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Increase students' rhetorical awareness
Students learn the basic elements of any writing situation, including the assignment or task, their purposes and goals, their audiences, and the ways they can present their work most effectively. In addition, students study the available means of persuasion and learn to leverage those skills to make good choices to accomplish their writing goals. They will learn the importance of these fundamentals and how they relate to each other. Students will understand how writing for different audiences changes the strategies that must be used in order to effectively argue their positions.

Help students develop in the writing process

Students will practice all aspects of the writing process (formulating ideas, drafting, revising, and editing) individually and collaborativley as well as in a variety of writing situations. This also includes computer-based environments. Students will learn how to construct rational arguments, and produce a wide array of writing. They will then take these ideas and put them under a series of revisions. These are done both individually and collaborativley.

Inspire students to read texts in a new way
First-year students will create strategies and learn new skills by reading and responding to a range of print and electronic texts. These texts will introduce students to complex themes and situations they may not have considered previously. In-class discussions of these works may go on to influence students to change their initial views on them and inspire their own writing.

Guide students to a better understanding of academic writing
Students will recognize and practice basic conventions of academic writing in order to better use and understand the major surface features of writing such as grammar, usage, and punctuation. These conventions will continue to help the student throughout their experience at NKU as they will need to apply them in their future classes.

NOTE: These learning goals are based on the Outcomes Statement for First Year Composition (2000), endorsed by the Council of Writing Program Administrators (


  • Writing is a skill that all students can learn. Writing is not just something that is done in the classroom for a grade. Writing is a tool that lets all people have a voice. It is important that a student's voice in writing is as honed and refined as possible. Using this voice doesn't stop when the classes are over. It stays with all students and helps them with every aspect of communication.
  • Writing is a form of discovering, thinking, and learning, both about ourselves and about the world around us. Our writing courses provide many opportunities for students to discover something new because that discovery fuels their inspiration. When students discover things about themselves, they can share it with others through their writing. Our courses provide a safe environment for self expression, experimentation, and acceptance of everyone. This is important to ensure that everyone learns from each other as much as they are from their instructors.
  • Writing is a process. Writers need to explore and discover which strategies work best for them. Different people favor different tactics and there will never be one set way to write. everyone has their own method. We are dedicated to providing students with the freedom and opportunities to find their process, voice, and strengths. Each of our instructors is more than willing to assist in any aspect of the process whenever needed.
  • Writing and reading are closely connected. Frequent, critical, and varied reading gives writers information and familiarity with writing strategies. Our program puts a strong emphasis on this connection because the ability to deeply analyze texts will help writers grow. we believe learning to read as a writer is a very important step in improving. We aim to help students generate their own original ideas after reading the ideas of others.
  • Revision is a vital part of the process. Instructors at NKU know the importance of revision and the impact it can have on pieces. Students will be given several opportunities to revise and heavily edit their work. We aim to put an emphasis on the complexity of revision and aim to teach it as well as the drafting process. Revising a piece thoroughly is to take it under a careful examination and figuring out what is working and not working. Sometimes, revisions will result in the entire central idea of a work changing. While this process may be an example of the challenges of writing, completing it is rewarding.
  • Writing is a powerful tool that must be used responsibly. Writing helps spread ideas into our world. this makes it much more influential than some people may realize. It is a diverse tool that takes many forms. It can be a book, journal, article, and many other things. When writing, it is important to focus on every idea to make sure that it cannot be misinterpreted, taken out of context, or used in a negative way. These are all skills that our classes are primed to pass on in students and ensure the best possible work is produced.