University Writing Program
The NAU Writing Program empowers student writers to examine how writing, language, and power intersect in order to prepare them for the writing demands of their academic, civic, professional, and personal lives.
By aligning curricula objectives with ongoing research in writing studies, our courses empower students to understand the ways in which writing participates in knowledge production in the academy as well as how writing can catalyze meaningful personal, professional, and social change. We believe that fostering Critical Language Awareness (CLA)—awareness of how attitudes about language both enable and constrain writing at different levels of society—is key for developing agentive, rhetorically effective student writers.
We realize this mission by:
- Teaching undergraduate writers in English 105 and English 205.
- Training and mentoring graduate student writing instructors.
- Supporting writing instructors through frequent professional development opportunities.
- Fostering relationships across campus to enhance writing education across the curriculum.
- Recognizing NAU’s unique institutional context as a Hispanic-Serving Institution with longstanding commitments to Indigenous students and using such recognition to inform UWP’s approach to access, inclusion, and belonging.
Rhetorical Knowledge Accordion Closed
Rhetorical knowledge is the ability to analyze contexts and audiences to understand situations and communicate effectively. Successful writers develop rhetorical knowledge by negotiating purpose, audience, context, and conventions as they write for different situations. Students will:
- identify rhetorical situations that call for a wide range of appropriate responses;
- respond appropriately to a wide range of rhetorical situations by composing in multiple genres, using various technologies, and preparing oral presentations;
- apply rhetorical concepts in their analysis, writing, and presentations; and
- anticipate responses to—and evaluate the appropriateness of—their own rhetorical choices.
Critical Thinking, Reading, and Composing Accordion Closed
Critical thinking is the ability to analyze, synthesize, and evaluate information, situations, and texts. Successful writers separate assertion from evidence, evaluate sources and evidence, recognize and evaluate assumptions, and make claims appropriate to context and evidence. Students will:
- write to learn, write to think critically, and write to communicate in various contexts;
- learn and apply multiple information literacy skills—e.g., distinguishing among source types, using keywords to search databases, and verifying author bios—to find and critically evaluate sources;
- use a variety of source types as background, as exhibits, for analysis, and to support methods; &
- integrate their own ideas with those from sources using strategies like interpretation, synthesis, response, analysis, and design.
Processes Accordion Closed
Writers use multiple composing processes, independently and in collaboration with others, to imagine, develop, and revise projects. Successful writers adapt their composing processes for different contexts. Students will:
- demonstrate a clear understanding of meaningful revision as distinguished from surface editing;
- improve projects across drafts by synthesizing feedback from peers, instructors, and themselves;
- develop flexible strategies for drafting, reviewing, collaborating, and revising;
- respond to peers’ writing and offer constructive feedback toward global revisions on drafts; and
- demonstrate respectful collaborative behaviors: listen attentively; share all viewpoints; value difference; divide work fairly; and balance competing expectations and values
Knowledge of Conventions Accordion Closed
Conventions are formal rules and informal guidelines that define genres and shape perceptions of correctness. Conventions vary by genre, discipline, and occasion. Successful writers understand, analyze, and negotiate conventions for purpose, audience, and genre. Students will:
- produce complex, cohesive texts that communicate clearly to intended audiences;
- adapt elements like organization, word choice, format, and design features to match conventions as they write, revise, and edit across multiple genres and rhetorical situations;
- apply citation conventions systematically in their work
Reflective Learning Accordion Closed
Reflective learners practice metacognition, or thinking about their own thinking and learning. Reflection helps a writer consider how, why, and to what extent they’ve succeeded at a given point. Students will:
- reflect on how their composing processes and metacognitive practices like reflection and self-evaluation develop and shape their work; and
- consider how their identities, past knowledge, learning opportunities, and work ethic combine to help them grow as writers and learners
All major assignments will be evaluated according the University Writing Program grading standards.
English 105 Accordion Closed
Course Goals: English 105, a four-credit-hour course, introduces students to critical reading and writing in the academic environment. Throughout the semester students practice the following academic skills:
- Critical reading skills through close attention to text content & skills needed to interpret the text effectively
- Analytical writing skills through attention to the writing process and to rhetorical techniques
- Critical reading and analytical writing skills through an extended writing project
- Technological literacy skills to rhetorically analyze online resources based on the audience addressed, the purpose explored, and the language used
English 205 Accordion Closed
Course Goals: English 205 is a two-credit-hour course that focuses on writing principles necessary for systematic inquiry into the forms and techniques of academic writing standards. Students practice the following:
- Advanced analytical thinking, reading, and writing skills
- Advanced critical writing and argumentation skills
- Advanced research skills
We also have a computer lab available, with open hours for all ENG 105 students, to increase technological literacy skills.
English composition placement information
To determine the composition course in which you should enroll, please visit the academic catalog placement page.