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About The Program 

The Program in Writing and Rhetoric (PWR) at Stony Brook offers the foundational courses in first-year writing that meet the University’s “Write Effectively in English” general education requirement. These courses prepare students for the academic writing and research required in advanced courses across SBU.

We also have two minors: a successful minor in Writing and, effective fall 2017, a minor in Professional Writing. Both minors offer students the opportunity to develop proficiency in writing for academic, civic, social, professional, and personal purposes, and complement degrees in any other field. We currently have more than 100 Minors representing 29 academic departments from Africana Studies to Biology to Computer Science to Psychology, and many more. The PWR offers upper-division courses in the personal essay, fiction writing, global rhetorics and literatures, writing in the health sciences, professional writing, argumentative and research writing, and more.

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Our Program also boasts an outstanding graduate certificate program in teaching writing that is designed to complement graduate work in rhetoric and composition, English, literacy studies, linguistics, or cultural analysis and theory, to name a few examples. The certificate also provides further professional development and mentoring for those already teaching writing at the secondary or college levels.

grad Through writing we make sense of what we think, and process what we  learn  about our world. As such it is at the center of the mission of the University.  Writing also requires us to think about how best to communicate  our ideas  to others. It is essential to scholarly communication, and to the  sharing of  research, data, and creative works across disciplines,  institutions, and  audiences. Our global environment is more information-rich than ever  before, and so through courses in writing and rhetoric  students learn how  texts construct meaning, create knowledge, mediate  power, and generate change.

  The PWR is dedicated to the teaching of writing. Over the course of the academic year, our accomplished faculty teach approximately 5,500 students from across the university. We are also scholars and writers who advocate for and contribute to the rich intellectual and social life of the university. We are greatly committed to public education and student access and success, and to communicating with both academic and broad general audiences.

Program Philosophy

The Program in Writing and Rhetoric believes that writing is an ongoing process of discovery, synthesis, and analysis, as well as a finished product of communication. We teach and reinforce the habits of mind and behaviors of successful writers. We endorse and practice collaborative learning through our small workshop classes of no more than twenty-five students, where we foster an environment of critical dialogue and extensive feedback and support.

In the writing classroom students compose in nearly every session and all other work, such as reading assignments, discussion, and so on, explicitly supports the act of writing. A workshop environment means that students work with one another: planning, writing, synthesizing, analyzing, evaluating, designing, revising, rewriting, editing, reading, rereading, and publishing. We believe that no matter what major you choose or career path you take, writing will play a vital role in your success.

The PWR will accompany you throughout your career at Stony Brook, from admission to graduation. We are a community of writers.