Writing Across the Curriculum writing program.jpg

Writing Across the Curriculum

Writing Across the Curriculum

Why Write?

Student Writing

In a time where it often feels like individuals either have no voice or speak only to dominate, we at the Messiah University Writing Program believe that genuine conversation is important. We believe that writing is too powerful to be exclusive; everyone should have the ability and confidence to use this medium. We  are convinced that effective citizenship and leadership require the discipline and furniture of the mind that only a liberal arts education can provide, and writing is one of the most vital crafts of free women and men.  To write is to take risks: to reveal  commitments and to engage with others.  It is an act of permanence, converting listening and speaking into something deliberate, intimate, even dangerous. That’s why we have carefully fostered a culture of writing founded on our central ideals and have created a curriculum to support every writer at every stage of the process.

Our Beliefs

We prioritize two beliefs about writing

  1. Writing is a process
    No one sits down and writes the perfect piece from beginning to end in one draft. Writing is messy and scary and starts and ends all different kinds of ways before it achieves what we hope for it.
  2. Writing seeks to arrive at ideas and takes place in community
    The purpose of writing is to arrive at ideas and convictions and to communicate clearly and virtuously with other people.  This process begins with reading. We can never know if we’re communicating well without the input of others.  Getting other people’s insight, feedback, and reactions is essential to writing well.

That’s why conversations with others (peers, professors, writing center tutors) are an important part of our program. We also realize that in writing we are entering a conversation that has begun before us and will continue after us.  We seek through reading to engage with what has been thought and said in the past, and through writing to think with these voices and add ours to the conversation.  Like any craft, the more we practice, the better our skill.

Our Program Structure

We have designed a writing curriculum based on our core principles to support all writers.This curriculum consists of:

  • First Year Seminar – Uses a variety of course content to teach students to assess the writing situation (audience purpose genre), practice argument using the elements of the Essay Wheel (link to), and think with others by applying research to course content. Students are taught engage formal and informal practices within the writing process.
  • Created and Called for Community—This common course extends the objectives of the First Year Seminar while offering a wider opportunity for invention, a focus on reading like writers and engaging in conversation as fundamentals of the developing writer. 
  • Writing in the Major course -- Each department has one or more required courses that rely heavily on writing to engage with the content.  These courses typically emphasize discipline-specific genres, methods, and styles.


Contact Messiah University Director of Writing
Brooke Dunbar-Treadwell