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Mission and Principles

The mission of the HCWE is to ensure that Miami supports its students in developing as effective writers in college, and fully prepares all of its graduates to excel as clear, concise, and persuasive writers in their careers, communities, and personal lives.

The long-term goal of the HCWE is to support Miami in providing the most innovative, research-based writing instruction in the country, to be widely and publicly acknowledged for doing so, and to positively and measurably impact writing-related research, practice, and policy at Miami, in Ohio, in the region, and in the nation.

Guiding Principles and Concepts about Writing

Writing and rhetoric are fields of study with bodies of research and theory that can guide our practices. That research and theory tells us:

  • Writing mediates activity and helps us get things done through recognizable and recurring forms.
  • Writing is social and rhetorical; writers benefit from talking and sharing drafts with other writers.
  • Writing is not natural; rather, it is something we all work to learn. Being a competent writer is something that can be developed across time and with practice.
  • All writers have more to learn, and benefit from practice, feedback, and revision.
  • New and unfamiliar writing tasks can impact a writer’s performance in areas where they are usually highly competent. This is a normal part of learning.
  • Reflection and metacognition are important parts of improving as a writer.
  • Writers and learners benefit from monitoring their own learning, progress, and struggles. Thus, receiving formative assessment and then reflecting and self-assessing are important parts of improving as a writer.
  • Writing is informed by prior experience, including experience with writing, reading, and cultural experiences and norms.
  • All writers and readers are constantly negotiating language differences. Both writers and readers are always working to construct meaning.
  • Writing is embodied cognition; it is emotional as well as cognitive and social. How writers feel about writing impacts how they write and what they are able to accomplish as writers.
  • Writing enacts values, conventions, and identities, including those of disciplines and professions.
  • Helping learners improve as writers is a shared responsibility, since a great deal of writing is enacted in specialized disciplines and professions. Experts who use writing in specialized ways are best positioned to help enculturate learners into that type of writing.