College of Arts and Sciences

Guiding Principles

Language is social—and so is writing

Students should learn to use language in flexible ways in order to respond to any given rhetorical situation. Rhetorical flexibility requires awareness of specific writing-related concepts such as rhetorical situation, discourse community, genre, and convention.

Writing is work that involves play

Students should learn flexible writing processes that incorporate writing behind the scenes, sharing writing, negotiating previous writing knowledge, connecting process to the rhetorical situation and genre, and understanding process as recursive rather than linear.

Thinking, reading, and writing are intimately connected to each other and to identity

Students should learn flexible approaches to thinking, reading, and writing that allow for participation in, and critique of, the multiple, often overlapping, discourse communities, rhetorical situations, and genres they will encounter in and out of school.

Writing concepts and practices are transferrable

Students should learn how to learn to write. As part of that process, students should practice self-reflection and should actively cultivate habits of mind that encourage transfer.

Community is important to the process of writing

Students should experience the flexible and recursive process of drafting and revising that happens in a safe and productive environment, where feedback and comments by peers and teachers can help create more thoughtful and polished pieces.


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