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Rhetoric and Composition

Writing, Reading, and Rhetoric Studies (WRRS) is a support, research, and instructional unit of writing faculty in the English department in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences of Portland State University. We encourage excellence in writing, reading, and rhetoric for the students, faculty, and community at PSU, in the city of Portland, and throughout the state of Oregon.

Instructor Resources for Writing, Reading and Rhetoric Studies

Sample syllabi, assignments, tips and other useful information to help with effective instruction.

Writing Center

Provides tutorial help, general workshops, and a web site of resources in writing, reading, and rhetoric for undergraduates, graduate students, faculty, staff, and community members. Offers special assistance to University Studies students and faculty, non-native speakers of English, and faculty and students across the curriculum. Serves over 5,000 clients each year.

Writing Program

Offers a wide variety of undergraduate courses in writing, reading, and rhetoric, and graduate courses in rhetorical theory, the history of rhetoric, and writing and reading pedagogy. Serves students in all disciplines and University Studies. Has special courses and resources for international students and for community based learning; provides training in research and teaching for English graduate students, as well as general professional development activities through the English Graduate Organization.

Writing across the Curriculum

Offers assistance in integrating writing into any PSU course. Provides graduate student assistants for writing intensive courses (WIC), faculty development workshops for faculty who wish to encourage writing. Serves over 600 students, thirty courses, and over a dozen departments and other units each year.

Community Outreach

Works cooperatively with schools, businesses, and others to enhance writing and reading instruction. Partnering with the Challenge/LINK program, offers Writing 115, Writing 121 in the high schools, a creative writing studio on the PSU campus for talented high school writers; partners with Upward Bound to increase university access for diverse students; provides ongoing faculty development and partnerships with participating secondary English teachers; member of OWEAC, a consortium of secondary and higher education English faculty across the state of Oregon.

Research Projects

Research conducted by faculty contributes to the enhancement of writing, reading, and rhetoric at PSU and contributes to the national conversation of the field. Conducting a five year study of student writing needs at PSU, including surveys for faculty, students, and community partners in order to determine the next steps for writing at PSU. Also participating in a FIPSE funded project, along with other faculty from Oregon universities and colleges and secondary schools in order to articulate better the student transition from high school writing to college-level writing.

Speakers, Conferences, Workshops

Brings in nationally known figures in writing reading and rhetoric (Peter Elbow, 2001; Kathleen Blake Yancey, 2003; Victor Villaneuva, 2004); Hosted the 14th Annual Oregon Rhetoric and Composition Conference, 2004, with keynote speaker Lisa Ede.

Donors, Grants, Partners

Partners with Friends of English to bring in speakers in the area of writing, reading, and rhetoric; Recipient of two PSU Foundation Faculty Development Grants.