The Writing Program seeks to foster a culture of writing at Scripps, emphasizing that writing is an iterative process involving brainstorming, drafting, revising, reflection, and further revision. The Program supports writing across the College in a variety of ways. Students can take courses in the Writing and Rhetoric major, exploring a wide range of genres including the academic essay, creative nonfiction, professional writing (such as grant writing and non-profit writing), and journalism. Writing instruction is integrated into the interdisciplinary humanities Core curriculum, taken in the first three semesters students are at Scripps, as well as in other courses across the College. Each spring, the Mary Routt Chair of Writing brings acclaimed writers to campus to teach the writing genre of their choice. Courses are taught as small seminars and workshops, creating writing communities in and out of the classroom and introducing students to writing as both a profession and a creative, artistic pursuit. Students can publish their work in the student-edited newspaper, The Scripps Voice, and the student-edited literary magazine The Scripps Journal. The Journal also publishes essays selected by faculty for the Sands Award, recognizing outstanding academic writing by first-year students. In addition to offering and supporting courses and publications, the Writing Program empowers students on their journeys as writers through the work of professional writing associates and student writing tutors. Professional writing associates not only teach courses, but also offer workshops tailored to specific assignments, genres, and groups of writers, and work one-on-one with multilingual students, senior thesis students, and students writing application essays. Importantly, the student-staffed Writing Center offers students from all disciplines the opportunity to engage in discussions about their writing with a knowledgeable peer tutor at any stage of the writing process, from a first-year student working on her first draft to a senior finishing her thesis. Through courses, collaboration, and publication, the Writing Program offers the support and the individual attention necessary for students to express their ideas thoughtfully, clearly, and forcefully.
Majoring or Minoring in Writing and Rhetoric
If you are interested in a major or minor in Writing and Rhetoric, please click here. 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.
Professional Writing Associates & Core Lecturers Pam Bromley and Adam Novy teach courses and bolster the incorporation of writing throughout the College by working with faculty, students, and tutors. With faculty, they share strategies for best practices and writing pedagogy tailored to each course and assignment. To support faculty as writers, the Writing Associates piloted the first-ever faculty writing retreat at Scripps, providing a dedicated space to write, share ideas, and stay accountable. For students, they offer workshops in and out of classes, providing proven strategies for brainstorming, feedback, peer review, and revision; they also provide one-on-one support for students writing application essays for fellowships or graduate school; seniors working on their thesis projects; and international and multilingual students, helping them navigate the expectations of academic writing in the United States and writing in English as an additional language. In addition to supporting writers across the College, the writing associates collaborate with offices across campus and the Claremont Colleges consortium to support writers from diverse backgrounds and disciplines. Finally, they work with the Scripps writing tutors to reflect on a broad range of practices for collaborating effectively with student writers.
The Writing Center offers peer tutoring — tutoring in writing of a Scripps student by a Scripps student who has been trained in Writing Center Pedagogy — at all stages in the writing process. Students visit the Center Tutors to figure out what an assignment question is asking them to do, test out ideas, work on organizing their thoughts, get feedback on the content of a draft, smooth out or strengthen the thesis statement, go over revisions, or learn how to edit their own work.
The Writing Center offers workshops on a range of topics, including workshops to support students in the Core Humanities sequence.
Multilingual Student Support
Writing Associate Pam Bromley provides individual consultations for students for whom English is an additional language. Her specialized feedback can help students develop a broad range of strategic tools for effective communication in the US academic context, with sessions focusing on any aspect of writing in English, from disambiguating sentence-level language to unpacking organizational choices to developing research strategies or engaging audience expectations. Pam has a CELTA (Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) and more than a decade of experience in writing center pedagogy. If you are interested in meeting with Pam, please email [email protected] to arrange an appointment.
As part of its mission to support Core students, the Writing Center offers a Core Buddies program, which pairs an interested student with a Center tutor. They work together throughout the semester, typically in 30-minute sessions at the writing center, with time devoted to brainstorming, developing, and composing writing assignments for Core or other courses. Please email Writing Center Director Glenn Simshaw if you are interested in having a Core Buddy.
Senior Thesis Buddies
The Writing Center maintains a special program for seniors working on the thesis. The program pairs a senior with a Tutor, and they work together throughout the semester. A typical session held at the Writing Center lasts 30-60 minutes, time devoted to organizing, developing, and composing the thesis project.
Marie McSpadden Sands Writing Awards
Established by Dave and John Sands in 1997 to remember their mother and the importance she placed on writing well, this endowed scholarship helps to recognize excellence in first-year student writing at Scripps College. At the conclusion of each fall semester, a Core I and Writing Program faculty committee and the Dean of Faculty select up to three students whose essays exemplify the highest level of achievement in Core I to receive Sands Essay Awards. The awards take the form of a partial scholarship for the winners’ sophomore year at Scripps College. The award-winning essays are printed in the next edition of the Scripps College Journal, Scripps’ literary and arts magazine.
Mary Routt Chair of Writing
The Mary Routt Chair of Creative Writing and Journalism was made possible by a donation from journalist Mary Patterson Routt, who was a member of the first board of trustees for Scripps College, serving in that capacity from 1926 to 1965 and playing an active role in the development of the college. Her donation allows the Writing Program to invite a nationally recognized professional writer to campus each spring, where that writer will teach a semester-long course of their choice, deliver public presentations, and arrange for other acclaimed writers to visit campus for readings. Please click the link for more information about writers who have held the Mary Routt Chair of Writing.