Composition and Rhetoric

Photo of the Torn Notebook sculpture on UNL city campus
Composition and Rhetoric
Social engagement and transformation through writing, rhetoric and literacy.

Our Core Principles

Writing is a meaningful, purposeful practice.

The strongest writing emerges from writers who are invested in their projects, so we regularly invite students to develop their own purposes for composing. We view writing as valuable not only during college, but also throughout one’s personal and professional life.

Writing, reading, and teaching are transformative processes.

These processes allow us to create knowledge with others, engage new perspectives, rethink our own, and ultimately, to discover new possibilities for understanding and acting in the world.

How we define “good writing” is shaped by culture and dependent upon context.

We analyze with students how ideas of “good” and “correct” writing are shaped by culture, and we consider what kinds of writing, and which writers, may be excluded by those standards. As we move into an increasingly digital world, we also aim to develop students’ facilities to compose and critically analyze online texts.

Reflection is key to both writing and learning.

Students regularly reflect on their writing choices and their intended effects. Reflection is a key component of revision; as we understand the choices we’ve made, we can imagine new ways of creating texts.

Writing and the teaching of writing are collaborative processes.

At all levels of our program, writers and teachers work together to create effective texts for a variety of purposes and communities. Our teachers develop their classes in collaboration with other teachers (often across grade levels), and our program’s many research projects involve collaborative inquiry.

Responsible, ethical inquiry and argument occur when differences are respectfully engaged.

We are committed to fostering learning that encourages students to recognize the complexity and richness of human difference as they read, write, and converse with one another. Our diversity statement articulates this commitment.

Who We Are

Photo of the Writing Center's Spring 2015 staff posing with Archie the Mammoth at Morrill Hall

Writing Center

The Writing Center offers workshops and free one-on-one consulting to all members of the UNL community. Our consultants are experienced writers who are adept at giving meaningful and productive constructive feedback on writing assignments, resumes, research papers, and more.

Nebraska Writing Project

The Nebraska Writing Project is a network of educators and writers that provides educators, administrators, schools, colleges, and universities with opportunities to improve, enhance and celebrate writing for classrooms and communities. We are the state affiliate of the National Writing Project.

Photo of attendees at Nebraska Writing Project's annual Platte River Writing Retreat, 2014