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Writing Programs

Go home and write
a page tonight.
And let that page come out of you---
Then, it will be true
.           Langston Hughes

The Writing Center
The Writing Center provides opportunities for undergraduate students to improve writing and thinking skills. In a comfortable and supportive atmosphere, trained consultants with a variety of majors assist writers individually at all stages of the composing process. The Center also makes available printed and online materials, as well as workshops, on topics related to writing and teaching writing.

The Academic Writing Program

What students learn in Academic Writing

Academic Writing is the first-year writing course designed to familiarize students with the kinds of writing they will have to do in college. Academic writing is grounded in inquiry; when we engage in academic writing, we seek to determine what is known about a topic, and new arguments develop from the questions we ask about what is known. This, in turn, leads to the construction of new knowledge. The characteristics of academic writing are shared across all disciplines and levels at the University.

Academic Writing prepares students to:
  • Demonstrate an understanding of writing as a series of tasks, including finding, evaluating, analyzing, and synthesizing appropriate sources, and as a process that involves composing, editing, and revising;
  • Demonstrate critical reading and analytical skills, including understanding an argument's major assertions and assumptions and how to evaluate its supporting evidence;
  • Demonstrate facility with the fundamentals of persuasion as they are adapted to a variety of special situations and audiences in academic writing;
  • Demonstrate research skills, integrate their own ideas with those of others, and apply the conventions of attribution and citation correctly;
  • Use Standard Written English and edit and revise their own writing for appropriateness.Demonstrate an understanding of the connection between writing and thinking, and use writing and reading for inquiry, learning, thinking, and communicating in an academic setting.
The Professional Writing Program
The Professional Writing Program (PWP) provides upper division undergraduates with practice in the writing and document design skills necessary for success in their careers. PWP courses help students transition from writing academic papers to writing for the workplace, where the audience is not teachers but professionals who need information to make decisions. In each Professional Writing course, students learn to identify and analyze audiences; establish credibility; research topics in a specific professional discipline; write and edit for readability and suitability to audience and purpose; and critique their own and others’ writing.  

What Students Learn in Professional Writing

Professional Writing prepares students to:

  • Analyze a variety of professional rhetorical situations and produce appropriate texts in response.
  • Understand the stages required to produce competent, professional writing through planning, drafting, revising, and editing.
  • Identify and implement the appropriate research methods for each writing task.
  • Practice the ethical use of sources and the conventions of citation appropriate to each genre.
  • Write for the intended readers of a text, and design or adapt texts to audiences who may differ in their familiarity with the subject matter.
  • Demonstrate competence in Standard Written English, including grammar, sentence and paragraph structure, coherence, and document design (including the use of the visual) and be able to use this knowledge to revise texts.
  • Produce cogent arguments that identify arguable issues, reflect the degree of available evidence, and take account of counter arguments.