Please note: This is NOT the most current catalog.


Director, 2009-10: Diane LeBlanc (Interdisciplinary Studies), writing, women's studies

Faculty, 2009-10: Mark Allister (English), American literature, environmental literature, American studies; Gene Bauer (Writing), English as a second language; Mark Bresnan (English), 20th- and 21st-century American literature; Richard C. Buckstead (English), American literature, Asian literature; Susan Bauer (Dance), movement analysis; Heather Campbell (Education), reading, English as a second language; Bruce Dalgaard (Economics), macroeconomics, Japanese economy; Jennifer Kwon Dobbs (English), creative writing; Jenny Dunning (English), creative writing; Jeanine Grenberg (Philosophy), ethics, Kant, history of modern philosophy; Joan Hepburn (English), African American literature, drama; Jan C. Hill (English), writing, journalism; Maria Kelly (Education), social studies, teaching methods; Steve Longfellow (Writing), first-year writing, creative writing; Joseph Mbele (English), post-Colonial literature; Barbara Reed (Asian Studies and Religion), East Asian religions (on leave Interim and Spring Semester); Kaethe Schwehn (English), creative writing, first-year writing; Susannah Shmurak (Interdisciplinary Studies), American literature; Jeff Solomon (English), 20th-century American literature, gender studies, queer studies; Bill Sonnega (Theatre), theatre, media studies; Molly Westerman (English) 20th-century British and postcolonial literature; Jeanne Willcoxon (Theatre), acting, theatre history

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 suports two general education requirements: FYW and WRI. Most students take General Education 111: First-Year Writing, during the fall or spring semester of their first year. GE 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 GE 107: Introduction to Academic Writing or GE 110: Critical Skills in Composition during the fall of their first year, and completing GE 111 during the spring semester. For more about writing placement, See ENTERING ST. OLAF.



107 Introduction to Academic Writing

This course is intended primarily for English Language Learners to develop and practice English skills required for college-level work. Composition and the writing process, as well as other language skills, will be emphasized in class and through individual instruction. Students must pass the course with a grade of C or higher in order to enroll in General Education 111. Offered Fall Semester only.

110 Critical Skills in Composition

Students write frequently, respond to one another's writing, and meet often with instructors in conferences. Emphasis is on students learning about the writing process and revision. The course is required of those students placed into it; it may not be substituted for General Education 111. Students must pass the course with a grade of C or higher in order to enroll in General Education 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 which explore a variety of topics. In all sections, students write frequently in a variety of modes, 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. Offered Summer Session only.