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  • 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.

The program sets appropriate performance-based standards to ensure that students incorporate those skills integral to writing cogent arguments. Incoming freshmen who need additional support gaining academic literacy may be required to complete WTNG 100 – Introduction to Academic Writing, with a grade of C- or higher. The University Core Curriculum writing requirement is fulfilled by successfully (grade of C- or higher) completing the following: WTNG 102 Expository Writing and a WTNG course at the 200 level or above

In Expository Writing, students learn how to write well-structured, well-developed arguments that demonstrate proficiency in standard written English. Advanced writing courses encourage students to produce increasingly sophisticated arguments; refine their writing style; conduct academic and/or professional research; understand the scholarly communication process; identify, locate, analyze, interpret, and synthesize information to support purpose; demonstrate critical, civic, and information literacy through their writing and rhetoric; and communicate effectively with academic and professional audiences. Students should consult their advisors to determine which advanced course is best suited to their major and their personal goals.

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