Designing a Writing-Based Course

This online workshop guides instructors in designing the materials — syllabus, assignments, schedule — for writing-centered introductory composition courses at all UC campuses.

Experienced instructors will find the workshop helpful in revising their course materials for required introductory composition courses. Newer graduate student instructors might opt to take the workshop before enrolling in their departmental pedagogy seminars, or perhaps between the time they take such a seminar and begin teaching their introductory composition course.

Participants conclude the workshop with a polished set of teaching materials to use in their introductory composition courses.

The workshop is led jointly by Howard Fisher and Alexander Creighton. Fisher is Assistant Professor in Residence in the Department of English at the University of Connecticut. He holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from UC Berkeley and is the former coordinator of the Art of Writing tutoring program. Creighton is an ACLS Emerging Voices Postdoctoral Fellow at UC Berkeley, where he is an instructor in the Art of Writing program and a program associate at the Townsend Center for the Humanities. He holds a PhD in English from Harvard University.

Dates and Schedule

The workshop runs from Monday, June 3, through Friday, June 21, 2024. Participants should plan to commit a total of six to eight hours per week, of which approximately three hours are spent live online, and three to five hours are spent offline completing the assigned reading and writing. Live online meetings take place for an hour each Monday (10–11 am PT) and two hours each Thursday (10 am–12 pm or 2–4 pm PT); in addition, participants have several short individual meetings with an instructor.


UC graduate students from any UC campus who will be teaching a required introductory composition course for at least one semester/quarter in 2024-25. (For UC Berkeley students specifically, these courses are R1A, R1B, R5A, and R5B.) No prior composition teaching experience is necessary; beginning as well as experienced instructors are welcome to apply.

Grant Provision

Each UC Berkeley participant receives a $1000 stipend upon successful completion of the workshop. Receipt of the stipend is contingent upon participation in all meetings (group and individual) and submission of all assignments. Stipends are available for UC Berkeley participants only.


Designing a Writing-Based Course