2023-24 Writing Program Position Application


Submission Requirements

  • Your application packet, which must contain:

    • A personal statement. Please let us know about your teaching experience, editing experience, writing experience, approach to writing, and anything else you think relevant.
    • A 10-page sample of your own writing, and cover sheet. If you are submitting an excerpted sample from a longer paper, please include your introduction and a coherent section. Attach the cover sheet, which asks you to reflect on and evaluate your own work. To preserve the anonymity of this portion of your application, please remove your name from the writing sample and the cover sheet.
    • A comment on a student paper. The student paper is included in our application packet. Please take no more than one hour to write your comments.
  • A resumé or CV showcasing relevant teaching experience.

  • A letter of recommendation from someone familiar with your teaching or your potential as a teacher.

    • We ask letter writers to send recommendations by email to writing-program@uchicago.edu no later than Friday, April 21st.

What we look for:

In general: We’re not interested in technical knowledge about language or composition. It’s no great advantage to have taken any of our courses. We’re more interested in how you approach the task of teaching academic writing.

With regard to the paper comment: We’ll ask you to pretend you’re writing to the author of the paper, NOT to us. We’re interested in how you engage with the writer, and the way you use the paper comment as an opportunity to teach the writer something about writing. We are NOT asking you to copy-edit the paper.

With regard to the writing sample: We’d like to see a ten-page (double spaced) sample of expository prose directed toward an academic or professional audience. If your available writing samples are longer than ten pages, please select a section that includes the introduction.

With regard to the letter of recommendation: It’s less important to get a letter from someone who can speak to the quality of your scholarly work than it is to get a letter evaluating the way you interact in a classroom. If you have no previous teaching experience, ask someone who has seen you participate in a class, seminar, or workshop. The letter does not have to be from a member of the University of Chicago faculty, so if you have teaching experience at another institution, a letter from a faculty member there may be best. You may optionally submit a second letter of recommendation if you wish to supplement your application (for example, if the person best qualified to speak to your teaching is from a non-academic job); however, it is NOT necessary and will not necessarily help your chances.

Applications for 2023-24 are now closed.