Madison Script James Madison University
College of Arts and Letters

The Writing Program

The Writing Program

Dr. Ann Janine Morey, Interim Director

Phone: (540) 568-6004
Fax: (540) 568-2742
Web site:

Associate Professors
E. Gumnior, S. Aley

Assistant Professors
K. Kessler, J. Martin, S. O'Connor, T. Pipkins, K. Schick, H. Storey, M. Thomas, K. Wright, P. Zemliansky, J. Zimmerman, P. Wasley

P. Anderson, A. Kennedy, R. Crisp, K. McDonnell, C. Martin, M. Turner

Mission Statement
The Writing Program seeks to prepare students for academic and professional success, as well as to lead lives of articulate and thoughtful citizenship. The study of Writing and Rhetoric includes first year composition and covers a wide range of topics: literacy studies, rhetorical traditions, writing pedagogy, cultural rhetorics, and computer-assisted composition, among others. Students wishing to pursue advanced training may elect the Minor in Writing and Rhetoric as a valuable complement to a host of different academic majors and professional fields.

In support of campus-wide writing, the Writing Program sponsors e-Vision, an electronic publication of student essays written in the first year composition classes and Write On!, a campus-wide academic writing contest for both undergraduate and graduate students. Writing Program faculty serve as mentors for First Year Involvement (FYI), a peer tutoring program. Writing Program faculty also serve as consultants to other JMU departments and programs desiring to enrich their curricula through writing. In addition to the first year composition course required by General Education, and to promote excellence in writing at the University, the Writing Program shaped and cultivated the Writing in the Disciplines initiative in the College of Arts and Letters. Every student in Arts and Letters must take an approved, upper-division, writing-intensive course in his or her discipline.

General Education and Interdisciplinary Liberal Studies
The Writing Program is proud to participate in General Education and the Interdisciplinary Liberal Studies (IDLS) major for teacher education students, K-8. The program offers a focused course in freshman composition, GWRIT 103, Critical Reading and Writing, including sections for Honors students. The freshman composition requirement is defined by the understanding that learning to write is a college-wide process, one best practiced often, inside and outside the student's chosen field, in both lower and upper division courses. Therefore, as a General Education course, GWRIT 103 introduces students to academic writing and research, and prepares students for a writing intensive experience in the discipline. As a course in the discipline of writing and rhetoric, GWRIT 103 introduces students to written argumentation such as they would practice in their personal, academic and civic lives and encourages them to analyze and reflect upon civic responsibility as it relates to written communication. Students who have previously taken GWRIT 102 may substitute that course as an equivalent for GWRIT 103. WRIT 100 is available for ESL (English as a second language) students and others who may wish to enhance their writing preparation prior to taking GWRIT 103.

Writing faculty are active participants in creating and sustaining the IDLS major. This includes advising students, developing and staffing IDLS 400, Capstone Seminar, and making Writing minor courses available as electives to IDLS majors in the Humanities/Social Sciences concentration area.

Minor Requirements

Writing and Rhetoric Minor
The Minor in Writing and Rhetoric is designed for students who wish to extend, enrich and formalize their training as writers.

The minimum requirement for the minor is 18 credit hours. The Writing Program offers the following courses:
Credit Hours
Required core courses 6
WRIT 210. Critical Reading and Argumentation
WRIT 220. Rhetorical Traditio
Electives from among the following 12
WRIT 310. Studies in Literacy
WRIT 320. Writing in the Public Sphere
WRIT 330: Technology and Writing
WRIT 340: Teaching Writing
WRIT 399: Independent Study in Rhetoric and Writing
WRIT 400: Special Topics Seminar in Rhetoric and Writing
WRIT 410: Studies in Cultural Rhetorics


Writing courses offered by other departments may be counted as electives (with the approval of the Writing Minor adviser or the Program Director).

Credit by Examination
Prior to enrolling in GWRIT 103 the course, students may take an exam to earn credit for the course. For more information, visit the Writing Program's Web site at or contact the program director.

James Madison University logo PUBLISHER: University Catalog Office, MSC 8002, Harrisonburg, VA 22807 - PHONE: (540) 568-4064 - FAX: (540) 568-2995
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Last Modified: 11/13/2003