The Writing Program seeks to establish and support a strong culture of writing at The Claremont Colleges. Courses emphasize writing as a process that involves creative imagining, drafting, revision, public sharing, and then further revision. Writing faculty teach in a number of genres, including the academic essay, creative nonfiction, professional writing (grants and non-profit writing, journalism), and creative writing, and our Mary Routt Chair of Writing position brings a critically acclaimed writer to campus each spring to teach a workshop in his or her genre of choice. Small seminars create writing communities that extend beyond the classroom in forms such as public readings, student and faculty workshops, writing awards, and the student-edited literary magazine The Scripps Journal. The Writing Program offers the support and the individual attention necessary for students to express themselves with clarity, grace, and force.
Writing 50: Critical Analysis
Taken by all entering first-year students, Writing 50 is designed to develop excellence in student writing. Classes are small (around 15 students in each) and discussion-oriented so that students can regularly engage in serious oral and written discourse. Faculty members tailor instruction to individual students, providing feedback throughout the writing process and working with students to improve specific aspects of their writing. Students write and revise textual analysis essays and a research paper that demonstrate their formulation of a persuasive and logical argument, their skillful analysis of evidence to support ideas, and their understanding of audience. Minimum passing grade for this course is D (not including D-). You can find the Writing 50 Learning Outcomes statement here, and a grading rubric here.
Majoring or Minoring in Writing
While the Writing Program does not currently offer an official major or minor, it is possible for students to design their own majors and minors at Scripps College, and many students have done so. The Writing Program course offerings and major/minor options tend to focus on nonfiction writing, including Creative Writing for Contemporary Media, Creative NonFiction, and Environmental Writing. Courses for the major or minor may be taken at any of the 5 colleges. The Scripps Catalog has the most up-to-date information about what is required to design a major or minor (“Academic Information” > “Choices for Majors”). Self-designed majors and minors in Writing must be developed in consultation with a full-time Writing Program faculty member.
All of the Claremont Colleges offer courses and/or major concentrations in Creative Writing (fiction and poetry), including the Scripps English Department. For this information, and for an up-to-date listing of events and readings, please see Creative Writing at the Claremont Colleges.
Mary Ann Davis