Fall 2020 Update

All Critical Writing Seminars will be offered online in Fall 2020, through a combination of synchronous Zoom meetings and asynchronous activities, individual and collaborative, on Canvas.

If you are in a time zone that poses challenges in terms of the synchronous Zoom meetings, or have other constraints that may affect your performance in the seminar, please let your writing professor know, so that they can work with you to accommodate your needs.

The Critical Writing Program has also made available early morning (7:30 AM; 8:00 AM EST) and early evening (8:00 PM EST) seminars to accommodate students for whom conventional class meeting times are a hardship. These seminars are permit-only.

Finally, if you are an international student who is concerned about in-person class meetings, please contact us.

Please email crit-writingsem@groups.sas.upenn.edu for permits and other questions or concerns.

Writing Center Open Online

Click here to make a Writing Center appointment using our online scheduling system (upenn.mywconline.com). Undergraduate students should select the schedule titled "Undergraduate Tutoring: Fall 2020." Graduate students should select the schedule titled "Graduate Tutoring: Fall 2020."

If you need immediate assistance, have technical difficulties, or would like help with online appointments, please email tutorhelp@writing.upenn.edu or call 215-573-2729. Support is available Monday–Friday from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM (EST).

The Marks Family Center for Excellence in Writing strengthens the university's deep commitment to developing and refining the critical thinking, writing, and collaborative skills of our undergraduate students. Dedicated to teaching writing and to creating a community of writers across Penn's undergraduate schools, it brings together a uniquely discipline-based writing curriculum, dynamic workshops, symposia, student-centered projects and publications, and distinguished faculty.

The Center's Critical Writing Program is a recipient of the Conference on College Composition and Communication Writing Program Certificate of Excellence.

Penn undergraduates across all four schools fulfill their writing requirement through seminars offered by the Critical Writing Program. They continue to advance their skills by enrolling in a range of writing courses and opportunities affiliated with Marks Family Center for Excellence in Writing. Undergraduates receive additional writing support and feedback from peer and senior tutors in the Writing Center.

Click here for a complete list of Critical Writing Seminars.

Contact information

The Marks Family Center for Excellence in Writing
University of Pennsylvania
McNeil Building, Suite 110
3718 Locust Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6121

Telephone: 215-573-2729
Fax: 215-573-8398
Email: crit-writingsem@groups.sas.upenn.edu

Critical Writing staff and faculty


  • Valerie Ross, Director
  • Brighid Kelly, Associate Director of Administration
  • Stacy Kastner, Associate Director of the Marks Family Writing Center
  • Matthew J. Osborn, Associate Director of Writing in the Disciplines
  • Jake Rutkowski, Assistant Director of Critical Writing


  • Lawrence Abbott, English
  • Jonathan Argaman, Political Science
  • Amy Brown, Anthropology
  • Sara Byala, History
  • Hannah Byland, Medieval Studies
  • Jo Ann Caplin, Cultural Studies and Criticism
  • Jean-Paul Cauvin, Philosophy
  • Michael Chiappini, English, Writing History and Theory
  • Amanda DiLodovico, Dance Studies
  • Phillip Fackler, Religious Studies
  • DaJuan Ferrell, Sociology
  • Jacob Friedman, Musicology
  • Kristen Hipolit, Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Helen Jeoung, Linguistics
  • Matt Johnson, Anthropology
  • Shelby Justl, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations
  • Melissa Kapadia, Education
  • John Kehayias, Physics
  • Rafael Khachaturian, Political Science
  • Kathleen Kramer, Fine Arts
  • Shaleigh Kwok, Psychology
  • Damon Linker, Political Science
  • Aurora MacRae-Crerar, Biology
  • Patrick Manning, English
  • Julia McWilliams, Education
  • Adam Mohr, History and Sociology of Science
  • Samantha Oliver, Communication
  • Amy Paeth, English
  • Ali Rahman, Comparative Literature
  • Andrew Starner, Theater
  • Michelle Taransky, English
  • Jordan Taylor, Philosophy
  • Carolyn Trench, Art History
  • Fayyaz Vellani, Environmental Studies
  • Dana Walker, Information Science
  • Keahnan Washington, African American Studies & Sociocultural Anthropology
  • Patrick Wehner, Communications