New College students write ... a LOT.

At New College you’ll find yourself challenged to produce all different kinds of writing, from literature reviews and lab reports to longer research or persuasive papers. You’ll be asked to make formal presentations and to share research with your classmates. You might submit an essay for a national prize or write a proposal for a grant to support your thesis research. Some New College students have published their writing before graduation — both fiction and academic research. But our alumnae/i are even more impressive writers — that’s one of the reasons New College students get hired in businesses, public service, nonprofits, educational institutions, legal offices and the publishing industry.

However, at New College, we don’t expect you to be a flawless writer when you first step foot on campus. Rather, we will work with you to help you transfer your knowledge of reading and writing from high school to your first year, from your previous institution to ours, from your New College courses to your thesis, and ultimately, from New College to your life after New College.

The New College Writing Program is designed to create a supportive culture of writing on campus so that you will be able to develop your abilities to write with confidence in multiple genres and for multiple audiences. We do this in several ways:

• We offer a variety of Writing Studies courses; whether you are a first-year student or just starting on your thesis journey, we have course for you.
• We partner with faculty to develop and support Writing Enhanced Courses in a range of Areas of Concentration. These “big questions” courses invite you to use both exploratory and formal writing as a way to develop and display your critical thinking and to engage in revision, or re-thinking, as you progress through the course.
• We actively encourage you to utilize our Writing Resource Center, where trained Student Writing Assistants (SWAs) are available to act as a “practice audience” for you, regardless of your AOC. SWAs also ask good questions and are great listeners, so we get very excited when you visit us to explore your ideas before you begin writing! Through the WRC, we also offer regular workshops, share tips via social media, and host writing related events.
• We conduct research studies, like our 2014 Pilot Study of Writing, so that we can better design courses and activities for you!

There are numerous opportunities for you to write outside the Writing Program; for example, we encourage you to start your own literary journal, or to take a course with the visiting Writer-in-Residence, or to join the Catalyst student newspaper team, or to apply for an internship that will allow you to develop your writing skills even more.

If you have questions about writing at New College, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our Director of Writing, Dr. Jennifer Wells, at

Some of the courses we are offering in 2014-2015 include:

Writing Studies: Writing about Writing
In order to work towards cultivating their own theories of writing, students in this course will explore foundational texts in fields such as writing studies, educational psychology, and applied linguistics. Students will have the opportunity to apply those theories to developing their own writing processes by reflecting back on their formative literacy experience as well as by transferring their knowledge of writing from high school to college. Students will be introduced to rhetorical genre studies in order to investigate the genre conventions of their anticipated areas of concentration. Students who successfully complete this course will leave well prepared to take on the challenges of college level writing in any discipline.

Writing Studies: Entering Academic Conversations through Genre Studies
Genres, and sub-genres, are all around us (e.g., indie rock and its sub-genre, shoe-gazer rock). Familiar genres in writing include the literary analysis essay, the social science research paper, and the scientific lab report. According to genre theorists, genres are more than forms. Indeed, they can be “social actions (as typified ways of acting within recurrent situations, and as cultural artifacts that can tell us things about how a particular culture configures situations and ways of acting” (Bawarshi and Reiff, 2010). In this course, students will apply genre studies approaches to exploring the genres of writing in their area of concentration, including the genre(s) of the senior thesis. Students will develop a heuristic with which to analyze unfamiliar genres in order to identify the appropriate genre conventions, to discover why those conventions exist, and to determine what those conventions say about the genre’s greater academic context. Students who successfully complete this course will leave with a firm idea of how to enter the academic conversations in their field of interest, starting with writing their prospectus and their thesis.

Office of Student Affairs
New College of Florida
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