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Degree Programs

Events, Research & News

Program Research

In addition to conducting annual assessments of WRIT courses, by scoring and analyzing a random sample of some 120 student portfolios, the Writing Program conducts basic and applied research in writing.

View brief descriptions of selected research projects.

Buchtel Tower on the University of Denver campus

Assessing Student Writing and Writing Instruction

The Writing Program uses rich direct measures to assess the quality of student writing and writing instruction at the university. This assessment occurs at two levels: a portfolio of writings students complete during their first year, and a longitudinal study of approximately 125 students' writings throughout their entire undergraduate careers. The Program also has a comprehensive plan for assessing teaching.

PDF of how the Writing Program assesses student writing


A four-year longitudinal study of 10% of the class of 2010 began in spring 2007, when we began collecting data from a group of first year students at the University of Denver whose writing, writing experiences, and writing attitudes we would follow and interpret until graduation. Our goals were fairly open-ended: describe the amounts and kinds of writing and writing experiences of DU undergrads and interpret the effects and implications of what we learned. From all the students enrolled in WRIT 1133, the spring-quarter required writing course, we randomly selected 130 students whom we invited to participate in the study.