Writing Program

Fort Lewis College Writing Program

The Fort Lewis College Writing Program was created in 1995 as part of an assessment-driven initiative to improve students' critical thinking and writing abilities. The Writing Program is a critical part of the School of Arts and Sciences and we play a central role in FLC's Liberal Arts Core.

Grounded in the discipline of rhetoric, one of the original liberal arts, the Fort Lewis College Writing Program is dedicated to student success in developing critical thinking and effective reading and writing skills. Our goal is to support students of all backgrounds as they gain fluency in academic and public discourse. We guide students to recognize that knowledge building is the goal of academic work, that ideas are the centerpiece of that work, and that knowledge building occurs through dialogue.

We recognize our responsibility to the college as a whole to prepare students, especially first- and second-year students, to be effective thinkers, communicators, and academic readers and writers. Through our student-centered work in the classroom, we encourage exploration of what it means to be a responsible member of a community and offer guidance toward becoming effective participants in a democratic society.

To accomplish these goals in our COMP 1 courses, we  help students learn  about the complexities of writing and the writing process. Our common curriculum's content is writing and adheres to contemporary movements in writing studies, especially those articulated in Wardle and Downs' Writing about Writing. By designing our curricula around the content of writing, we help students develop key skills that can transfer across the campus and beyond. Our curriculum emphasizes the following:

  • Personal literacies and awareness of individual literacy histories, habits, and processes
  • Primary and secondary research skills through conducting original research like ethnographic studies, personal interviews, and academic research
  • The writing process and effectively responding to others' writing
  • Analyzing discourse communities and genres in order to identify appropriate writing conventions
  • Rhetorically analyzing and applying strategies in order to understand users' needs for different situations

To accomplish these goals in our COMP 2 courses, we focus on a variety of advanced writing and research strategies that are appropriate to  different scenarios in which  Fort Lewis College students find themselves: academic writing (COMP 250: Academic Inquiry and Writing), professional writing (COMP 252: Professional and Technical Writing), and civic writing (COMP 253: Action Research).

Academic Inquiry and Writing (COMP 250) emphasizes the following

  • argumentation strategies including Rogerian, Aristotelian, and Toulmin
  • primary research methodologies
  • writing for localized audiences
  • public presentation of research

Professional and Technical Writing (COMP 252) emphasizes the following

  • professional writing strategies including varied genres and conventions
  • primary research methodologies
  • case-based scenarios and localized audiences
  • public presentation of research

Action Research (COMP 253) emphasizes the following

  • community-based learning and research
  • varied research methodologies, including ethical awareness
  • working with and writing for community partners
  • public presentation of research

 We Offer: