Teaching Students to Write

Harvey Mudd College takes seriously its commitment to teach students to write.

Required 1.5 Semester First-year Writing-intensive Sequence

Introduction to Academic Writing (Writ 1)

  • Course design based on current best practices informed by research in composition pedagogy and the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL)
  • 8:1 Student to Faculty Ratio for high-touch, individualized instruction
  • Emphasis on constructing and developing an academic argument through repeated revision
  • Course culminates in a portfolio evaluated by an outside reader
  • Taught by faculty from departments across the college
  • Week-long summer faculty development seminar for all new Writ 1 instructors
  • Two-day summer refresher for veteran Writ 1 instructors
  • Instructors meet weekly throughout the fall semester to exchange teaching strategies and materials and to ensure standardization of expectations and practices across sections

Critical Inquiry (HSA 10)

  • Course offered in topics that encompass 11-13 disciplines in the humanities, social sciences and the arts, ranging from economy of oil and energy to minimalism
  • Hands-on, step-by-step guide towards independent research and full-length research paper
  • Employs four experienced tutors specializing in individual meetings
  • Embedded librarian in each section helps to facilitate research
  • Uses external assessments to measure efficiency of instruction and students’ improvement in writing
  • Instructors meet and workshop regularly to exchange teaching strategies and establish common goals

Writing Supports for all Students