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Department of Writing and Communication Composition Program

Composition Program

Mission Statement

The composition program at NSU helps students become self-directed writers and researchers able to contribute in substantive ways to their disciplines, professions, and communities. We approach writing as a complex recursive process that requires attention to methods of reading, writing, and research. Effective writers need to grasp the conventions of multiple discourse communities, develop strategies for individual and collaborative writing processes, and be able to use contemporary technologies of composition and distribution. In order to guide effective instruction in composition, the writing program has developed the following outcomes:

  • Use strategies for writing as a process.
  • Apply appropriate rhetorical conventions in diverse genres.
  • Compose effectively in multiple media.
  • Conduct inquiry-based research.
  • Engage critically in reflexive writing practice.

Citation Policy

Citation is an important ethical requirement for participation in academic and public discourse. While we support the formal giving of credit via citation, the DWC at NSU has no policy stating that students in composition or other writing classes must use a specific form of citation for academic essays or other genres. Rather, we believe students should follow the best practices and professional conventions established within the communities of practice in which their texts will circulate, and base their choice of citation system on contextual elements of their rhetorical situation such as genre, audience, and purpose. For much of the academic writing students do for NSU, this will require use of citation systems such as those maintained by the APA and MLA organizations, among others. But students should not be forced to use a specific citation style when this conflicts with the demands of their rhetorical situation.


A writing workshop emphasizing the writing process, reflection, and the production of proficient writing at the sentence, paragraph, and document level. This course prepares students for COMP 1500 through hands-on experience with college-level writing conventions. 

Course Outcomes:

  • Practice writing as a recursive process that includes prewriting, drafting, revising, and proofreading.
  • Produce writing for various audiences using appropriate conventions.
  • Respond constructively to peer writing.
  • Produce critical reflections on individual writing processes and growth as a writer.

A writing workshop emphasizing recursive writing and reflection within a variety of contexts. This course provides instruction in writing rhetorically, researching and documenting sources, and composing in multiple media.

Course Outcomes:

  • Write recursively for a variety of purposes and audiences.
  • Use primary and secondary sources effectively.
  • Apply appropriate rhetorical conventions in multiple media.
  • Respond constructively to peer writers throughout the writing process.
  • Produce critical reflections on one’s writing and research processes.

A writing workshop emphasizing inquiry-based research in academic and professional settings. This course challenges students to engage in substantive projects drawing on multiple methods of research and asks students to document, present, and reflect on their findings.

Course Outcomes:

  • Use effective strategies for integrating inquiry-based research into the writing process.
  • Employ multiple research methods.
  • Apply appropriate rhetorical conventions for various academic and professional communities.
  • Present research effectively in multiple media.
  • Produce critical reflections on individual and peer research projects.
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