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Writing and Rhetoric Program

The FIU Writing and Rhetoric Program teaches students to write effectively in academic, professional, and community contexts. In our courses, students learn to read actively and reflectively, to think critically, to compose written texts with attention to specific rhetorical contexts, and to understand these processes as interdependent activities. Students learn to plan, draft, and revise with a specific purpose and audience in mind. Working both collaboratively and individually, students learn to write for both traditional print and digital audiences.

The Writing and Rhetoric Program responds to its multicultural context in Miami. FIU is an urban, multi-campus, designated Hispanic Serving Institution that serves over 40,000 students, 75% of whom are classified as racial/ethnic minority. Hispanic students comprise 60% of the University’s student population. Within this context, our courses encourage students to draw on language diversity in their writing and research, with language and multilingualism often a focus of discussion and of course materials.

  • Courses

    The Writing and Rhetoric Program serves over 4,000 students each semester, with courses in face-to-face (F2F), fully online, and hybrid settings. The program offers:

  • Instructor Training and Support

    Preparing graduate students as successful instructors who work effectively with student writers is another priority of our program. We offer the following methods of teacher training:

    • Interdisciplinary Writing Teaching Assistant training program, a Provost Strategic Initiative aimed at putting well-trained instructors from a variety of disciplines into the first-year writing classroom, thus better preparing future faculty to work with student writers;
    • English Department TA training, for teaching assistants in Literature, Linguistics, and Creative Writing;
    • Graduate courses in teaching college writing;
    • Hybrid-Based Practicum, in which teaching assistants shadow experienced full-time faculty who mentor them in classroom teaching, conferencing, grading, and providing feedback; and
    • Mentoring Program, which provides TAs with two years of mentoring once they begin teaching their own classes.

    We also provide ongoing support and professional develop for all writing program faculty via our Professional Development calendar, brown bag events, and peer-to-peer feedback system.  

    See here for our program handbook of policies.

  • Pedagogical Principles

    The principles underpinning the Writing and Rhetoric Program include:

    • Cultivating a growth mindset, a culture of risk-taking and viewing failure as opportunity for learning
    • Taking a strengths-based approach, including valuing and using diversity as a strength
    • Creating a classroom culture of acceptance, kindness, and respect to encourage a strong sense of belonging
    • Encouraging intrinsic motivation, through pursuit of student autonomy, mastery, and purpose
    • Promoting self-efficacy
    • Facilitating collaboration
    • Utilizing project-based learning
    • Preparing students for changing workplace (divergent thinking)
    • Valuing responsible writing and informed citizenry
    • Promoting positive/productive disposition toward writing as a craft, as a process of discovery, as a thinking tool, and as a socially situated practice
    • Awarding process, not just product
    • Prompting meta-awareness and reflective practice
    • Providing sufficient professional development for all instructors
  • Community Engagement

    The Writing & Rhetoric program also prioritizes outreach to the local community, specifically through the following efforts:

    • Ongoing workshop series for Miami-Dade public school language arts teachers;
    • Professional development and mentoring for dual enrollment teachers;
    • Service learning: For example, students in ENC 3354, Writing as Social Action mentored more than twenty 10th graders from Miami Northwestern Senior High School. Learner-centered activities designed and facilitated by the FIU students helped Miami Northwestern students develop concrete writing skills and a view of writing as a tool for social action.

Program Contacts

Writing Program Director
Kimberly Harrison

Writing Program Associate Directors
Justin Grant
Robert Saba
Cindy Chinelly

First-Year Success Coordinator
Cayce Wicks

Multilingual Writing Specialist
Ming Fang

Certificate in Professional and Public Writing Director
Maheba Pedroso

Digital Writing Studio Director
Christine Gregory