• A personal statement. (A form is included in our application packet.)  Please let us know about your teaching experience, editing experience, writing experience, approach to writing, and/or anything else you think relevant.
  • A 4- to 7-page sample of your own writing (and cover sheet, included in application packet).  If you are submitting an excerpted sample from a longer paper, please include your introduction and a coherent section. Attach to your sample our cover sheet, which asks you to reflect on and evaluate your own work (form included in the application packet).  To preserve the anonymity of this portion of your application, please remove your name from both the sample and the cover sheet.
  • ample paper comments, to be provided with our writing sample and instructions.
  • An unofficial copy of your transcript.
  • 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 February 12th.

All interviews will take place over Zoom.

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.

With regard to the writing sample: We’d like to see a 4- to 7-page (double spaced) sample of expository prose directed toward an academic or professional audience – typically, a course paper.

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 coursework than it is to get a letter evaluating the way you interact in a classroom. If you have no previous teaching or tutoring experience, ask someone who has seen you participate in a class, seminar, or workshop: A writing intern or TA, a HUMA or SOSC Core instructor, for example. You may optionally submit a second letter of recommendation if you wish; however, it is NOT required and will not necessarily help your chances.