The Department of Writing and Rhetoric is the institutional home of first-year writing, speech communication, and the writing centers community at the University of Mississippi. Officially classified as a department in 2014, W&R is continuing to expand with new upper-division course offerings and a professional writing minor, as well as a maturing writing enriched curriculum program.
History and Accomplishments
The Center for Writing and Rhetoric at the University of Mississippi was established in 2009 in response to a five-year Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) focused on improving student writing in all disciplines.
To achieve this plan, the University committed institutional resources to establish the Center for Writing and Rhetoric as an independent unit separate from the Department of English; it had the administrative responsibility for teaching composition and supporting the work of the University’s writing centers on its main and regional campuses.
During the 2010/2011 academic year, CWR committees led by core instructors completed and piloted curricular revision for the University’s first-year composition courses (WRIT 100, WRIT 101, WRIT 102, and LIBA 102). In 2012 and 2013, the CWR completed its revision of ENGL 250 (which is now listed in course catalogs as WRIT 250) in harmony with its mandate to incorporate the QEP outcomes into all composition courses.
In addition to its writing program, the CWR had the administrative responsibility for the University’s writing centers, which are located on the main campus in Oxford and on the Southaven and Tupelo regional campuses; there is also a Virtual Writing Center (VWC) available for medical students on the UM Medical Center campus in Jackson, MS. The CWR developed a rigorous tutor-training program that enhances the support our centers provide to all University students.
In Spring 2014, the CWR proposed a Minor in Professional Writing, which includes three new upper-division composition courses. The minor was approved by the University’s curriculum and planning committee, and will enroll its first students in Spring 2015. On July 1, 2014, the CWR officially transitioned to the Department of Writing and Rhetoric and moved to its new home in Lamar Hall.