San Diego State University Est. 1897

RWS Writing Mentors

RWS Writing Mentors Program Mission Statement

The mission of SDSU’s RWS Writing Mentors Program is to empower students to become critical and reflective writers through an enriched collaborative learning experience. The program embeds successful undergraduate and graduate writers into Rhetoric and Linguistic courses where they develop effective pedagogical practices through the mentorship of their assigned instructors. This gives students additional support inside and outside the classroom, which in turn helps them gain confidence in their own academic skills. The collective efforts of instructors, Writing Mentors, and students help build effective lifelong learning practices.

Benefits of Working as a Writing Mentor

  • Work on campus with a semi-flexible schedule
  • Experience leading students with course work
  • Experience supporting faculty inside the classroom
  • Personal and professional networking opportunity

Benefits Related to Specific Areas of Study

Working as a Writing Mentor is the first step into the classroom. Besides giving program participants a great inside look into the university composition classroom, the RWS Writing Mentors Program also gives each Mentor a chance to work with students one-on-one and develop teaching skills. Many graduate student Writing Mentors go on to teach their own section of an RWS or LING class as a Teaching Associate.

  • Further your own mastery of rhetoric
  • Practice explaining complex tasks in manageable steps
  • Discover what the teaching track entails
  • Exposure to composition pedagogy in practice
  • Experience working with students to develop their reading and writing skills
  • Discover what the teaching track entails
  • Hands on experience working with multilingual students
  • Exposure to classroom practices and potential TA positions
  • Develop leadership skills
  • Explore teaching as a potential career
  • Share positive student practices with your peers

Working as a Writing Mentor can be beneficial for all majors because it builds communication skills with various audiences. As a Writing Mentor, you will have the chance to observe professors in a pedagogical situation. You are afforded the opportunity to work both one-on-one and in a group setting with students in which you facilitate the learning. This experience could be advantageous for teaching credential programs and graduate school applications.

Students with strong academic reading and writing practices, as well as those who possess excellent leadership qualities may apply.  Previous tutoring experience is not required.

  1. 3.0 GPA

  2. Must be a matriculated SDSU student

  3. Taken and completed college level writing classes in English

  4. Enrolled in a minimum of 6 units. (Please note: units taken through Open University do not count as units enrolled.) Graduate students enrolled in Thesis or Thesis Extension are exempt from the 6 unit requirement.

  5. Be eligible to work in the U.S.

  6. Have an activated SDSU email address.

  7. Availability needs to match RWS/LING courses' schedule: Applicants must be available at the same times MWF, TTH, MW (late afternoons), or for night courses.


To apply:

  1. Fill out the application form.
  2. Email us at [email protected] to schedule an interview. Please include your availability to meet. 

Writing Mentors Program applications are accepted on a continuous basis until all positions are filled. The earlier applications are received, the better. Applications received by the following dates will be given priority:

  • April 20th for all Fall positions
  • November 20th for all Spring positions

“Having a RWS [writing mentor] really helped me a lot. Especially the RWS [writing mentor] in my class. She helped me understand the prompts and explained to me the analysis I needed.”

“I think that [my Writing Mentor] was extremely helpful in this class. He was a great support system and was very helpful in my success in the class. Greatly appreciated his work and support”

“Our [writing mentor] was a lot of help and I would not have an A in this class [if it weren’t for] her. Hands down.”

“I am very grateful for the extra help my [writing mentor] gave me during the semester. It certainly helped me understand what should be done, which helps to better understand the concept of the class.”

“Working as an RWS [Writing Mentor] provided a fundamental learning block that helped me to navigate my first year of graduate studies successfully. My [mentoring] experience perfectly complemented my RWS 609 course. The course's theoretical perspectives combined with the practical pedagogical insights boosted my confidence. Now I feel equipped to teach my own RWS section.”

--Lorise Diamond, RWS Graduate Student

“Working with students is always a pleasure, and it has allowed me to hone my own writing and grammar abilities. Seeing students go from baffled to understanding the work is always a gratifying experience. Proper communications skills are learned, and problem solving is a daily task. The [Writing Mentor] program is a great place to expand one’s abilities and help others at San Diego State University. “

-- Noah Goldbloom, RWS Undergraduate

“[Mentoring] for the RWS was essential to acquire a better understanding of the LING composition classes before becoming a TA. Before this experience, I was very apprehensive about teaching a class that I didn’t fully understand.

In addition, by working as a [Writing Mentor] I was able to review much of the writing abilities that had been forsaken by me. Overall, being a [Writing Mentor] prior to teaching allowed me to become a more confident and knowledgeable instructor.”

-- Bruna Ito, Linguistics Graduate Student

I found that being part of a classroom, working with both the teacher and the students, allowed me to build my skills and to better help the individual students. My [mentoring] experience helped me to develop my teaching skills and gave me hands-on practice with many of the tasks required in being a college-level writing teacher, which, having taught in non-college classrooms, was an incredibly valuable experience.

-Andra Steinbergs, RWS Graduate Student

RWS Writing Mentors


Lea Baker and Sydney Sullivan
Writing Mentors Program Coordinators
Email: [email protected]