of the Report are available, upon request, from the University of Chicago Police Department, 850 E. 61st Street, Chicago, IL 60637.

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