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, multimodal, 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.
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 across a variety of rhetorical situations towards building confident and rhetorically versatile writers. Students will have the opportunity to further their understanding of the origins, cultural influences, evolving technologies, and purposes of writing in diverse settings. The minor is open to all undergraduates who have successfully completed WRIT 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 in WRIT 3500.
- 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|
|Topics in Writing Theory, History, Research|
|Undergraduate Peer Tutoring in Writing|
|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|
|Storytelling & Reporting|
|Memoir and Personal Writing|
|Style and Rhetorical Grammar|
|Writing for Wellness|
|Editing and Publishing|
|Topics in Applied Writing|
|Capstone: Writing Design and Circulation|
WRIT 1022 English for Academic Purposes (4 Credits)
This 4-credit course is designed to facilitate the acquisition of US English for Academic Purposes (EAP) by multilingual students who use English as an additional language. In this class, students will be immersed into the academic world that the University of Denver participates in, to develop proficiency in usage conventions while paying attention to the reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills that are necessary for a student’s holistic participation in diverse academic cultures. In addition to classroom instruction and working in the language lab, we will spend a significant amount of time interacting with the community around DU to gain experience communicating in different contexts and rhetorical situations. Students are encouraged to use all resources (including languages they are proficient in) available to them as they work to improve their EAP proficiency.
WRIT 1122 Rhetoric and Academic Writing (4 Credits)
WRIT 1122 teaches strategies that are vital in writing for diverse audiences, primarily in situations that require students to present and justify positions. The course teaches rhetorical analysis and practices, the effective use of readings and source materials, and techniques for generating, revising, and editing texts produced to meet specific situations. WRIT 1122 provides sustained practice in writing, with systematic instructor feedback, across multiple assignments and drafts, totaling 3,000-5,000 words by quarter's end.
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 how 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 memoirs, 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 (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 heard 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 another 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 2120 Writing for Wellness (4 Credits)
Mental health problems among college students have increased significantly in recent years, and student depression rates have doubled since 2009. However, a growing body of research suggests that many individuals can improve feelings of wellbeing through a variety of writing practices, including journaling, critical reflection, and expressive writing. Inspired, in part, by Yale University’s most popular course, “The Science of Wellbeing,” this wellness course explores current research on wellbeing, and engages students in the role writing can play in personal, academic, and professional wellness. In this course, students explore academic research on writing for wellness, experiment with wellness writing approaches themselves, and design a wellness writing self-study. Cross-listed with WELL 2100.
WRIT 2200 Environmental Writing (4 Credits)
This writing course examines humanity’s relationship with the natural world by developing writing abilities in traditional and emerging environmental genres. Using sustainability and interconnectedness as guiding principles, the course considers the wide range of interactions and encounters that humans can have with nature and place, while also exploring topics that might include climate change, environmental justice, and green rhetoric. Assignments include a range of non-ﬁction genres 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 2400 Editing and Publishing (4 Credits)
Editors wear several hats: they are readers and writers, researchers, fact-checkers, curators, and deciders. They are coaches and critics. They are gatekeepers and beta readers. The work editors do is partly mechanical--making speciﬁc changes to texts in light of recognizable conventions; and it is also intellectual--deciding how and when to apply and adapt those conventions to meet, respect, and challenge the needs of readers and writers. Depending on their responsibilities, editors may also help develop and sustain a publication’s mission or vision, communicate with authors and reviewers, design visually effective page layouts and other materials, and create social media and other marketing campaigns attracting readers to the publication. Through hands-on practice with speciﬁc publications, primarily campus/student publications, this course teaches several kinds of editing: 1) copyediting texts for consistent, mechanics, and adherence to language conventions within particular publishing contexts; 2) comprehensively editing texts for content, organization, style, design, and relationship to source texts; and 3) editing from the perspective of an academic journal or periodical.
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 2650 Digital Rhetorics (4 Credits)
Digital media and online spaces have both introduced and challenged how we write and interact. This course covers contemporary theories and genres of rhetorical practice including network literacies, remix and re-appropriation, theories of social media, sonic, visual, procedural and algorithmic rhetorics. This course emphasizes through theory and practice new rhetorical skills including design thinking, multimedia production, iterative composing, and social media engagement. Prerequisite: WRIT 1122 or permission of instructor.
WRIT 2681 Reflection & Learning: Making Sense of Your College Experiences (1 Credit)
Designed for graduating seniors, this course engages reflective practice as a tool for contemplation, growth, and life design. This immersive learning experience provides students space to reflect on their time at the University of Denver, and explore ways to interpret and transfer learning to future experiences and contexts. The one-day short course takes place dually on the DU main campus and the Kennedy Mountain Campus. Course activities are informed by each location, with students invited to practice reflection among the panoramic views and scenic habitats of the mountain campus, and consider critical transitions that occurred during their time in Denver. By exploring reflective theory (in a multitude of disciplines), students will learn ways reflection enhances communication and knowledge transfer in a variety of contexts. Students will read, write, and reflect as part of this course and develop a multi-modal project at its conclusion.
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. 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 2800 Community Writing (4 Credits)
Writing plays an integral role in advocacy, civic responsibility, and engagement between and among groups. This course explored the history and theory of community writing, including the rhetorical constraints and opportunities afforded to writing with/for/in communities. The course includes opportunities to practice and analyze different rhetorical situations, such as writing for nonprofits, writing with community partners, grant writing, theories of community-engaged writing, writing for the public good, and community-engaged writing research. The course may count as one of the applied courses in the Minor in Writing Practices. Prerequisite: WRIT 1122 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, culminating 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. 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 3600 Black Studies Capstone (4 Credits)
This capstone course is designed for students completing the Minor in Black Studies at the University of Denver. The primary goal of this course is to create an original capstone project that demonstrates synthesis of their study in the field and deepens their skills in research. Black Studies minors should plan to enroll in BLST 3XXX after completing all course work for the minor. As part of this capstone course, each student will complete a capstone project, of their own design, that explores some aspect of Black/African American life, history, culture, or experience. This course encourages creative capstone projects that allow students to present their work in a form other than the standard written thesis model.
This course will guide the capstone projects for students conducting intensive research on topics in Black Studies. Drawing from disciplinary and interdisciplinary methodologies, theories, and concepts in the humanities and social sciences, capstone project topics will cover broadly defined themes in Black Studies such as the effects of Atlantic slavery on the United States, the Americas, Africa, and Europe; the Black freedom struggle in the United States; and women, gender, and sexuality in Black America. Through a collaborative learning process, students will define clear project objectives, refine their analytical skills, effectively engage major issues in their research materials, and make critical intellectual interventions. Students will be encouraged to critically explore topics from courses they have taken in Black Studies and related disciplines as topics for their capstone research projects.
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)
Brad P. Benz, Teaching Professor, PhD, University of Washington
Russ Allen Brakefield, Teaching Assistant Professor, MFA, University of Michigan Ann Arbor
Sheila Carter-Tod, Associate Professor and Executive Director, PhD, Virginia Tech University
Jennifer Campbell, Teaching Professor, PhD, Auburn University
Libby Martin Catchings, Teaching Associate Professor, PhD, University of California
April Dawn Chapman-Ludwig, Teaching Associate Professor, MA, Illinois State University
Richard J. Colby, Teaching Professor, PhD, Bowling Green St Univ Fireland
David J. Daniels, Teaching Professor, MFA, Indiana University
Robert Donald Gilmor, Teaching Associate Professor, PhD, University of Denver
Sarah Elizabeth Hart-Micke, Teaching Professor, PhD, Texas A&M University
Matthew A. Hill, Teaching Associate Professor, MA, Washington State University
Veronica House, Teaching Associate Professor, PhD, University of Texas at Austin
Megan Jensen Kelly, Teaching Professor, MA, University of Washington
Kamila Kinyon, Teaching Associate Professor, PhD, University of Chicago
Catherine A. Marotta, Teaching Assistant Professor, PhD, Wisconsin International University
Heather N. Martin, Teaching Professor, PhD, University of Denver
Logan P. Middleton, Teaching Assistant Professor, PhD, Illinois State University
Alfred L. Owusu-Ansah, Teaching Assistant Professor, PhD, Michigan Tech University
Juli Jean-Marie Parrish, Teaching Professor, PhD, University of Pittsburgh
LP Picard, Teaching Professor, MFA, Emerson College
David John Riche, Teaching Associate Professor, PhD, Louisiana State University
Rebekah E. Shultz Colby, Teaching Professor, PhD, Bowling Green State University
Angela R. Sowa, Teaching Professor, PhD, Texas Women's University
Geoffrey L. Stacks, Teaching Professor, PhD, Purdue University
Jesse J. Stommel, Teaching Assistant Professor, PhD, University of Colorado Boulder
Kara Taczak, Teaching Professor, PhD, Florida State University
John S. Tiedemann, Teaching Associate Professor, MA, University of Wisconsin - Madison
Olivia Renee Tracy, Teaching Assistant Professor, PhD, University of Denver
Nicole M. Turnipseed, Teaching Assistant Professor, PhD, Urbana University