The Writing Program encourages students to become rigorous thinkers and writers who can construct arguments that matter, craft prose that resonates with their intended audience, and understand how writing and learning cannot be extricated from one another.
The Writing Program administers the first-year seminars and also supports a Writing Center where specially-trained peer tutors work with fellow students, and workshops of different kinds supports writing—at all stages of the writing process—across the curriculum.
The first-year writing seminars explore a particular theme or field of study while emphasizing writing as a means of inquiry, analysis, and persuasion. Different seminars extend intellectual inquiry into visual studies; the interrogation of the literary canon; Quaker history and ethics; categories of difference (racial, sexual, religious, and national identity); medical humanities; and engaged social practice. The intensive writing seminars (WSI) prepare students who need extra exposure to academic writing. To help students negotiate the demands of academic writing, all seminars include practice in critical reading, argumentation, style, and editing; they also stress writing as a process, where the first draft is not the last and where feedback from peers becomes crucial in revising.