University of Minnesota
Department of Writing Studies

Department of Writing Studies

Department of Writing Studies

Students on the East Bank Campus
Writing in the 21st century is global, social, and digital. An e-mail message or Twitter post can span the entire globe in mere seconds. A common scholarly goal in this department is the sustained study of all aspects of writing and literacy practices—history and theory, production and circulation, material and digital, social and collaborative, textual and visual. Our work coheres around a common set of questions about the global, social, and digital literacies of our time.
Photo by Matt Buchanan

Welcome to the Department of Writing Studies. Part of the University of Minnesota's College of Liberal Arts, we are an academic department with nationally recognized strengths in teaching and scholarship in rhetoric, writing, and technical communication.

The department touches the lives of nearly every undergraduate on campus through the First Year Writing program, as well as popular courses including technical writing and communication, professional writing, rhetorical theory, and digital communication. We are also the administrative home of the Center for Writing and the journal, Written Communication.

Graduates from our B.S., M.S., and certificate program are prepared for successful careers in scientific and technical communication and are in high demand by companies both local and national. Our M.A. and Ph.D. graduates pursue careers in academic settings, becoming college and university professors.

If you have any questions, please email or call us. Or stop in and visit us in Nolte Center on the Minneapolis campus.

Featured Items

  • Issues in the Analysis of Text, Talk and Other Verbal Data: A Conversation with Cheryl Geisler

    Writing Studies welcomes Cheryl Geisler to the department for a talk and lunch, September 2nd from noon - 1pm in Nolte 235.

    Scholars in rhetoric and writing seeking to analyze texts, talk, or other verbal data find a number of approaches described in the literature -- rhetorical analysis, content analysis, qualitative analysis --but little guidance on the differences between them. In this talk, Geisler will provide an comparison of the various approaches to analyzing verbal data, focusing on the issues and choices researchers make in deciding what approach to take.

    Cheryl Geisler is Professor of Interactive Arts and Technology at Simon Fraser University where she served as the inaugural Dean of the Faculty of Communication, Art and Technology. She has written extensively on the nature of texts, especially those mediated by new technologies. A recognized expert on verbal data coding, she is the author of Analyzing Steams of Language (2004) and conducts an annual international workshop on verbal data analysis at Dartmouth College. She has received awards for her work from Computers and Composition, the Rhetoric Society of America, and the National Communication Association.

    We are now accepting RSVPs for the Cheryl Geisler talk on September 2nd.

    August 29th, 2014
  • 2014 Coakley Ames & Mikelonis Award Recipients

    On behalf of the Undergraduate Committee in the Department of Writing Studies, I am pleased to announce the recipients of our 2014 undergraduate awards.

    * Coakley Ames Writing Excellence Award ($1000): Mary C. Stokes and Alexa Keenan
    * Victoria Mikelonis Memorial Award in S&TC ($200): Matewos Gebrehiwet

    More information about these awards can be found on the Undergraduate Awards & Scholarships web page.

    Congratulations to Mary, Alexa and Matewos!

    June 17th, 2014
  • Professor Mary Schuster receives Arthur "Red" Motley Exemplary Teaching Award

    We are thrilled to announce that Professor Mary Schuster has been awarded the Arthur "Red" Motley Exemplary Teaching Award for 2013-2014.

    The Motley Award "recognizes faculty of the college who are outstanding teachers of graduate and undergraduate students.

    The Motley award acknowledges faculty who:
    * inspire and care,
    * make themselves approachable,
    * show an interest in individual students' well-being and in programs for the benefit of students generally,
    * give of themselves generously in advising, counseling, and directing projects, and
    * create an active classroom atmosphere.
    Such faculty provide a model to undergraduate and graduate students through their own research and teaching, and leave an impression by their efforts which alumni recall with appreciation and esteem."

    Congratulations, Mary! And thank you to the students and former students, both graduate and undergraduate, who wrote letters for Mary's nomination.

    May 20th, 2014