Writing Program

The Writing Program at Thomas Jefferson University emphasizes rhetorical competency and a process-based approach to composition as part of all disciplines and majors here.

At Jefferson, good writing is not bound to one discipline. We see writing as an essential skill in all programs and courses. Writing skills are taught in an integrated manner alongside disciplinary knowledge, with an emphasis on the importance of revision and collaboration.

The Writing Program supports Jefferson’s approach to writing education for all students and faculty, including:

  • Writing Across the Curriculum and Writing in the Disciplines initiatives that offer writing intensive courses across all majors
  • First- and second-year Writing Seminar courses in the Hallmarks general education program, as well as corresponding English as a Second Language and Honors courses
  • Tutoring for student writers through the Academic Success Center
  • Teaching assistance for faculty via workshops and consultations

Writing Program Placement

Incoming students take a writing placement test to determine which writing course best serves their needs. Students choose between two topics and write a short essay, which is read by two faculty who teach in the Writing Program.

If you have any questions about placement testing, or would like to challenge your writing placement, please contact Dr. Lauren-Elise Kadel, the Assistant Director of Writing Services at the Academic Success Center.

Placement for Transfer Students

The Writing Program at Jefferson accommodates students who transfer from two-year colleges and other four-year institutions, while ensuring a thorough writing education for all students upon graduation.

Students transferring to Jefferson will have their previously completed writing courses’ equivalency determined individually.

Writing-201: Multimedia Communication is a requirement for all students. This is a touchstone course in the Hallmarks Core. In this course, students receive faculty feedback on their general education e-portfolios. There is a special transfer section of this course, Writing-202, that provides additional assistance to transfer students who need to contextualize their previous coursework in the context of the Hallmarks outcomes.

Transfer students should meet with their academic advisors during orientation or at the beginning of their first semester to review how courses taken at other institutions apply to their degree requirements at Jefferson.

Writing Courses

The Writing Program is made up of two components: Writing Across the Curriculum and Writing in the Hallmarks Core. Courses in both areas are based on the idea that writing is a process of inquiry that leads students to understand and interpret the world around them. These courses also teach students that writing is a complex process that hinges on the intersections between purpose, audience and context. As a result of participating in the Writing Program, students will be able to:

  • Use key rhetorical strategies relevant to a given situation
  • Collaborate with others to create appropriate communication
  • Use writing and/or other acts of communication to think, invent, take intellectual risks and develop ideas
  • Reflect on their writing process, including drafting and revision practices that generate and/or refine insights
  • Demonstrate fluency in disciplinary conventions

Hallmarks for General Education

The Hallmarks writing sequence creates a lively community of intellectual consideration and debate where students can ask big questions. Writing classes are intentionally small so that there is plenty of discussion and no one flies under the radar.

The Hallmarks general education writing sequence includes:

  • Writing-100: Introduction to Academic Writing
  • Writing-101: Written Communication
  • Writing-201: Multimedia Communication

All students are required to take Writing-101 and 201. English as a Second Language and Honors options are available. Additionally, transfer students have the ability to take a modified Writing-201 course to stay on-track to meet Hallmarks goals.

To learn more about Hallmarks requirements, please visit the Hallmarks pages

For more information about Hallmarks Writing courses, please contact Katie Gindlesparger, PhD, Director of the Writing Program.