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.
Seven Points of Distinction
- Our students get extraordinary attention.
- Our writing faculty have exceptional expertise and focus.
- The DU Writing Center cultivates a strong culture of writing, both on campus and beyond.
- The Writing Program energizes writing across the whole campus.
- Our students master approaches that are vital for writing in school, work, and life.
- Our students write for a digital age.
- Our students write impressively.
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.
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.
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.
Students must complete a writing-intensive Advanced Seminar Course. The Writing Program provides faculty development and support for these classes.
Writing in the Disciplines
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.
How do I make an appointment to get help on a paper?
The Writing Center provides support for any DU student, faculty, or staff members on any form of writing. You may make an appointment for a consultation by calling us at 303-871-7456 or by using our online scheduling system. DU Faculty and staff can make appointments by calling the Writing Center at 303-871-7456. We will happily see writers on a walk-in basis if a consultant is available.
For more information, view the Writing Center page.
What writing class should I take?
Please view the Writing and Rhetoric requirement. Most students take FSEM 1111 in the fall, WRIT 1122 in the winter, and WRIT 1133 in the spring.
What if I didn't take or pass the required writing courses my first year at DU?
While students are encouraged to take the required writing courses the first year, if students are off sequence they can take the courses during the summer or fall. We encourage students to take them as soon as possible, because you must have passed these classes to take the ASEM course, and all are required for graduation. For questions about your individual situation, contact Richard Colby.
What if I have a comment or concern about my writing class?
Students should feel free to discuss both positive and negative experiences with the Assistant Director for First Year Writing, Richard Colby.
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.