Please note: This is NOT the most current catalog.


Director, 2013-14: Diane LeBlanc (Interdisciplinary Studies), writing, women's and gender studies

Faculty, 2013-14: Mark Allister (English), American literature, environmental literature; Anne Berry (Writing), English as a Second Language; William Bridges IV (Asian Studies), Japanese language and literature; Heather Campbell (Education), reading, English as a second language; Carol Holly (English), American literature; Jennifer Kwon Dobbs (English), creative writing; Joan Hepburn (English), African American literature, drama; Jan C. Hill (English), writing, journalism; Paul Jackson (Chemistry), analytical and environmental chemistry, separation science, liquid and gas chromatography; Kimberly Kandl (Biology), molecular biology and genetics; Maria Kelly (Education), social studies, teaching methods; Anthony Lott (Political Science), international relations, global environmental politics; Karen Marsalek (English), medieval literature and linguistics; Joseph Mbele (English), post-Colonial literature; Jonathan Naito (English) 20th-century British and postcolonial literature; Diana Postlethwaite (English), 19th-century British literature, literature and film; Rebecca Richards (English), rhetoric and composition; Matthew Rohn (Art and Art History), art history; Sarah Stein (English), comparative literature; Kaethe Schwehn (English), writing; Mary Titus (English), American literature; Mary Trull (English), 16th- and 17th-century literature; Robert Vork (English), comparative literature; Colin Wells (English), 18th-century British and American literature

Writing is a primary means of learning in the liberal arts. Through courses in the writing program, students read, discuss, and write about significant human issues as they develop critical skills to write effectively. Courses in the writing program are designed to accommodate varying levels of academic preparation and English language learning.


The writing program supports two general education requirements: FYW and WRI. Most students take Writing 111: First-Year Writing during the fall or spring semester of their first year. Writing 111 seminars focus on a variety of topics with emphasis on writing practice to fulfill FYW. Students may also fulfill the FYW requirement by successfully completing designated courses in American Conversations or The Great Conversation, or through advanced placement credit. Consult the director of writing or the registrar.

Students who may benefit from more writing instruction and practice enroll in a two-semester sequence, taking Writing 107: Introduction to Academic Writing or Writing 110: Critical Skills in Composition during the fall of their first year, and completing Writing 111 during the spring semester. For more about writing placement, see ENTERING ST. OLAF.



107 Introduction to Academic Writing

This course guides English language learners through the conventions of U.S. academic culture and discourse with emphasis on liberal arts education. Students practice reading, writing, speaking, and listening to develop skills and confidence in college writing. The course also includes extensive discussion of academic integrity and responsible use of information. Students must pass the course with a grade of C or higher in order to enroll in Writing 111. Offered fall semester only.

109 Topics: Supplemental Writing (0.25)

This course provides supplemental instruction in reading, writing, and critical thinking in conjunction with a designated course. Students practice reading course-specific texts, focusing writing topics, writing essay and short answer exams, developing research habits, indentifying and using discipline-specific sources, and writing for general and specific audiences. Supplemental assignments complement writing in the designated course. Prerequisite: concurrent enrollment in a designated full-credit course. May be repeated once with a different designated course.

110 Critical Skills in Composition

This course emphasizes critical reading, the writing process, and revision. Students write frequently, respond to one another's writing, and meet often with course faculty in conferences. Writing 110 is required of those students placed into it; it may not be substituted for Writing 111. Students must pass the course with a grade of C or higher in order to enroll in Writing 111. Offered fall semester only.

111 First-Year Writing

See for section descriptions.

First-Year Writing, taken during the first year, equips students for effective writing in the liberal arts and introduces writing as a means of learning. The course is taught in multiple sections that explore a variety of topics. In all sections, students write frequently in a variety of genres, with emphasis in writing expository essays. One or more assignments require research. As part of the writing process, students revise their writing and meet individually with course faculty to discuss their writing.

211 Topics in Writing

Blending the reading seminar and writing workshop, this course offers advanced practice in critical reading and writing with emphasis on a particular discipline or topic. Students will read and respond critically to a range of writing that may include textbook chapters, popular feature stories, and creative literature. The course emphasizes how writers use common rhetorical strategies, such as making and supporting claims, integrating research, and narrating to communicate effectively in a variety of genres for multiple audiences.