Lois Agnew, Director of the Department of Writing Studies, Rhetoric, and Composition
239 H.B. Crouse
Lois Agnew, Patrick W. Berry, Collin G. Brooke, Leonard Grant, Margaret Himley, Krista Kennedy, Rebecca Moore Howard, Aja Martinez, Brice Nordquist, Stephen Parks, Eileen E. Schell, Tony Scott
In addition to offering both a major and a minor, the department of Writing Studies, Rhetoric, and Composition coordinates and facilitates writing instruction across the curriculum within the University. The goal of the department of Writing Studies, Rhetoric, and Composition is to integrate writing with reading and critical thinking in all disciplines and to encourage continuing development of these abilities. The department cooperates with other units to help writers and teachers achieve these goals.
Syracuse University students usually take WRT 105 - Studio 1: Practices of Academic Writing and WRT 205 - Studio 2: Critical Research and Writing . Writing Studios 1 and 2 serve as pre-requisites for upper-division writing courses. Students may begin the major before completing WRT 205.
WRT 105 -taken in the first semester of the first year-focuses on the study and practice of writing processes, including critical reading, collaboration, revision, editing, and the use of technologies. Academic writing-especially analysis and argumentation-is the focus.
WRT 205 -normally taken in the spring of the second year-builds on the work of WRT 105 and the experiences of writing during the first year. Students study and practice critical, research-based writing, including research methods, presentation of ideas and information, and source evaluation.
At the upper division level, students may take advanced courses in civic, researched, digital, and professional writing, style and editing, and in creative nonfiction, as well as study rhetoric and identity, information technologies, literacy, and the politics of language and writing.
The Department of Writing Studies, Rhetoric, and Composition is also home to The Writing Center (H.B.Crouse 101; 315-443-5289), a resource for all writers at Syracuse University. See our web site at wrt.syr.edu for more information.
Student Learning Outcomes
1. Produce well-reasoned, well-evidenced arguments
2. Produce texts that exhibit an ethical stance toward topic and audience
3. Produce rhetorically astute documents in user-centered workplace genres
4. Produce rhetorically astute work in multiple modalities
5. Engage with issues of the interactions of power, identity, culture, and literacy in their rhetorical and social complexity
6. Demonstrate facility with genres and practices of writing as enacted in specific historical and cultural contexts
To qualify for a B.A. degree in Writing and Rhetoric, students complete a total of 30 credits of coursework. These credits include the required core courses WRT 255 , WRT 302 , WRT 307 , WRT 413 , three courses from Genres and Practices, and three courses from Writing Histories and Theories.
Required Core Courses (12 credits)
Genres and Practices (9 credits)
(students select 3)
Approved Genres and Practices non-WRT courses**:
Histories and Theories (9 credits)
(students select 3)
Approved Histories and Theories non-WRT courses**:
*These courses are repeatable.
**At most, a total of two approved non-WRT courses (6 credits) from the above lists can be used toward the major.
Distinction in Writing and Rhetoric
Students may earn the award of Distinction in Writing if the following criteria are met. First, the student must have an overall cumulative GPA of 3.4 and a minimum GPA of 3.5 in WRT after taking at least four Writing and Rhetoric major courses to be eligible to enroll in WRT 495 - Senior Research Seminar I and WRT 496 - Senior Research Seminar II . Second, the student must complete a total of 3 credits in WRT 495 and WRT 496 and a thesis-length independent research or creative project. Third, the student must complete the senior year with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.4 and GPA of 3.5 in the Writing and Rhetoric major courses.
The Electronic Portfolio
All Writing majors are encouraged to produce and maintain an electronic writing portfolio. This portfolio allows students in the Writing major to archive and demonstrate their expertise within and across multiple genres and rhetorical contexts. Electronic writing portfolios serve as a record of each student’s development and growth as a writer over their course of study and should not be limited to a specific number of writing products. The student, in consultation with his or her advisor and informal faculty mentors, is ultimately responsible for deciding what will be included in the electronic portfolio and how that portfolio will be shaped for specific purposes: professional, academic, public, and creative or a combination of two or more. Students may want to create portfolio “chapters” or segments, which encompass different genres, purposes, and audiences.