University Writing Program
The mission of the DU Writing Program is to create a robust culture of writing on campus by helping students develop the complex writing abilities needed in contemporary academic, professional and civic life, by helping faculty develop the knowledge and practices they need to support students in this development, and by providing nationally-recognized models for colleges and universities seeking exemplary practices in teaching and supporting writing. The program, grounded in the arts of rhetoric and the craft of writing, pursues these goals through its commitment to the following elements:
- A thriving writing culture. The Program will facilitate a deep, diverse, and collaborative culture of writing and composing on campus.
- Campus-wide understanding of writing. All campus colleagues will understand writing as a multi-faceted set of rhetorical ideas and thoughtful processes.
- Recognized expertise. Campus colleagues will value Program faculty as generative partners in scholarly, programmatic, and outreach initiatives. Colleagues in the profession will value the Program and its faculty as sources of knowledge and best practices in the teaching of writing.
- Rhetorically versatile students. In their writing and composing, students will use versatile, innovative rhetorical thinking to engage effectively with larger networks in academic, professional, and civic life. Students will also ground researched writing and composing in diverse epistemologies, research methods, and genres.
- Responsible writing and research practices. Writers and researchers in the University of Denver community will use ethical writing and research practices to engage diverse communities.
The Writing Program has responsibility for required first-year writing courses; hosts a thriving writing center that supports individual undergraduate, graduate, and faculty writers, as well as sponsoring workshops, events, and classroom teaching; hosts a Minor in Writing Practices; and is the academic home of the Advanced Seminar Program.
The Minor in Writing Practices develops writing proficiencies at time when employers find writing abilities are vital, when writing shapes civic action, when writing fosters personal development and social interaction, when writing uses evolving technologies. The minor is open to all undergraduates who have successfully completed WRIT xx22 and xx33 and want to hone their writing, further understanding of writing concepts and theories, and demonstrate abilities to employers and others. Students will complete at least 20 credits of courses culminating in a formal portfolio of their work:
- WRIT 2000: Theories of Writing (4 credits)
- Two courses from a list of approved Applied Writing courses (8 credits)
- One course from a list of approved Theory, History, or Research in Writing courses (4 credits)
- WRIT 3500: Capstone: Writing Design and Circulation (4 credits)
Students select approved courses from several departments and programs, which offers flexibility and breadth.
|Theories of Writing|
|Theory, History, Research in Writing||4|
|Artifacts, Texts, Meaning|
|Rhetorical/Critical Communication Inquiry|
|Fundamentals of Argumentation|
|Landmarks in Rhetorical Theory|
|Studies in Rhetoric|
|Studies in Rhetoric|
|History of Rhetoric|
|Composition Theories and Pedagogies|
|Cultures in Emergent Digital Practices|
|Topics in Writing Theory, History, Research|
|WRIT 2555||Diverse Rhetorics||4|
|WRIT 2910||Undergraduate Peer Tutoring in Writing||4|
|Introduction to Creative Writing|
and Creative Writing-Poetry
and Creative Writing-Poetry
and Creative Writing-Fiction
and Creative Writing-Fiction
and Creative Writing-Fiction
|Business Technical Writing|
|Introduction to Publishing|
|Advanced Creative Writing: Non-Fiction|
|Newswriting & Reporting|
|Memoir and Personal Writing|
|Style and Rhetorical Grammar|
|WRIT 2200||Environmental Writing||4|
|WRIT 2600||Travel Writing||4|
|Topics in Applied Writing|
|Capstone: Writing Design and Circulation|
WRIT 1122 Rhetoric and Academic Writing (4 Credits)
On completing this course, students are expected to have enhanced the following knowledge and skills: analytic and critical reading strategies; a basic understanding of rhetorical situations and rhetorical analysis; the ability to write for specific audiences and discourse communities, using effective conversations for these situations; the ability to write texts that are organized, coherent and substantive, demonstrating rhetorical, linguistic design and analytical competence. The course provides instruction and practice in academic and civic writing for well-educated readers. Students complete at least 20 pages of revised and polished writing, in multiple assignments, as well as additional exercises. Final portfolio.
WRIT 1133 Writing and Research (4 Credits)
This course builds on the writing and rhetorical skills learned in WRIT 1122 by shifting attention from general rhetorical strategies to specific rhetorical strategies that shape different kinds of academic inquiry. Through introduction to quantitative, qualitative, and textual research traditions, students identify how written reasoning varies in terms of the questions posed, the kind of evidence used to answer them, and the nature of the audience or forum for the result. In addition, the course teaches how to shape research into substantive academic arguments, with attention to the ethical consequences of their rhetorical choices. Students are asked to develop further their linguistic, design, and reasoning competencies, with added consideration of citation conventions. Students complete at least 20 pages of revised and polished writing, in multiple assignments, as well as numerous additional exercises, in projects requiring library-based research as well as other types. Final portfolio. Prerequisite: WRIT 1122.
WRIT 1533 Writing and Research (4 Credits)
This course, designed for transfer students, builds on the writing and rhetorical skills learned in WRIT 1122 by shifting attention from general rhetorical strategies to speciﬁc rhetorical strategies that shape diﬀerent kinds of academic inquiry. Through introduction to quantitative, qualitative, and textual research traditions, students identify how written reasoning varies in terms of the questions posed, the kind of evidence used to answer them, and the nature of the audience or forum for the result. In addition, the course teaches how to shape research into substantive academic arguments, with attention to the ethical consequences of their rhetorical choices. Students are asked to develop further their linguistic, design, and reasoning competencies, with added consideration of citation conventions. Students complete at least 20 pages of revised and polished writing, in multiple assignments, as well as numerous additional exercises, in projects requiring library-based research as well as other types. Final Portfolio. For transfer students. Prerequisite: WRIT 1122 or transfer equivalent and permission of instructor.
WRIT 1622 Advanced Rhetoric and Writing (4 Credits)
A writing course for advanced first-year students, emphasizing rhetorical strategies for different academic and civic audiences and purposes; critical reading and analysis; and research. Course sections focus on a coherent set of texts, usually on an issue or theme; contact the Writing Program for specific information each quarter. Students complete at least 20 pages of polished prose in multiple assignments. Final portfolio. Satisfies the same graduation requirement as WRIT 1122. Prerequisite (one of the following): Admission to honors program; score of three or better on AP Language and Composition or Language and Literature exams, or four on the IB English; or specific permission of the director of writing.
WRIT 1633 Advanced Writing and Research (4 Credits)
A continuation of WRIT 1622, this is a writing course for advanced first-year students, emphasizing rhetorical strategies for different academic and civic audiences and purposes; critical reading and analysis; and research. The course has a significant research component. Course sections focus on a coherent set of texts, usually on an issue or theme; contract the Writing Program for specific information each quarter. Students complete at least 20 pages of polished prose in multiple assignments. Final portfolio. Satisfies the same graduation requirement as WRIT 1133. Prerequisites: WRIT 1122 or 1622, plus one of the following: either admission to the honors program; score of three or better on AP Language and Composition or Language and Literature exams, or four on the IB English; or specific permission of the director of writing.
WRIT 1733 Honors Writing (4 Credits)
Honors Writing is designed for students who will benefit from a particularly rigorous and in-depth experience with language. This class offers a theme around which students read serious and challenging texts, including some primary readings in rhetorical theory, and write at least 25 pages of polished prose, with additional less formal writings. The course offers advanced instruction in rhetorical theory and practice, as well as writing in multiple research traditions in the academy. Class has a highly participatory discussion format and students will have latitude in choosing and directing much of their work. Topics vary from section to section. Required for honors students. Prerequisites: admission to the honors program and either WRIT 1622 or WRIT 1122; or permission of the director of writing, in consultation with the director of honors.
WRIT 1991 Independent Study (1-4 Credits)
WRIT 2000 Theories of Writing (4 Credits)
This course introduces a number of theories of writing, providing an overview of complex issues and research into the state and status of writing and writers. It takes up such questions as these: What is writing? Where did it come from? How did it develop--and did it do so the same or differently in other cultures? How do writers develop--and what accounts for differences? What are different types of writing, different situations for writing, different tools and practices--and how do these interconnect? What does it mean to study writing? How have major figures theorized writing, and what tensions emerge among their theories? What are relationships among thought, speech, and writing--and among image, film/video, and sound? How do such theories change our notions of what texts are and what texts do? Students will learn various theorists, historians, and researchers answer these questions, and they will apply that knowledge to their own projects. Prerequisites: WRIT 1133, 1533, 1633, or 1733.
WRIT 2040 Memoir and Personal Writing (2,4 Credits)
In learning to write memoir, a writer is learning how to analyze memory, select experiences, invent narratives--all while still being "truthful." In this course, students distinguish memoir from other forms of writing about the self, including autobiography, diaries and journals, blogs, and letters. They read excerpts of published memoirs and drafts of memoirs they write during the course, with a particular interest in how these writers shape and represent their experiences textually: how do people construct the stories they tell about their lives? What is the value of personal writing for writers and readers? And perhaps most importantly, how can we begin to create stories of experiences in compelling ways? Students complete multiple writing projects, including at least one polished short memoir.
WRIT 2050 Style and Rhetorical Grammar (2,4 Credits)
Be concise. Don't split infinitives. Write with flow. Don't end a sentence with a preposition. Avoid the passive voice. Never use "I" in academic writing." Everyone has these maxims about writing and grammar. This course will interrogate those maxims, and provide systematic ways to draft, revise, and polish prose based on the needs and demands of the audience. More specifically, students consider matters of sentence structure and sentence rhythm, cohesion and concision, as well as voice and point of view. Through a series of shorter and longer writing assignments, in-class exercises and activities, and course readings, students hone their writing and grammar skills, all with the goal of writing with improved clarity and grace. The course is open to all students who want to take their writing to a next level of sophistication, clarity, and range. Prerequisite: WRIT 1122 or permission of instructor.
WRIT 2100 Internship in Writing and Rhetoric (0-4 Credits)
The Internship in Writing and Rhetoric provides academic credit for professional or paraprofessional work in applied rhetoric or writing directed by a University Writing Program faculty member, perhaps in collaboration with one of the Program’s community partners. Internship opportunities are individually designed as experiences for students who have completed the first-year WRIT sequence, and they require approval from the Executive Director of Writing.
Enforced Prerequisites and Restrictions:
WRIT 1133, or
WRIT 1633, or
WRIT 2200 Environmental Writing (4 Credits)
This writing course examines humanity’s relationship with the earth by developing writing abilities in traditional and emerging environmental genres. Using sustainability and interconnectedness as guiding principles, the course explores climate change, preservation and conservation, environmental justice, green rhetoric, and experiences in nature. Assignments include a range of non-fiction genres (for example, magazine pieces, policy briefs, articles and editorials, and personal essays) that communicate complex ecological concepts, perform advocacy work, or create aesthetic experiences. Prerequisite: WRIT 1122 or permission of instructor.
WRIT 2300 Professional Writing (4 Credits)
This course introduces modes and approaches vital to communicating in contemporary workplaces and organizations. As an applied writing course, it covers strategies and requires practice in techniques for composing genres commonly used in professional settings: rhetorically effective emails, memos, instructions, visual data, social media presences, and others. It also includes approaches to document management and communication workflows that support collaboration and composing processes. The course, which fulfills a requirement for the Minor in Writing Practices, is appropriate, beneficial, and open to students from all majors, whether in sciences, humanities, social sciences, the arts, or professional fields.
WRIT 2500 Topics in Writing Theory, History, Research (4 Credits)
This course provides curricular space for various subjects and foci related to theories about writing, histories of writing and its status and development, or research about writing. Specific offerings of the course will vary according to professor or student needs, interests, and opportunities, and to developing knowledge and research in the field. Examples of possible topics might include multimodality and writing, relationships between visual and verbal rhetoric, the development of specific genres over time, the relationship between academic and civic writing, the history of writing in specific schools or settings, research into the acquisition of writing skills, social policies and practices that affect writing, ethical issues in writing practices, the effects of technologies on writing, and so on. The preceding list is illustrative, not exclusive. Prerequisites: WRIT 1133.
WRIT 2555 Diverse Rhetorics (4 Credits)
Rhetoric’s origins in classical texts, in the western canon, developed to serve early forms of democracy and civic participation. Despite classical rhetoric’s formative impact, plenty of languages and cultures have their own means of persuasion and civic participation. This course introduces ways that rhetoric is practiced in diverse contexts, not as a stable idea, but as an adaptive practice situated in cultures, identities, and languages, bridging writer, audience and purpose. This course starts with classical Western rhetoric, but then explores the varied practices and theories of, for example, African American, Asian, Latinx, Indigenous, and queer rhetorics, to name a few.
WRIT 2600 Travel Writing (4 Credits)
Travel writing captures and sometimes invents a place for an audience. We see it expressed in many different genres and purposes, from literary nonfiction, to travel guides, to online reviews. How best can writers convey their experiences of a place as an outsider? What writing strategies are best for creating a narrative of experiences and enticing an audience? This applied writing course involves writing in several genres and for different audiences.
WRIT 2700 Collect, Select, Reflect: Learning through ePortfolios (2 Credits)
This course focuses on developing an ePortfolio through an intentional reflective framework, to foster meaningful connections across students' experiences (academic, co-curricular, and community) that help develop critical thinking skills and the ability to be reflective practitioners. It focuses on three portfolio elements: artifacts (things the maker has created, including papers, projects, recordings, presentations); reflection and interpretation (the analysis of artifacts selected, the nature of learning); and design (skillfully and engagingly presenting the portfolio to an audience). Students create an electronic portfolio, learning to use different kinds of platforms and tools. The course presumes no technical knowledge or experience with those tools.
WRIT 2701 Topics in Applied Writing (4 Credits)
Individual offerings of this Topics course teach skills and strategies for writing in a specific professional or public context or for improving in a specific type of writing. The focus is on the texts, genres, conventions, habits, and critical questions salient to writers in a given situation. Each offering will focus on a topic not available in existing courses. Possible examples include: "Writing for the Public Good;" "Publications Editing;" "Writing, Curation, and the Archive;" "Writing (in) the Workplace;" "Writing Profiles and Biographies;" "Nature Writing;" and so on. (The previous list is merely suggestive.) Benefitting the course, the primary writing focus will be on producing texts for/within the topical focus, with emphasis on drafting, revision, and design. Students will also write responses to and analyses of assigned readings (including the work of other students). Prerequisites: WRIT 1133 or permission of the Executive Director of Writing.
WRIT 2900 Life Back from Abroad (1 Credit)
This course focuses on life back from abroad – generating understanding(s) about integration back into American culture, specifically life at the University of Denver. This will be a pop-up style course which means it will meet for 10 hours, 1 evening a week. The course will have an intentional focus on reflection as a way to foster meaningful connections across cultural learning experiences. The final project’s focus on an artifact students “collected” while abroad – a blog they created, a series of images they took, a video they made, etc. – and they will revise it to add to their ePortfolio.
WRIT 2910 Undergraduate Peer Tutoring in Writing (4 Credits)
Helping others to write is a collaborative process that can help tutors--as well as writers--to enhance their writing practices and their rhetorical skills and flexibility. This course entails participating in conversations about writing in and beyond the University Writing Center. The complexities of learning how to write motivate entire fields of study, from rhetoric and composition to literacy, genre, and writing center studies. The course features broad reading in these fields to develop a repertoire of lenses and strategies for working with writers in diverse disciplines. It introduces literacy and learning theories; revision strategies; ethical considerations in writing and tutoring; methods of tutoring; tutoring roles and responsibilities; working in genres across academic disciplines; and writing center history. Students regularly observe, analyze, and reflect on tutoring sessions at the University Writing Center and develop their own tutoring practices. Students who successfully complete this course will be invited to apply to work at the University Writing Center. Prerequisite: WRIT 1133 or permission of instructor.
WRIT 3500 Capstone: Writing Design and Circulation (4 Credits)
The primary goal of this capstone course for the Minor in Writing Practices is to create and present a professional electronic/web-based portfolio synthesizing university writing experiences. The portfolio showcases and offers reflective insight into a student's writings, demonstrating the writer's ability to navigate diverse rhetorical situations. Students will learn theories and practices for selecting, arranging, and circulating/publishing written work, culmination in a required portfolio that synthesizes their university writing experiences. In addition to practicing principles of editing and design, students will produce a substantive revision of a previous piece of their own writing and compost a theory of writing that synthesizes analyses of their practices with published scholarship and research. The course covers design considerations and strategies and offers studio time for peer and instructor feedback. It culminates with a public showcase. Prerequisites: WRIT 2000 and completion of at least two other courses in the Writing Practices minor.
WRIT 3810 ISL Dharamsala: Tibet, Global Citizenship, & Community Literacies (4 Credits)
ISL Dharamsala presents DU students with the unique opportunity to study international community literacies as a practical component of global citizenship through service-learning placements and study in Dharamsala, India. Home of the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan government-in-exile, Dharamsala is a multi-generational community located in the northern Indian foothills of the Himalayas. During fall quarter, students will study community literacies in the practice of global citizenship and service while immersed in the geo-political, religious, and other contexts experienced by Tibetans in exile. During their time in Dharamsala, cultural immersion and a service-learning placement will give students insight into the complexities of social justice issues and cultural nuances they have been studying and provide opportunities to contribute to local and global society through informed and reflective practice. This course is cross-listed with ENGL 3810.
WRIT 3818 Composition Theories and Pedagogies (4 Credits)
This course focuses on the vast body of theory, research, and practice in the discipline of Composition Studies, primarily focusing on developments since 1963, though with some attention to the field's roots in classical, medieval, and modern rhetoric and in 19th American universities. Course topics include rhetoric and composition, cognitive development and composition, social theories of writing, process theories and research, contemporary threshold concepts in writing, linguistics and writing, digital and multimodal composition, research design, writing across the curriculum, writing pedagogies, assessment, theories of literacy (including race, class, and gender implications), and some relationships between composition and related areas of writing studies. Prerequisite: WRIT 1133.
WRIT 3991 Independent Study (1-4 Credits)
Sheila Carter-Tod, Associate Professor and Executive Director, PhD, Virginia Tech University
Brad Benz, Teaching Professor, PhD, University of Washington
Jennifer Campbell, Teaching Professor, PhD, Auburn University
Libby Catchings, Teaching Assistant Professor, PhD, University of California
April Chapman-Ludwig, Teaching Associate Professor, MA, Illinois State University
Richard Colby, Teaching Professor, PhD, Bowling Green St Univ Fireland
David Daniels, Teaching Professor, MFA, Indiana University
Rob Gilmor, Teaching Associate Professor, PhD, University of Denver
Sarah Hart-Micke, Teaching Associate Professor, PhD, Texas A&M University
Matthew Hill, Teaching Associate Professor, MA, Washington State University
Megan Kelly, Teaching Professor, MA, University of Washington
Kamila Kinyon, Teaching Associate Professor, PhD, University of Chicago
Heather Martin, Teaching Professor, PhD, University of Denver
Juli Parrish, Teaching Professor, PhD, University of Pittsburgh
Lauren Picard, Teaching Associate Professor, MFA, Emerson College
Keith Rhodes, Teaching Assistant Professor, PhD, University of Nebraska
David Riche, Teaching Assistant Professor, PhD, Louisiana State University
Casey Rountree, Teaching Associate Professor, MA, University of Denver
Carol Samson, Teaching Associate Professor, Emerita, PhD, University of Denver
Manuel Sanz, Teaching Professor, MFA, University of Notre Dame
Aubrey Schiavone, Teaching Assistant Professor, PhD, University of Michigan
Rebekah Shultz Colby, Teaching Professor, PhD, Bowling Green State University
Angela Sowa, Teaching Associate Professor, PhD, Texas Women's University
Geoff Stacks, Teaching Professor, PhD, Purdue University
Kara Taczak, Teaching Professor, PhD, Florida State University
John Tiedemann, Teaching Associate Professor, MA, University of Wisconsin - Madison