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Degree Programs

Minor in Writing Practices

WRIT Courses for the Minor

WRIT 2000: Theories of Writing

This course introduces a number of theories of writing, providing an overview of complex issues and research into the state and status of writing and writers. It takes up such questions as these: What is writing? Where did it come from? How did it develop – and did it do so the same or differently in other cultures? How do writers develop – and what accounts for differences? What are different types of
writing, different situations for writing, different tools and practices – and how do these interconnect? What does it mean to study writing? How have major figures theorized writing, and what tensions emerge among their theories? What are relationships among thought, speech, and writing – and among imagine, film/video, and sound? How do such theories change our notions of what texts are and what texts do? Students will learn how various theorists, historians, and researchers answer these questions, and they will apply that knowledge to their own projects. Completion of WRIT 1133 is prerequisite.

WRIT 2040: Memoir and Personal Writing

In learning to write memoir, a writer is learning how to analyze memory, select experiences, invent narratives – all while still being “truthful.”  In this course, students distinguish memoir from other forms of writing about the self, including autobiography, diaries and journals, blogs, and letters.  They read excerpts of published memoirs and drafts of memoirs they write during the course, with a particular interest in how these writers shape and represent their experiences textually: how do people construct the stories thy tell about their lives?  What is the value of personal writing for writers and readers?  And perhaps most importantly, how can we begin to create stories of experiences in compelling ways?  Students will complete multiple writing projects, including at least one polished short memoir.

WRIT 2050: Style and Rhetorical Grammar

Be concise. Don't split infinitives. Write with flow. Don't end a sentence with a preposition. Avoid the passive voice. Never use "I" in academic writing." Everyone has these maxims about writing and grammar. This course will interrogate those maxims, and provide systematic ways to draft, revise, and polish prose based on the needs and demands of the audience. More specifically, students consider matters of sentence structure and sentence rhythm, cohesion and concision, as well as voice and point of view. Through a series of shorter and longer writing assignments, in-class exercises and activities, and course readings, students hone their writing and grammar skills, all with the goal of writing with improved clarity and grace. The course is open to all students who want to take their writing to a next level of sophistication, clarity, and range. Prerequisite: WRIT 1122 or permission of instructor.

WRIT 2500: Topics in Writing Theory and Research

This course provides curricular space for various subjects and foci related to theories about writing, histories of writing and its status and development, or research about writing. Specific offerings of the course will vary according to professor or student needs, interests, and opportunities, and to developing knowledge and research in the field. Examples of possible topics might include multimodality and writing, relationships between visual and verbal rhetoric, the development of specific genres over time, the relationships between academic and civic writing, the history of writing in specific schools or settings, research into the acquisition of writing skills, social policies and practices that affect writing, ethical issues in writing practices, the affects of technologies on writing, and so on. The preceding list is illustrative, not exclusive. Completion of WRIT 1133 is prerequisite.

WRIT 2701: Topics in Applied Writing

Individual offerings of this topics course teach skills and strategies for writing in a specific professional or public context or for improving in a specific type of writing. The focus is on the texts, genres, conventions, habits, and critical questions salient to writers in a given situation. Each offering will focus on a topic not available in existing courses. Possible examples include: “Writing for the Public Good”; “Publications Editing”; “Writing, Curation, and the Archive”; “Writing (in) the Workplace”; “Writing Profiles and Biographies”; “Nature Writing”; and so on. (The previous list is merely suggestive.) Befitting the course, the primary writing focus will be on producing texts for/within the topical focus, with emphasis on drafting, revision, and design. Students will also write responses to and analyses of assigned readings (including the work of other students). Prerequisite: WRIT 1133 or permission of the Executive Director of Writing.

WRIT 3500: Capstone: Writing Design and Circulation

The primary goal of this capstone course for the Minor in Writing Practices is to create and present a professional electronic/web-based portfolio synthesizing university writing experiences. The portfolio showcases and offers reflective insight into a student’s writings, demonstrating the writer’s ability to navigate diverse rhetorical situations. Students will learn theories and practices for selecting, arranging, and circulating/publishing written work, culminating in a required portfolio that synthesizes their university writing experiences. In addition to practicing principles of editing and design, students will produce a substantive revision of a previous piece of their own writing and compose a theory of writing that synthesizes analyses of their practices with published scholarship and research. The course covers design considerations and strategies and offers studio time for peer and instructor feedback. It culminates with a public showcase. Prerequisites include WRIT 2500 and completion of at least two other courses in the Writing Practices minor. 

WRIT 3818: Composition Theories and Pedagogies

This course focuses on the vast body of theory, research, and practice in the discipline of Composition Studies, primarily focusing on developments since 1963, though with some attention to the field's roots in classical, medieval, and modern rhetoric and in 19th American universities. Course topics include rhetoric and composition, cognitive development and composition, social theories of writing, process theories and research, contemporary threshold concepts in writing, linguistics and writing, digital and multimodal composition, research design, writing across the curriculum, writing pedagogies, assessment, theories of literacy (including race, class, and gender implications), and some relationships between composition and related areas of writing studies. Prerequisite: WRIT 1133.