At Colby College, writing is a crucial component of a liberal arts education. Accordingly, the mission of the Colby Writing Program is to support a culture of writing that ensures Colby students can write effectively in multiple genres; choose the right style, medium, and evidence for the situation; and participate successfully in professional environments after college. We view writing not as a simple skill but rather as a complex practice that requires an understanding of audience, context, purpose, research, and genres to be effective. Writing is both a way of learning and a means of communication.
At Colby, faculty, staff, and peer tutors help students to develop this rhetorical flexibility, adaptability, and analytical ability. In addition, through their major studies, students will become accomplished in the particular types of writing and research most important to their majors.
Writing Across the Curriculum and in the Disciplines
The Colby Writing Program offers writing courses (designated EN or WP in the catalogue) and supports the development of writing-intensive courses and pedagogy in all departments and programs to give students multiple opportunities to improve their writing across all four years.
The Writing Program’s development began with the creation of first-year, writing-intensive courses guided by common understandings and student learning outcomes written by Colby faculty. These courses fulfill the first-year writing requirement (W1).
The writing forms, skills, and practices in upper-level, writing-intensive courses (designated W2 and W3 in the catalogue) reflect the departments and programs in which these courses are offered. To receive a writing-intensive W2 or W3 designation, courses must give explicit attention to the writing process and product, address the W2/W3 Common Understandings, and be approved by the Academic Affairs Committee.
The Writing Program also links writing fellows, peer writing tutors trained by the Farnham Writers’ Center, to writing-intensive classes.