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Department of Writing Studies, Rhetoric, and Composition: Introductory Program


Course Descriptions and Learning Outcomes

WRT 104

Catalogue Description: Introduction to college-level reading and writing practices: learning to compose for college audiences, to read challenging texts actively, to make interpretations and claims, and to collaborate with others. Does not substitute for WRT105.


Learning Outcomes:

  • Writing as Situated Process
    Students will practice a range of invention, reading, revision and editing strategies with the goal of developing successful habits as writers.
  • Writing as Social Understanding
    Students will analyze, reflect on, and practice the dynamic use of language in diverse academic, social, and technological contexts.
  • Writing as Rhetorical Action
    Students will consider interactions between audience, situation and genre as part of their writing processes.  
  • Writing as Reflective Learning
    Students will practice self-reflection as a means of developing the awareness necessary to adapt to changing contexts.  

WRT 105

Catalogue Description: Study and practice of writing processes, including critical reading, collaboration, revision, editing, and the use of technologies. Focuses on the aims, strategies, and conventions of academic prose, especially analysis and argumentation.


Detailed Description:

In WRT 105 writing and rhetoric, particularly as they relate to genre, are both a subject of inquiry and the primary activity.  Students compose, revise, edit and reflect on their writing with the support of teachers and peers. Students also engage critically with the opinions and voices of others, as they are encouraged to understand how their writing can have consequences.  Students explore composing as it relates to different social contexts and media.  As students inquire into composing in contexts, they understand their own writing and development with heightened awareness, with the goal of adopting an agile, adaptive, resourceful stance toward future writing situations in academic, professional and civic realms.


Learning Outcomes:

  • Writing as Situated Process
    Students will practice a range of invention and revision strategies appropriate to various writing situations.
  • Writing with Sources
    Students will be introduced to primary and secondary research, utilize various library resources, evaluate sources, and synthesize and apply research in accordance with citation, genre conventions and ethical standards.
  • Writing as Rhetorical Action
    Students will gain knowledge of rhetorical principles and practice addressing different audiences and situations.
  • Writing as Academic Practice
    Students will build their familiarity with values, strategies, and conventions related to a range of academic contexts and disciplinary conversations.
  • Writing as Social Practice
    Students will analyze, reflect on, and practice the dynamic use of language in diverse contexts and recognize issues of power, difference and materiality. 

WRT 205

Catalogue Description: Focuses on the rhetorical strategies, practices, and conventions of critical academic researched writing.


Detailed Description:

In WRT 205 students develop an extended inquiry project that integrates materials from varied sources and includes writing in multiple genres.  Students compose, revise, edit and reflect on their writing with the support of teacher and peers.  Through applied practice and ongoing reflection, students learn to distinguish academic contexts, develop positions in relation to research, purposes and settings, and attribute sources according to genres and situated conventions.  Polished compositions might assume a variety of forms, including but not limited to presentations, reviews, proposals, essayistic arguments, or multi-media and web-based projects. They also use digital technologies to network, compose, and/or critique and disseminate their work.  The course will use a portfolio for purposes of learning and assessment.  


Learning Outcomes:

  • Research Writing as Situated Process
    Students will recognize and act upon the ways research varies according to the situation.
  • Researching and Evaluating Sources Rhetorically
    Students will develop reading strategies for invention, rhetorical engagement with sources, and critical dialogue.
  • Research Writing Within and Across Genres
    Students will recognize the role genre plays in determining research forms and practices.
  • Research and Writing as Rhetorical Action
    Students will understand research as itself a rhetorical action.
  • Research Writing as Social Practice
    Students will analyze, reflect on, and respond to the social nature and consequences of research beyond the classroom.  

WRT 205 courses are taught via a course inquiry. For a list of inquiries, please see here.

General Introduction

General Principles of the Introductory Principles