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PWR Lecturer Full Job Description

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Lecturers in the Program in Writing and Rhetoric (PWR) are responsible for teaching courses that fulfill the undergraduate writing and rhetoric requirement at Stanford University. PWR offers approximately 200 undergraduate courses a year, taught in seminar/workshop style in classes of 15 students each.  These small classes emphasize the development of each student’s analytical and research-based writing.  Individual classes explore writing, rhetoric, and research from a range of perspectives. The second course in the requirement includes increased attention to the interweaving of writing and technology and to the study and development of oral and multimedia texts to expand students’ understanding of contemporary language and argument. 

Lecturers in PWR are responsible for developing syllabi for their sections in accord with course and assignment guidelines developed by PWR.  Lecturers will also participate in professional development activities available through the program, including formal training in rhetoric, composition, and writing pedagogy.  Additional responsibilities of lecturers in PWR include service on program committees and weekly work in the Hume Center for Writing and Speaking.  All of these responsibilities must be fulfilled in a professional manner, including being available to students on a regular basis via office hours and meeting all classroom and Hume Center obligations in a reliable and timely way.    

Duties and Responsibilities

Teaching and Tutoring (70%)

  • Teach two sections of Writing and Rhetoric courses in each academic quarter, for a total of six sections per academic year. Each section meets twice a week for 110 minutes, adding up to roughly eight hours of classroom teaching per week. 
  • Respond to drafts of each major essay and oral presentation assignment and meet with each student three times per quarter for approximately 30 minutes each time (ninety conferences per quarter).
  • Prepare and revise course descriptions and other pedagogical materials; participate in making of PWR instructional videos describing courses for posting to the course description website.
  • Tutor (or perform equivalent work) four hours per week in the Hume Center for Writing and Speaking.

Contribute to the Program (20%)

  • Serve as a contributing member or chair/co-chair of at least one standing committee.
  • Support special PWR projects and initiatives as needed (e.g. Writing Specialist roles in departments or programs).
  • Participate in all PWR program meetings, including September sessions and quarterly meetings.
  • Professionally represent the program’s projects, initiatives and goals in all professional contexts 

Contributions to the Discipline/Professional Development (10%)

  • Participate in professional development activities including formal training in rhetoric, composition, and writing and Writing Center pedagogy.
  • Develop and make progress on an intellectual project related to professional development in the field connecting this work to teaching, tutoring, and other program work as possible.
  • Attend and participate in national and regional conventions focused on writing and other scholarly interests.


Education:  Advanced degree (Ph.D. or other terminal degree preferred)


  • An advanced degree in Writing Studies (Ph.D. or other terminal degree preferred) or a related field
  • 3-5 years of experience teaching college-level writing, preferably in a program emphasizing research-based writing; if teaching experience is outside a writing program, evidence of experience teaching research-based writing in a disciplinary context and interest in teaching in a writing program
  • Experience in the tutoring of writing and/or mentoring of student writers desired 


  • Demonstrated understanding of effective and up-to-date pedagogy (experience with writing pedagogy preferred), including the innovative use of technology
  • Comprehensive understanding of the principles of responding to and evaluating student writing in both classroom and Writing Center settings
  • Knowledge of standards of research and scholarship in writing and rhetoric (or in other areas of study)
  • Understanding of teaching research in a resource-rich research university
  • Deep understanding of the philosophy and goals of liberal arts education
  • Comprehensive understanding of academic and psychological development of traditional college-age students
  • Knowledge of the role of academic support resources (knowledge of Stanford's academic support resources desired)

Skills, Abilities, and Work Standards:

  • Ability to maintain a courteous, positive, professional demeanor in the workplace
  • Highly developed teaching skills
  • Ability to form professional collaborations and partnerships, particularly within and also across units in the university
  • Ability to make sound decisions regarding sensitive and/or confidential matters
  • Ability to work independently and to take the initiative, especially in new ventures
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills  
  • Ability to manage multiple tasks, to set and reorder priorities, and meet deadlines
  • Excellent listening, written, and oral communication skills
  • Ability to work effectively with students from various, diverse backgrounds possessing differing levels of skill
  • Ability to exercise sound judgment, tact, and discretion
  • Ability to work occasional evening and weekend hours as needed.
  • Strong interpersonal skills  
  • Ability to identify problems, take initiative, set priorities, and follow through with projects in a timely manner
  • Strong organizational skills with the ability to manage time effectively and complete assignments within designated deadlines
  • Demonstrates the ability to work well with Stanford colleagues and clients and with external organizations
  • Demonstrates commitment to personal responsibility and value for safety; communicates safety concerns; uses and promotes safe behaviors based on training and lessons learned
  • Subject to and expected to comply with all applicable University policies and procedures