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Harvard University Preceptor in Expository Writing: Expository Writing 20 in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Title Preceptor in Expository Writing: Expository Writing 20

School Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Department/Area Harvard College Writing Program

Position Description

Each preceptor develops a writing course on an academic topic and teaches one or two sections per semester of fifteen students per section. The position is for three years, renewable for a term of up to five years, contingent on performance, enrollments, curricular need, position availability, and decanal authorization. Salary and benefits are competitive. Preference will be given to candidates with Ph.D.s or other terminal degrees in fields that are taught at Harvard College, including fields in the sciences and social sciences, or to candidates with MFAs; who have experience in the teaching of academic argument at the college level; who demonstrate a lively interest in issues of writing pedagogy and an innovative approach to the teaching of freshman communication skills; and who enjoy collaborating with colleagues on assignment design and program development.

Please see the Harvard College Writing Program’s website for additional details.

The University and Program have a strong commitment to diversity among faculty and staff, and we encourage applications from under-represented groups.

Basic Qualifications

Doctorate (or Doctorate nearly completed) in traditional liberal arts discipline taught in Harvard College, including fields in the sciences and social sciences, or MFA or terminal degree with relevant experience teaching writing in a field taught in Harvard College.

Additional Qualifications

We welcome applications from candidates with experience and expertise in the teaching of writing in STEM fields, the social sciences, or public policy; with experience and/or strong interest in teaching engaged scholarship writing courses, integrating multimedia and digital learning into course design and class activities, or designing innovative capstone projects.

Special Instructions

For the first round of the application process, please submit the following items:

  • your CV

  • a cover letter explaining your philosophy of teaching writing and relevant undergraduate teaching experience. Candidates are welcome, but not required, to submit a separate Statement of Teaching Philosophy to complement what is discussed in the cover letter.

  • brief one-paragraph descriptions of two courses that you might teach in the Writing Program (the Hiring Committee is interested in hearing ideas for courses that would both fit the Program’s pedagogy well and complement the current roster of Expos 20 courses; the Hiring Committee also welcomes thoughtful proposals about innovative assignments that might lend themselves to student capstone presentations and/or the use of multimedia and digital tools. For descriptions of courses currently being offered, visit our Expos 20 courses page. Please do not propose a course topic that specifically duplicates a course in our current roster.).

Candidates who are interested in applying for Curricular Innovation Awards for Engaged Scholarship Expos Courses should first include a proposal for an Engaged Scholarship Expos course as part of this job application. Should candidates be hired, they would then become eligible to apply for a Mindich Curricular Innovation Award. Two awards will be granted per year; each award is $3,000. The awards committee will make its decisions in early July 2020.

Please note that candidates for preceptorships are not required to propose an Engaged Scholarship Expos course; this option is here for candidates interested in this pedagogy and whose course topics might lend themselves to this approach. See descriptions of current Engaged Scholarship Expos courses on our website.

After each course description, as a separate paragraph, please describe a possible capstone assignment for the course (the Hiring Committee understands that the proposal is just a sketch and offered in the absence of course logistics and detailed Writing Program budget guidelines; we are interested in seeing how the capstone you propose might help students write to a wider audience than just the course instructor, might give students practice in presentational skills, and provide students with a satisfying culminating experience in the course). Students would complete the capstone in the final week or two of the semester. The capstone should be related to the course’s research paper.

Please upload your two course descriptions and capstone proposals as a single attachment to the Applicant Document field “Proposed Course Descriptions.”

  • a sample of your writing (no more than 10 pages of academic or expository prose) uploaded to the Applicant Document field “Writing Sample 1.”

  • your teaching materials from current or past courses (syllabi, writing assignments, and the like) uploaded to the Applicant Document field “Sample Syllabus.”

  • your comments on a student paper uploaded to the Applicant Document field “Paper 1.” Instructions for commenting on a student paper are as follows: Please read the three student drafts, posted below, and choose one on which to comment.

Student Essay 1

Student Essay 2

Student Essay 3

We’ve included the essay assignments, posted as pdf files below, to give you some context for responding to the draft.

Assignment Prompt 1

Assignment Prompt 2

Assignment Prompt 3

Please address your comments to the student writer of the paper. The draft itself is a Word document. Save a copy of the essay with your comments to the student about how to revise this draft. You should include both the margin notes you make on the draft itself as well as your end comments. Please do not comment on every writing issue in the student paper; instead, focus your margin and end comments on the issues that you think are most important for the student to work on for the revision. Upload this document in the ARIeS system to the field “Paper 1.” If you hand-write your notes, please make sure the penmanship is legible. Please also make sure that the comments are legible when scanned into a PDF. You should be aware that ARIeS automatically converts Word documents into PDFs. In order to ensure that your margin comments are converted properly, you might consider converting to PDF before uploading the document and double-checking. (If you are using the MS Word function to create margin comments, the ARIeS uploader/ PDF converter will sometimes not clearly indicate what multiple comments on a line of text refer to.) You might consider using a number system to reference margin notes.

Candidates who are invited to the second round will be asked to submit the following:

  • letters of recommendation. The Harvard ARIeS online hiring system will contact references to request letters of recommendation. (To use your Interfolio account to submit letters of recommendation, please see instructions via Interfolio);

  • records of strong teaching (preferably official records of student evaluations for courses taught).

For information on how to navigate the ARIeS system, please see the ARIeS Faculty Hiring page

Contact Information

Harvard College Writing Program Hiring Committee One Bow Street, Suite 250 Cambridge, MA 02138

Contact Email

Equal Opportunity Employer

The University and Program have a strong commitment to diversity among faculty and staff, and we encourage applications from under-represented groups. We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions or any other characteristic protected by law.

Minimum Number of References Required 3

Maximum Number of References Allowed 3

Supplemental Questions