Designing a Writing-Based Course

This online workshop guides instructors in designing the materials — syllabus, assignments, schedule — for a writing-centered Reading & Composition course at UC Berkeley.

Experienced instructors will find the workshop helpful in revising their course materials for R&C. 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 R&C course. Each participant receives a $1000 stipend for successful completion of the workshop.

Participants conclude the workshop with a polished set of teaching materials to use in their R&C courses. They also earn a certificate of completion from the Art of Writing program.

The workshop is led jointly by Joseph Harris and Howard Fisher. A leading scholar in composition studies, Harris has written or edited five books on teaching writing, and he has led the Summer Writing Institute for the Townsend Center’s Art of Writing program since 2015. An ABD in Comparative Literature at Berkeley, Howard Fisher is an experienced R&C instructor and the former coordinator of the Art of Writing tutoring program.

Dates and Schedule

The three-week workshop runs from Monday, June 7 through Friday, June 25, 2021. 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 tasks. Live online meetings take place for an hour each Monday (10–11 am PDT) and two hours each Thursday (10 am–12 pm or 2–4 pm PDT); in addition, participants have several short individual meetings with an instructor.


UC Berkeley graduate students who will be teaching Reading and Composition (R1A, R1B, R5A, R5B) for at least one semester in 2021-22. No prior R&C teaching experience is necessary, though experienced R&C instructors are welcome to apply.

Grant Provision

Each participant receives a $1000 stipend upon successful completion of the workshop.


Designing a Writing-Based Course