First-Year Writing Program

Banner photo of pen and notepad with various notes written

Director of First-Year Writing:   Dr. Danelle Dyckhoff Stelzriede ([email protected])

The English Department is committed to improving student writing, both for majors and non-majors. Our First-Year Writing Program offers courses in college writing, argumentative writing and critical thinking, technical writing, and professional and business writing. In addition, English Department faculty help prepare faculty in other disciplines to teach writing and offer courses in essay writing, writing studies, and writing pedagogy at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

First-Year Writing Program Learning Outcomes.  By the completion of the First-Year Writing pathway (A2 and A3 block courses), students will develop competencies in the following areas:  

  • Rhetorical Knowledge: Study and practice key rhetorical strategies (e.g.: audience, purpose, appeals, and canons) to compose texts in a variety of modalities that respond effectively to different rhetorical situations.  
  • Critical Thinking: Inquire, learn, and develop persuasive positions on a variety of social and cultural issues and disciplinary topics using critical reading, logical reasoning, and engagement with diverse perspectives.  
  • Information Literacy: Produce college-level writing that demonstrates fundamental information literacy practices, including strategic inquiry, evaluation of diverse forms of evidence (e.g.: scholarly texts, media sources, ethnographies, lived experiences), use of evidence, and attribution of evidence.  
  • Writing Processes: Develop metacognitive strategies that demonstrate awareness of writing as an embodied, recursive process involving multiples stages and collaborations.  
  • Knowledge of Conventions: Demonstrate awareness and purposeful use of genre conventions (whole document to sentence-level) and make informed decisions about whether to adhere to, modify, and/or resist conventions.    

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