Writing is an art and a craft, and it is learned over time and developed with practice. Different contexts, purposes, and audiences call on us to write in different ways, drawing on previous writing experiences and exploring new possibilities. To facilitate this process of continued growth and development, Drew offers not one all-purpose first-year writing course but a vertical sequence of courses that students take over their four years, satisfying the writing requirement through a combination of courses within and outside of their major(s). Students may also enroll in Writing Studies courses in the English Department, completing a Writing and Communications Studies Minor, a Creative Writing Minor, or tracks in either as part of an English Major.
General Education Writing Sequence
All courses in the writing sequence share a general concern for the written word and the process of writing. They use writing as a mode of learning, assign frequent writing that is incorporated into the course, and provide feedback and the opportunity to revise papers based on that feedback. This includes:
- Drew Seminars (DSEM) are small, 16 student, writing intensive seminars taught by professors from across the college on a topic of their choice and taken by students in their first semester at Drew. The course is designed to prepare students for the writing, reading, and critical thinking that will be required of them throughout their college careers.
- Writing Intensive (WI) courses, many supported by course embedded writing Fellows, are designed to build on the DSEMs as students develop their general and academic writing skills. Students take at least two WI courses after the first year at Drew, at least on from outside of their major. The small class size of 20 students or fewer allows faculty to provide timely and meaningful feedback and close attention to each writer, and students will revise a major assignment based on that feedback.
- Writing in the Major (WM) courses and course sequences introduce students to the genre-specific conventions of writing in an academic discipline, from lab reports and artist statements to case studies and researched papers. Required as part of each major, these courses allow students to continue to develop strategies for effective writing in different contexts and for specific audiences, purposes, and media.
Resources for Writers
As writing is at the center of everything a college student does, Drew makes available resources that will support student growth s writers in and outside of the classroom. These include:
- The Center for Writing Excellence staffed with trained student tutors where undergraduate and graduate students, staff, and faculty can receive professional feedback on their writing and support at all stages of the writing process.
- Undergraduate Writing Fellows are also assigned to work with students in DSEM, WI, and WM courses, combining training in writing studies with discipline-specific knowledge to help students build on what they have learned in previous courses and become more flexible writers overall. Writing Tutors and Fellows hone their own writing skills as part of courses, workshops, training programs, and professional certification (CRLA).
Advanced Writing & Communication Studies
Students interested in writing may also register for creative writing courses through the English department. These include introductory and advanced poetry, fiction, and nonfiction workshops, which may lead to a Creative Writing Minor or a concentration within the English major.
Writing and Communication Studies
Those who wish to develop their skills further or enter writing or communication-related professions may select from a variety of courses, including writing for social media, business writing, journalism, authorship studies, introduction to writing & communication studies, literacy studies (including civic engagement placement), media studies, travel writing, and contemporary rhetoric. Students may also participate in an off-campus “Semester in Communications and Media” in New York City. These courses may be combined as as part of a Writing and Communication Studies Minor, a concentration within the English major, or a self-designed major in some form of writing and/or communication studies.