Why Study Writing at New College?

New College Students write.....a LOT!

it’s all about writing

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 are 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’s mission is to offer the highest quality of writing education at New College. To do that, the Writing Program draws upon current research to create and support a cohesive set of innovative and intellectually rigorous courses as well as to develop dynamic resources for the entire campus community.

  • We offer a variety of Rhetoric and Writing courses and a new secondary AOC; whether you are a first-year student or writing your thesis, we have courses 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 rethinking, as you progress through the course.
  • We invite 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 Writing resource Center, we also offer regular workshops, share tips via social media (@NCFWRC), and host writing-related events.
  • We conduct research studies, like our annual Transitions to College Writing Study, 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 contact us at writing@ncf.edu.


Go ahead. Write something.

Writing Resource Center

Any type of writing, at any stage of your writing process.

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Faculty Writing Resources

There are many ways that the Writing Program can support faculty and their students.

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Current Writing News and Research

The latest in ongoing research and presentations at the WRC.

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Some of the courses we’re offering in 2021 include:

Rhetoric and Writing: 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.

Rhetoric and Writing: Writing for Communities and Nonprofits

Throughout this course, students will learn to transfer their knowledge of academic writing to non-academic contexts. The on-campus portion of the course will be focused on exploring threshold concepts of writing, the role of the individual writer in a community, and rhetorical genre studies. Questions to be considered include: Why do your ideas about writing matter? How does writing help people get things done? How is meaning constructed in context? The off-campus portion of this course will enable students to intern approximately 4 hours a week with a local nonprofit or community organization focusing on education, arts, the environment, or health/human services; during their internship, students will investigate, analyze, and eventually produce genres of writing that these organizations use to communicate to their various stakeholders and to achieve their missions. By the end of this course, students will understand and be able to articulate how the writing and research skills they are developing at New College can be adapted into writing contexts outside of academia. Ideal for: 2nd and 3rd Years who are interested in exploring writing in professional contexts. Prerequisites: Preference given students who have taken a Writing Studies or Writing Enhanced Course.

Rhetoric and Writing: Scientific Writing

This course invites students to explore scientific writing, or the writing scientists do to communicate their research to other scientists or science-focused communities. Particular emphasis will be given to analyzing the differences in genres of scientific writing, including differences in genre conventions like formatting, tone, tense, and citation systems. Designed to support scientific inquiry alongside the writing process, this course also includes attention to bibliographic reading, descriptive writing, process writing, and developing research practices. This class is process-oriented, meaning much of the content learned will be practiced in-class; regular attendance is required. Pre-Requisites: Writing About Writing, Writing About Writing for the Natural Sciences, a Writing Enriched Course in the Natural Sciences, or permission of Instructor.

Rhetoric and Writing: Exploring the Essay

Exploring the Essay is an advanced writing course offered to any student who has taken any Writing Studies or WEC (writing enhanced course) at New College of Florida. This course examines both the tradition of and experimentation with the essay form. This course takes its momentum from the definition of essay which reads, “to prove, or try.” With such an open-ended definition, we will examine the questions which traditional and contemporary writers seek to define, or test. Students will engage central questions to our course: What makes an essay? What is the role of the writer? What can an essay accomplish? Who reads or engages with an essay? By practicing and applying writing techniques across disciplines within Writing Studies, Exploring the Essay will provide students with opportunities to further develop skills to:

— identify and anticipate the needs of multiple audiences
— identify and apply creative non-fiction writing techniques
— read essays across various disciplines, varying in complexity
— develop a sustained writing practice throughout the semester
— read and write rhetorically for multiple audiences and contexts

Rhetoric and Writing: Pedagogy in Practice

This course will offer an introduction to the theory and practice of one-on-one peer instruction, specifically in the field of writing. Students will develop a foundation in theory and practice in writing studies, education, and communication from which they will be able to construct their own writing tutoring philosophies. Students will: explore ways in which learners approach reading and writing and why these approaches are highly individualized; consider the impact that previous literacy knowledge has on acquiring new literacy knowledge; discuss and explain practical approaches to tutoring; and observe and practice tutoring in the New College Writing Resource Center. This course is a requirement for any student who wishes to apply to be a student writing assistant (SWA) in the New College Writing Resource Center. There are no prereqs for this course, and it is open to any year or AOC.


Rhetoric and Writing courses are grounded in Writing about Writing theory and pedagogy, wherein the content of the course is writing. Students read and write about writing in order to think critically about their own writing and writing practices; subsequently, they often change many of their beliefs about writing, which then impacts their processes and strategies.

Students in these courses not only learn procedural knowledge (“knowing what”: e.g. what a thesis is) but declarative knowledge (“knowing how”: e.g. how to analyze the rhetorical situation to know how to develop the appropriate argument). All Rhetoric and Writing courses include both formal and informal writing assignments, provide multiple opportunities for feedback/feedforward, and facilitate ongoing revision of writing processes and products.

Learn More about the Rhetoric and Writing Secondary AOC

Rhetoric and Writing

Students who pursue a secondary field AOC in Rhetoric and Writing will read and write about writing; writing is both a tool for thinking and communication, and also an object of study in and of itself. Through coursework, the required professional experience, and the culminating e-portfolio, students will develop transferable strategies that are applicable to their primary AOC(s) as well as their chosen careers.

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Rhetoric and Writing Curriculum

The rhetoric and writing curriculum encompasses courses in writing and textual analysis.

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New College

Contact the Writing Program

Dr. Jennifer Wells and Alexandra Maass are prepared to help you take your writing to the next level.

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