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 an awareness for multiple writing processes and how to effectively apply them to 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 can identify where to go, what to ask, and what to do at various stages in the writing process for feedback and support.

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

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

  • You can analyze and synthesize ideas across multiple texts, exploring issues or questions, so as to develop your own ideas and enter into an existing conversation.

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

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 the vocabulary and concepts that define rhetorical situations and can apply them in analyzing and evaluating your own and others’ texts, including print, visual, digital, and multimedia.

  • You can identify, for others and yourself, multiple available strategies and options for creating desired rhetorical effects.    

  • Your own writing is both meaningful and responsive to authentic rhetorical purposes.

  • Your own writing demonstrates the ability to respond to varying audience- and context-defined textual conventions and expectations, including, but not limited to form, format, support, use of citations, grammar, and mechanics.

  • 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 corroborating, expanding, and developing your ideas.

  • You can find and evaluate sources to appropriately trace, contextualize, illustrate, explain, or support the ideas in your writing, recognizing that there are different types of information, different ways to find information, and different ways to interpret information based on rhetorical situations.

  • You can appropriately select and effectively incorporate information into your writing from a variety of sources—including personal experience, observations, interviews, television, film, websites, and other electronic media (YouTube, podcasts, etc.), as well as books, newspapers, and magazines.

  • You can meet academic audiences’ expectations for documentation of sources with 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 them, 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:

  • You show awareness of the complexity of ideas associated with issues or topics.

  • You have written about topics that have meaning, and you have engaged responsibly with these topics.

  • You recognize and can justify your own point of view.

  • You acknowledge and show respect for different views/opinions of others in your writing.

  • You show an awareness of the priority of logical appeals over emotional ones in academic writing and the pitfalls of fallacious reasoning in all writing.

  • You recognize that word and language choices have power and consequences and that adopting the preferred language used by individuals and/or groups for themselves demonstrates respect and builds your credibility as an informed, reasonable, and respectful voice in a conversation. 

  • You observe the rules of academic honesty and intellectual property.

  • You recognize and create boundaries between your voice and the voices of others and appropriately use paraphrase, quotations, and citations in accordance with the expectations of academic integrity.

© 2020 by the Rowan University First-Year Writing Program