The Illinois State University Writing Program is a progressive organization that works to directly address long-enduring attitudes about writing. With the knowledge that these attitudes are often based on misinformed perceptions of how writing knowledge is actually learned and applied, we hope to constantly question and re-think our goals as students and teachers to create an enduring infrastructure in which the investigation of and research into writing practices is the center of our teaching and learning. Many areas of theory and research—including rhetorical genre studies, systemic functional linguistics, English for Specific Purposes, activity theory, cultural-historical activity theory, actor network theory, theories of community and identity, and writing and cognition—impact our work.
These sections of our Writing Program Instructor’s Guide offer a short overview of the philosophies and concepts that actively shape our pedagogy.
Introduction and Overview: This document is a basic overview of the courses we teach and our approach to teaching.
Program Philosophies and Concepts: This slightly longer document outlines the important theories, terms and concepts that shape our pedagogy. It also includes bibliography for further reading.
Within the Writing Program, we strive to meet the following core goals:
- students learn to produce writing that represents the kind of reflective and critical inquiry necessary to serve responsibly in civic arenas and to succeed in academic and professional contexts;
- instructors from different areas of English Studies and academic levels prepare to teach writing, continue their education and experience professional growth;
- members from the local community and the state gain a better understanding of the complex processes and products referred to simply as “writing”;
- research and creativity thrive;
- technology is integral, with the Program being the first nationwide to offer all writing classes in computer classrooms;
- people are friendly and supportive.