About the Writing Program


Mission | Pedagogy | Courses | Requirements | Support | MLL | WAC

Mission Statement

The administrative, curricular, and pedagogical foci of the Writing Program are guided by the principles that diversity in all its manifestations -- cultural, linguistic, socioeconomic, and educational -- is a strength of Rutgers-Newark University; that making access meaningful and authentic requires introducing students to the discourse of the University, immersing them in an intellectually rich and academically rigorous culture; and that the critical and analytical thinking, reading, and writing skills that inform every Writing Program course and initiative are intellecutally and socially transformative. 

To achieve this mission, Writing Program courses:

• lay the foundation for students to develop the academic writing, reading, critical thinking, and research skills that they will need to succeed in upper-level courses at a research university

• prepare students for long-term success in a competitive global marketplace that values strong reading and writing skills

• introduce students to analytical writing as a form of creativity, intellectual engagement, and personal expression

• foster an understanding of the reciprocal relationship between critical thinking, reading, and writing

• encourage students to use reading and writing as a means of connecting with the University’s vibrant urban environment and of participating actively in evolving communities, both local and global, built on open discourse and exchange of ideas


Pedagogical Principles

All developmental and composition classes focus on reading and writing as interconnected processes that are central to academic inquiry. All courses in the unified writing curriculum are insistently text-based courses, where the readings provide the occasions for writing analytical, argumentative essays. Classes are process-oriented and call on students to write extensively, both in and out of class, as both skills are crucial to students' success at the University and beyond. Instuctors and students build a lexicon for discussing writing, and assignments are sequenced so that students receive constructive feedback and opportunities to develop their ideas and skills through many low-stakes assignments that lead to longer, formal assignments. In all classes, students receive instruction and experience in analyzing the content and form of individual works and in exploring connections between works, ultimately developing independent ideas while synthesizing multiple sources. 

Every Writing Program course calls for substantial writing, and students' work is considered a valuable resource that is shared in groups, in peer editing sessions, and in classroom activities. Class discussions, low-stakes exercises, and high-stakes writing assignments are used by faculty to support students in developing and refining their ability to rhetorically analyze various types of text, both fiction and non-fiction, and to craft arguments which exhibit awareness of audience, purpose, and discourse expectations.


Academic Requirements

All students are required to take one writing course per semester until they have completed their freshman composition requirement. Students enrolled in all Writing Program courses must receive a C or better in order to receive credit for passing the course.

FASN English Composition Requirement--from Rutgers-Newark Undergraduate Catalog


Support Services

The Rutgers-Newark Writing Center provides tutorial services in critical thinking, reading, and writing.

Writing Center Website


Multilingual Learners

The Writing Program provides specialized instruction and support for students with diverse language backgrounds.  We collaborate with the Program in American Language Studies (PALS) to provide further support for students requiring more intensive language study before taking courses offered by the Writing Program.


Writing Across the Curriculum

All students are required to successfully complete two Writing Intensive courses, one of which must be in the student’s major. A list of current Writing Intensive courses, as well as guidelines for students, faculty, and administrators, may be found on our Writing Across the Curriculum website.