University Writing Program


With our students and partners on and off campus, the Writing Program fosters inclusive, accessible, collaborative, and ethical writing and literacy practices needed in diverse rhetorical contexts. 


The Writing Program promotes an understanding of writing as a complex set of rhetorical, multi-modal, and multilingual concepts and practices. We facilitate engagement with diverse audiences, genres, epistemologies, and research methods to support ethical, accessible, and culturally sustaining communication in academic, professional, public, and personal contexts.​ 

Program Components

First-Year Writing Sequence

After new students complete the first-year seminar, a fall term seminar taught by a faculty member on a subject of his or her passion, they enroll in a two-course sequence in winter and spring terms, in classes of 15.

Writing Center

Located in the Shopneck Family Writing Center in Anderson Academic Commons, the University Writing Center promotes and supports effective student writing by providing consultations to undergraduates, graduate students, staff, and faculty. The Center is staffed by trained students (grad and undergrad) and offers scheduled and drop-in consultations, workshops, and more.

Minor in Writing Practices

Open to all undergraduates, this 20-credit sequence develops writing proficiencies and knowledge at a time when employers assert that writing abilities are paramount, when writing shapes civic thought and action, when writing is a means of personal development and social interaction, when writing is inflected by evolving technologies.

Writing Across the Curriculum & Clark Fund STEM Writing Support Initiative

The Program offers development opportunities and support for faculty in every department, from informal consultations to extended workshops. The goal is to teach students the ways of writing vital to specific disciplines and professions.

Assessment and Research

Through both focused and longitudinal studies of student writing, the Program regularly assesses its effectiveness and contributes to the professional literature in rhetoric and composition studies. A four-year longitudinal study of 10% of the class of 2010 began in spring 2007.



The Writing Program reports to the Provost of the University and is located in offices in the Anderson Academic Commons. Sheila Carter-Tod is Executive Director of Writing and Professor of English, Juli Parrish is Director of the University Writing Center, Olivia Tracy is the Assistant Director of the Writing Center, Richard Colby is the Director of First Year Writing and Faculty Director of General Education, and Amanda Thompson is the Writing Program Manager. The program has 29 teaching faculty, all with professional and academic expertise and experience in the teaching of writing.