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The Writing Program

General Principles

Roman rhetorician Quintilian in The Institutes of Oratory outlined what he saw as the necessary preparation for a young person to become a successful speaker and writer.  Among the major characteristics that students should aim for, according to Quintilian, is facilitas—that is, rhetorical flexibility.  A writer who has facilitas can confront many different discourse situations and be able to figure out how to respond in text to them. 

Students who follow the curriculum of the Writing Program at Tarleton State University can increase their facilitas, enlarging their capabilities as writers throughout their academic, professional, and personal lives.

The courses making up the composition sequence at Tarleton State University assume that the college writing course ought to instruct students in rhetorical principles in the context of academic discourse.  In our composition classes, students read and talk about ideas that are of political, cultural, historical, and educational significance. Then, students write a variety of different kinds of discourse about those ideas—theory papers, empirical papers, exploratory papers, research projects, prospectuses, annotated bibliographies, abstracts, and essay exams.  Faculty members in our program also help students enhance their composing processes; many sections of English 111 and 112 meet at least once per week in computer classrooms.  All sections of English 100 meet every day in a computer classroom.

The faculty members in the Writing Program are available to work with their students individually.  Consult faculty office hours for times when faculty members are available to meet with students. 

Course Descriptions

English 100:  Basic Writing

A prerequisite to English 112, this course introduces students to the diverse characteristics of writing for academic contexts.  Students in English 111 write about ideas, in particular responding analytically and critically to written sources.  The course also helps students become familiar with academic audiences, situations, purposes, genres, and some primary conventions (style, arrangement) of those genres.  Moreover, students work to develop their own composing processes, particularly for ways of inventing ideas, planning and revising their texts.

English 112:  College Composition and Research

A sequel to English 111, this course introduces students to research for academic contexts.  Students address questions about research such as What is it for? What are its limitations? What are some of its shapes? How does one go about it?  The course introduces students to a variety of research methods, systems of documentation, contemporary library resources, online sources, and research genres. 

Among other writings for the courses, each student should carry out his/her own research study, which may be a candidate for publication in The Popken Writer.

Contact Information

For questions about any of our courses, policies, or principles, please contact:

Dr. Kathleen Mollick
Director of the Writing Program
Humanities 329
Tarleton State University
Stephenville, Texas 76402

Writing Program Faculty

Dr. Kathleen Mollick, Assistant Professor, Director of the Writing Program.

Dr. Julie Chappell, Associate Professor.

Dr. Samuel Dodson, Associate Professor.

Mr. Michael Dooley, Instructor. 

Dr. Brian Fehler, Assistant Professor.

Ms. Lanell Gonzales, Instructor.

Mr. William H. Jones, Instructor. 

Mr. Paul Juhasz, Instructor.

Ms. Minerva McCutchen, Instructor.

Ms. Alice Newsome, Assistant Professor, Director of Basic Writing, Supervisor of University Writing Center.

Ms. Esther Otwell, Assistant Professor. 

Mr. Benjamin Sword, Instructor.

Dr. Marcy Tanter, Associate Professor.

Mr. Edward Tober, Assistant Professor.

Dr. Mallory Young, Professor.