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  • The Writing Program

The Writing Program

The University Writing Program, offered by the Department of Writing Studies, Rhetoric, and Composition, creates the intellectual atmosphere in which students can acquire rhetorical knowledge and strategies to write purposefully, incisively and ethically. Students and faculty in the program read closely and critically, explore rhetorical situations and cultural contexts, engage in inquiry, and study the elements of well reasoned, persuasive discourse.

All RWU students take WTNG 102 and a second class at the 200 or 300 level to satisfy the University’s six-credit writing requirement. Students who would benefit from additional practice exploring the connection between college-level reading and writing, crafting sound sentences, and developing coherent essays are eligible to take WTNG 100 “Introduction to Academic Writing” prior to entering WTNG 102.

Students who submit SATs with a verbal score above 510 will be placed in WTNG 102 in the fall or spring of their first year.  Students who submit verbal SATs with a 510 or below will be placed in WTNG 100.  Students who do not submit SATs will participate in Directed Self-Placement (DSP), a process that will help them choose the most appropriate level at which to enter the University’s six-credit Writing Requirement. Contact Dr. Jennifer Campbell with questions or to confirm your decision.

Focusing on the connection between reading and writing, this first-year course emphasizes the understanding and production of academic arguments.  In a series of increasingly complex assignments, students cultivate rhetorical and writing process knowledge as well as an understanding of the general expectations of the academic discourse community.  Assignments focus on summary and analysis of academically oriented texts.  Students must write a series of compositions, submit a satisfactory portfolio, and earn a C- or higher in the course to enroll in WTNG 102.

This first-year course helps students develop a conceptual map of how writing works by building their rhetorical and writing-process knowledge and by fostering genre and discourse community awareness.  Students draft a minimum of four revised essays and complete a course portfolio.  Students must submit a satisfactory portfolio and earn a C-or higher in the course in order to enroll in 200 or 300-level writing courses.


Student Learning Outcomes


WTNG 100: Connecting Academic Writing and Reading

WTNG 102: Composition and Rhetoric: How Writing Works

Advanced Courses : Joining Academic, Civic, or Professional Conversations

Content Knowledge

Define rhetoric, genre, summary, paraphrase, analysis, audience, purpose, ethos, thesis statement, and topic sentence

Define rhetorical situation, audience, purpose, stance, genre, discourse community, metacognition, ethos, logos, pathos, writing process, revision, and editing

Define epistemology, exigence, kairos, and standards of evidence

Writing Process Knowledge

Use practices many writers employ to write summary and analysis

Use the generative power of writing to increase comprehension and develop ideas

Use instructor and peer‐review feedback to improve written work

Use practices‐‐e.g., prewriting, drafting, revising, editing‐‐ many writers employ and adapt them to the rhetorical situation

Use the generative power of writing to increase comprehension and develop ideas

Solicit reader feedback to improve written work

Employ and adapt practices, including inquiry and collaboration, that writers use in academic, civic, or public situations

Rhetorical Knowledge

Apply rhetorical concepts of audience, padding:10px;purpose, and ethos to writing and reading situations

Apply rhetorical concepts‐‐e.g., audience, purpose, stance, ethos, pathos, logos‐‐to writing and reading situation

Apply rhetorical concepts to academic, civic, or professional situations

Genre Knowledge

Work with genre conventions to write summaries and textual/ rhetorical analyses

Connect thesis statements and topic sentences to unified, coherent, and well developed paragraphs and papers

Identify situationally appropriate types of evidence

With instructor and peer assistance, recognize or infer characteristics of genre (rhetorical purpose, typical content, structural and linguistic features)

Employ genre features as appropriate to respond to a given rhetorical situation

Recognize or infer characteristics of genre

Employ genre features to respond to recurring academic, civic, or professional situations

Discourse Community Knowledge

Understand and work within general expectations of the academic discourse community. These include valuing disciplined, openminded inquiry, being reasonable, and producing reader centered prose

Articulate connections between a discourse community’s goals, its typical rhetorical situations, its genres and writing processes, and its expectations for “good” or effective writing

Contribute to ongoing written conversations by engaging the ideas and texts of others

Articulate connections between academic, civic, or professional discourse community goals, typical rhetorical situations, preferred genres and writing processes, and expectations for “good” or effective writing

Contribute to ongoing academic, civic, or professional conversations to produce knowledge or solve problems


Practice ongoing self‐assessment of writing processes and products

Engage in ongoing, critical selfassessment of writing processes and products

Reflect on and evaluate ongoing selfassessment practices of writing processes and products