As Writing Director at Grove City College, I am responsible for overseeing the composition and professional writing course curriculum and managing the Writing Center. If you would like to discuss the Writing Program, please email me using the contact form.
The Writing Program
The Writing Program curriculum has been designed with the interests and needs of the student in mind, reflecting the academic contexts and multi-disciplinary concerns of the wider institution. Writing Program courses prepare students for various academic writing challenges and train students to be effective communicators and thinkers in their personal lives as well as their academic and professional careers. Students begin to understand writing as a skill that can be learned and a craft that can be improved through practice. Moreover, by exploring different aspects of rhetoric and composition within academic contexts, students also learn how to think critically about language and its uses. As a result, they become better prepared to use language effectively and responsibly throughout their lives.
Institutionally, the Writing Program comes under the direct supervision of the Provost/V.P. of Academic Affairs, serving the entire college community. The Writing Program is committed to supporting writing across the curriculum, and its professors and staff seek constructive ways to assist all professors in enhancing their curriculum with writing. The Writing Program also supports students from all fields of study, helping them develop the skills necessary to write successfully in their academic disciplines and future careers.
We encourage pedagogical creativity in our writing classrooms. Although the various courses are taught in different ways, our teachers share certain instructional practices and approaches:
- Dialogic Pedagogies: Writing is a communicative practice in which the minds of writers interact with the minds of readers and, through language, create discursive communities. Writing is necessarily dialogic. Therefore, the teaching of writing should be dialogic. Teachers and students interact with each other in the classroom, dialoguing about writing, and focusing on student writing. Our professors seek to create decentered writing spaces in which the focus is on student writing.
- Emphasizing Rhetorical Situations: Our teachers acknowledge that there are multiple writing styles and practices and that it is up to students to learn how to identify the requirements of a writing context and to shape their writing accordingly. We teach students to identify the unique rhetorical situations of each writing task (purpose, message, audience) so as to make informed, meaningful decisions about writing in various contexts and to take ownership of and responsibility for their writing choices. In other words, we encourage students to experience the authority that should accompany authorship.
- Process-Oriented Instruction: One key goal of our curriculum is to help students view themselves as writers and to begin analyzing their writing processes and practices. Process-oriented instruction is, of course, nothing new; but, too often students are made to feel that they have no accepted writing practice (because it doesn’t appear in a textbook) or that there is only one correct or best writing process. Invention, planning, drafting, revision, and editing occur in several ways, and we try to introduce students to some possibilities. But mainly, our goal is to encourage students to become self-reflexive writers, to analyze their writing processes, and to develop more effective writing habits so that they will succeed academically and professionally.
- Critical Thinking: The Writing Program recognizes that good writing is contingent upon clear thinking, but we also recognize that the process of writing allows us to reshape and sharpen our thinking. There is a necessary recursive relationship between thinking and writing. Therefore, our writing courses are informed by constructive critical thinking pedagogies. Students learn how to ask good questions, to seek various answers through academic information literacy, to evaluate the merits of the answers found, to dialogue with multiple perspectives, and then to come to reasonable conclusions given the information they discover. Good thinking, and thus good writing, is open-minded, meaning it is open to various possibilities and perspectives. However, good thinking and writing are also critical such that they do not accept and embrace everything but, rather, use clear thinking to develop discernment and wisdom. Our courses lay a critical thinking foundation for the endeavor of life-long learning.
- Multidisciplinary Perspectives: We recognize that there are multiple discourse communities within both the academic and professional worlds. Students need to be introduced to the various genre expectations of different disciplinary communities. Therefore, our foundations of academic writing course, as well as our various technical and professional writing courses, provide students opportunities to practice specific disciplinary writing genres. These genre expectations are reinforced through modeling—students read and discuss professional examples, along with sample student writing.
- Real-Life Application: It is crucial for a liberal arts college to make the life of the mind as applicable as possible to the academic realm as well as the professional world; therefore, our foundation writing course prepares students for classroom writing (essay exams, term papers, lab reports, critical analysis), and our upper-level writing courses introduce students to professional communication (resumes, business letters, inter-office communication, creative writing, journalism). Moreover, in this digital age where we are surrounded by screens of various types, it is crucial that our students become familiar with electronic discourses and literacy. Our writing classes introduce students to writing in different media, exploring how unique media parameters affect writing for various media contexts.
Concentrations and Minors
Writing Concentrations (15-17 hrs):
- Business Writing
- Creative Writing
- Professional Writing
- Science Writing and Reporting
- Technical Writing
Writing Minors (21 hrs):
- Creative Writing
- Professional Writing
- Technical Writing
- WRIT 101: Foundations of Academic Discourse
- WRIT 260: Independent Study
- WRIT 270: Independent Research
- WRIT 271: Creative Writing
- WRIT 281: Creative Non-Fiction
- WRIT 290: Studies in Writing
- WRIT 305: Technical Communication
- WRIT 310: Business Communication
- WRIT 315: Technical and Professional Document Design
- WRIT 359: Screenwriting
- WRIT 360: Independent Study
- WRIT 370: Independent Research
- WRIT 382: Poetry Writing
- WRIT 383: Story Writing
- WRIT 384: Play Writing
- WRIT 390: Studies in Writing
- WRIT 460: Independent Study
- WRIT 470: Independent Research
- WRIT 480: Internship in Writing
The Writing Center
The Writing Center serves the GCC community, providing tutorial assistance for all types of writing assignments and tasks. Come to the Writing Center and speak with peer tutors about your writing. We can help you brainstorm your assignment, review a draft, develop your ideas, and address grammar questions.