First-Year Writing Program



Core Value I: Writing is a practice that involves a multi-stage, recursive and social process.


Writing is a process that involves multiple stages and that does not always follow a linear path.  In other words, we don’t read, write, and revise once and in that exact order; rather, we engage in a variety of activities at multiple points as we compose a piece of writing. These activities include but are not limited to reading, generating and discussing ideas, researching, drafting, reviewing and sharing our work, reflecting, and revising. Many of these activities require you to discuss your work with others—your peers, your instructor, and potentially people outside the class—to both give and receive feedback; in this way, writing is a social experience that depends on collaboration.

What you need to be able to do and demonstrate for Core Value 1:

  • You can demonstrate perseverance and openness in developing your ideas and writing across time.

  • You can use reading and composing processes as a way to think, to discover, and to explore ideas, and you recognize this as a necessary writing practice.

  • You can identify and use effective processes and appropriate resources in various writing situations.

  • You can demonstrate responsiveness to readers’ feedback through reflection and revision.

  • You can distinguish between local and global revision as a reader and a writer, and you practice these at appropriate points in the revision process.

  • You are able to independently engage and apply in the revision practices developed in CCI.

Core Value II: Close and critical reading/analysis is necessary for listening to and questioning texts, arriving at a thoughtful understanding of those texts, and joining the academic and/or public conversations represented by those texts.

Writers create texts to communicate ideas, and they make specific choices in their writing to achieve their goals, be it with words, images, sound, editing, or other elements. As readers, we must analyze these elements to determine the authors’ meanings. Readers engage with texts not only to understand their meanings and listen to other authors but also to question them. By engaging with multiple authors during the reading and writing processes, and by constructing relationships among texts, you will discover and create “conversations” to join by working with and adding to those authors’ ideas.

What you need to be able to do and demonstrate for Core Value 2:

  • You can read arguments closely to interpret and understand writers’ messages, and read arguments critically to evaluate, critique, and question those messages and how they are constructed.

  • You can be mindful of not just considering but also seeking out and listening to diverse perspectives, especially those that might be at odds with any preconceived notions you may have prior to beginning the research process.  

  • You can recognize or trace how ideas emerge and combine to create meaning in others’ arguments as well as your own.

  • You can analyze and synthesize ideas across complex arguments, exploring issues or questions, so as to develop your own ideas and determine how to enter into and possibly expand existing conversations.

  • You can read texts with a writerly eye so as to identify and evaluate rhetorical strategies and approaches as potential models in your own writing.

  • You understand how popular, academic, and/or technical ideas can be communicated visually.

Core Value III: Writing is shaped by audience, purpose, genre, and context.

Writing is an act of communication that involves an author writing for a purpose and using a genre to reach an audience in a specific context--these elements constitute the rhetorical situation.  Taking the rhetorical situation into account helps you to analyze the choices and strategies of other authors, as well as to create effective texts of your own.  Effective writers assess audience expectations and the textual conventions associated with a situation or genre as they create a text for a specific purpose; they then make strategic decisions about how they want to meet or challenge those expectations in terms of content, structure, rhetorical appeals, presentation/design, language, and style. 

What you need to be able to do and demonstrate for Core Value 3:

  • You are familiar with and can identify argumentative and rhetorical elements and concepts, particularly those associated with civic, academic, and formal argumentation across a variety of texts--alphabetic, visual, print, and digital.

  • You can identify and evaluate rhetorical choices in argumentative and informative texts, both your own and others’, including in terms of content, rhetorical appeals, structure, format, support, use of citations, and style.

  • You can create rhetorically savvy arguments and can demonstrate flexibility and adaptability in creating arguments

  • You demonstrate efforts to understand the textual conventions of the genres you’re working with—both those you’re reading and those you’re writing in--and make purposeful decisions about whether to meet, adapt, or push against those conventions in your own writing.

  • You recognize that language and linguistic diversity--your own or that of others--are assets that can be used rhetorically and powerfully.

Core Value IV: Information literacy is essential to the practice of writing.

Academic and intellectual writing is informed writing, which means contextualizing our ideas within pre-existing conversations and providing evidence beyond our personal experiences or opinions.  To do this, you will need to develop the skills necessary to locate and evaluate source information in a digital environment, to determine which information to incorporate into your own writing depending on the rhetorical situation, and to document your sources appropriately.


What you need to be able to do and demonstrate for Core Value 4:

  • You can practice inquiry-driven research in the service of understanding the complexities and nuances of an issue from multiple points of view and positions.

  • You can identify the most appropriate resources and approaches for finding public, academic, and disciplinary information in a digital environment, and you can rhetorically evaluate that information for usefulness.

  • You are able to look for sources with authority and expertise in a variety of venues, while also acknowledging the benefits and limitations of dominant media and scholarly research. 

  • You are able to select and use your research to provide evidence and support your arguments, as well as to contextualize, develop, and interpret ideas, in response to a specific rhetorical purpose.

  • You are able to analyze and evaluate various types of persuasive writing (yours, your fellow students, and published texts) for evidence of research quality.

  • You can meet the academic expectations for the introduction and documentation of sources, which includes the use of signal phrases, in-text citations, and works cited pages/bibliographies.

Core Value V: Writing has power and comes with ethical responsibilities.

Because writing is not only personal but also public and social, there are ethical concerns that we must take into account. The most obvious component of ethical writing is crediting others for their ideas through proper citation, which is also an act of sharing research with others.  Ethical writing, however, is more than avoiding plagiarism: it also involves conscientiously reading other authors’ texts so as to listen to them, understand their ideas and how they have arrived at their perspective, and accurately represent them in your own writing. Through this process of critical and conscientious reading, you will understand that there can be a variety of valid perspectives on an issue/topic and that ethical writing represents the complexity of an issue by respectfully acknowledging multiple perspectives. 

What you need to be able to do and demonstrate for Core Value 5:

  • Your research and writing reveals an honest attempt to appropriately understand and communicate the complexities surrounding argumentative stances and that academic, civil argumentation is a practice of conversation and listening, which respects the agency of the participants and constituencies.

  • You recognize the quasi-logical nature of persuasion and the inability to draw indisputable conclusions, and thus the importance of qualifying claims.

  • You use rhetorical appeals responsibly, prioritizing the logical over the emotional, and avoiding fallacious or manipulative argumentation.

  • You respect the intellectual property of others by appropriately acknowledging others for their ideas and creative productions, including alphabetic, print, multimedia, and digital works.

  • You can practice the code of academic integrity and can create boundaries between your voice and the voices of others, appropriately using paraphrase, quotations, citations, and works cited pages/bibliographies.

© 2020 by the Rowan University First-Year Writing Program