Writing Program

Writing Program

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 C (not including C-). You can find the Writing 50 Learning Outcomes statement here, and a grading rubric here.

Self-Designed Writing Major and Minor

While the Writing Program does not offer an official major or minor, students can design their own writing and writing-related majors and minors (for example, Creative Writing for Contemporary Media, Creative Writing in Performance, Creative Writing: Fiction, and Environmental Writing). Courses for the major or minor may be taken at any of the 5 colleges. Majors and minors must be developed in consultation with a full-time professor of writing and approved by the Committee on Academic Review.

Scripps Faculty

Kimberly Drake
Director of the Writing Program
Associate Professor of Writing

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Department Goals and Objectives

  1. Students will develop their critical reading, writing, and thinking skills.
  2. Students will develop their rhetorical/argumentative skills.
  3. Students will practice college-level writing and research processes.
  4. Students will learn to transfer writing skills across genres and media.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • SLO1: Students' work demonstrates engagement with language and ideas from a variety of texts.
  • SLO2: Students can define and respond to significant problems, questions, or projects, making original arguments in ways appropriate to the genre.
  • SLO3: Students will demonstrate writing as a recursive process, using multiple drafts and relevant resources in developing their own work.
  • SLO4: Students demonstrate control over standard written English and develop voice, tone, and level of formality appropriate to the assignment, making felicitous style choices.
  • SLO5: Students are able to analyze primary sources and accurately summarize and evaluate secondary sources and use either/both to contribute to a scholarly or literary conversation.