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Writing Studies

In a constantly changing world of digital communication, the study of writing is needed more than ever. Employers in every field are looking for—and hiring—modern writers, those who can make the complex clear, those who can produce and revise texts across screens, those who can move an audience in a new direction. Writing Studies prepares you for this career, offering you the chance to earn our national award-winning Professional Writing Certificate.

At the heart of each Writing Studies course is the study of rhetoric, the ancient art of finding and circulating arguments, and its application to real life situations. In other words, you get to take what you learn in the classroom and make something happen outside the classroom. It's hands-on, real world, problem-solving, a unique experience and an advantage on the job market or when transferring to your four-year institution.

Whether you intend to write as a career or are looking to make a difference in your community with your writing, come join us in Writing Studies and write the world.

Program Description

Writing Studies is a multifaceted program that prepares you for academic, public, and professional writing. Courses range from workplace writing, technical writing, and digital writing, to the advanced study of writing, such as professional writing and community writing, professional editing and writing center theory, and argumentative writing and advanced composition.

As one of the few Liberal Arts programs with a home in Career and Technical Education, you have the opportunity to earn a Professional Writing Certificate, resulting in a professional portfolio which you can use on the job market. We host a professional writing lecture series, Writing Professionally, in which professionals talk about how they entered their field, what kinds of texts they write, and what they wish they would have known about writing as college students. It's a unique opportunity for you to learn from and network with real professional writers.

Writing Studies has partnered with several universities on exclusive transfer agreements, saving you time and money. In addition, the Society for Technical Communication—STC Chicago Chapter offers Writing Studies students opportunities to publish, free access to events, as well as scholarships and awards.

Program Philosophy

We believe that the study of rhetoric and writing can improve students' lives. Whether they pursue an academic, public, or professional path, Writing Studies prepares students to engage with writing and effect change in their communities. Our theoretical and practical approach provides students with the tools to read situations, identify problems, and locate solutions. In an ever-changing world mediated by digital technologies, Writing Studies offers students a way in, to participate in conflicts and conversations, with effective writing techniques.

Program Outcomes

By studying Writing at College of DuPage, students will:

  • Locate and analyze audiences.
  • Identify ways to persuade audiences.
  • Gather research and data.
  • Use rhetoric and research appropriately to achieve desired effects.

  • Collect already published research, data, studies, and evidence.
  • Gather your own new data through interviews, surveys and observations.
  • Assemble ethical arguments using this data to move an audience.

  • Read about the history, context, and motives surrounding rhetorical events.
  • Analyze these motives for rhetorical purposes.
  • Locate evidence for these assumptions.
  • Invent viable responses.
  • Circulate logically structured arguments to appropriate audiences.

Program Information

Steven Accardi

  • PhD: Arizona State University
  • MA: DePaul University
  • BA: Loyola University Chicago

Dr. Steven Accardi is Program Chair of Writing Studies and the Professional Writing Certificate. He earned his PhD in Rhetoric and Composition from Arizona State University, specializing in rhetorical theory. He has published in WPA: Writing Program Administration, Composition Studies, Teaching Writing in the Two-Year College, and Journal of Second Language Writing. Dr. Accardi teaches several courses in the Writing Studies program, such as Advanced Composition, Argumentative Writing, Writing in the Professions, Writing in the Community, Workplace Writing, as well as Composition I and II.

James Allen

  • PhD & MA: University of South Carolina
  • BA: University of South Carolina--Spartanburg

Dr. James Allen earned his PhD in Rhetoric and Composition from University of South Carolina, specializing in classical rhetorical theory and early American literature. He has presented papers at the Conference on College Composition and Communication and the National Learning Communities Conference. From 1998 to 2002, he served as COD's Writing Placement Professional Assistant, overseeing the evaluation of written essays for placement into writing courses. He currently serves as the Faculty Chair of the Learning Communities Program. Dr. Allen teaches Workplace Writing, Composition I, and Composition II and helped design Advanced Composition.

Jillian Grauman

  • PhD: Iowa State University
  • MA: Washington State University
  • BA: Luther College

Dr. Jillian Grauman earned her PhD in Rhetoric and Professional Communication from Iowa State University, specializing in writing program administration and composition studies. She has presented at the Council of Writing Program Administrators Conference, Conference on College Composition and Communication, and International Writing Centers Association conference. She has published in WPA: Writing Program Administration and WLN: A Journal of Writing Center Scholarship. Dr. Grauman teaches several courses in Writing Studies, including Editing in the Professions, Writing Center Theory and Practice, Workplace Writing, and Technical Writing, and Composition I and Composition II.

Jacinta Yanders

  • PhD: The Ohio State University
  • MA: Indiana State University
  • BA: Ball State University

Dr. Jacinta Yanders (aka Dr. J) has a PhD in English with an emphasis on Media Studies. Dr. J's work has been published in Transformative Works and Cultures, Flow Journal, and Pedagogy and American Literary Studies. She previously worked for the Digital Media and Composition Institute at Ohio State, which was the experience that ultimately spurred her interest and investment in composing for digital spaces. In COD's Writing Studies program, Dr. J teaches Digital Writing, Composition I, and Composition II.

Note that all Spring 2021 English classes are offered in one of two formats:

  • NET is virtual asynchronous instruction: there are no mandatory class meetings at a scheduled time or day
  • VCM stands for Virtual Classroom Meeting: there will be virtual, synchronous meetings required on at least some of the days/times listed for that section

ENGLI 1101: English Composition I

Introduces key concepts in rhetoric and writing, including situation and context, audience, genre, purpose, and persuasion. Students apply these concepts in writing projects that demonstrate how reading and writing are embedded in multi-faceted academic, personal, social, political, and/or professional purposes. These writing projects unfold through a deliberate process of inquiry, feedback, and revision. Prerequisite: Reading Placement Category 1, or ENGLI 0492 Approaches to College Writing II with a grade of "C" or better, or equivalent or Prerequisite: ENGLI 0493 Approaches to College Writing II ALP with a grade of "C" or better, or equivalent or Prerequisite: ELS 0553 Academic ESL Writing III with a grade of "C" or better, or equivalent or Appropriate score on the Writing Placement Test(s) or Corequisite: ENGLI 0493 Approaches to College Writing II ALP Must be enrolled in linked section taught by same instructor. These are defined pairs.

  • This class is offered in both NET and VCM formats (described above) and in a variety of sessions: 16 week, 12 week, 1st 8 week, and 2nd 8 week. For a complete list of all sections of ENGLI 1101 being offered in Spring 2021, please check myAccess.

ENGLI 1102: English Composition II

Builds upon the rhetoric, reading, and writing concepts introduced in English Composition I by having students compose inquiry-driven research projects. In their research process, students find and select the most appropriate sources to address research questions that are intended for a discourse community. Students integrate sources meaningfully for support and present their findings via the forms of media and genre that suit the project's objectives. Prerequisite: ENGLI 1101 English Composition 1 with a grade of "C" or better, or equivalent.

  • This class is offered in both NET and VCM formats (described above) and in a variety of sessions: 16 week, 12 week, 1st 8 week, and 2nd 8 week. For a complete list of all sections of ENGLI 1102 being offered in Spring 2021, please check myAccess.

ENGLI 1105: Workplace Writing

Course focuses on the processes and strategies for creating various modes of communication within a workplace setting. Students will gain skills in assessing and addressing various audiences, observing stylistic conventions, and using appropriate elements of document design to communicate effectively. The course emphasizes the preparation of a variety of documents, such as resumes, letters of application, internal and external correspondence, descriptions, proposals, summaries, and reports. It also introduces strategies for conducting research and observing copyright. Prerequisite: ENGLI 0492 Approaches to College Writing II with a grade of "C" or better, or equivalent or Prerequisite: ELS 0553 Academic ESL Writing III with a grade of "C" or better, or equivalent or Appropriate score on the Writing Placement Test(s). Course requires Reading Placement Test Score-Category One.

  • NET (1st 8 week session) | Professor Steven Accardi
  • NET (16 week session) | Professor Elizabeth Cicchetti
  • NET (16 week session) | Professor Jillian Grauman
  • NET (12 week session) | Professor Jillian Grauman
  • NET (2nd 8 week session) | Professor Steven Accardi

  • VCM (16 week session - Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 9 to 9:50 a.m.) | Professor Jim Okrasinski
  • VCM (16 week session - Tuesday, Thursday, 9:30 to 10:45 a.m.) | Professor Elizabeth Cicchetti

ENGLI 1110: Technical Writing

An introduction to technical writing with an overview of key issues such as usability, audience analysis, designing pages and digital screens, effective collaboration with peers, researching, interpreting and ethically presenting data, and writing clearly and persuasively. Also includes instruction in writing, revising, and presenting common technical writing genres, which could include emails, instructions, tutorials, manuals, reports, product/process descriptions, proposals, and presentations using visual aids. Prerequisite: ENGLI 0492 Approaches to College Writing II with a grade of "C" or better, or equivalent or ELS 0553 Academic ESL Writing III with a grade of "C" or better, or equivalent or appropriate score on the Writing Placement Test(s). Course requires Reading Placement Test Score-Category One.

  • NET (12 week session) | Professor Jillian Grauman

ENGLI 1115: Digital Writing

Concentrates on writing techniques that combine elements of digital composition, accessible grammar, and appropriate prose to develop an effective style suitable for various modes of digital communication. This course explores the ever-evolving landscape of digital rhetoric, preparing students for delivering content fitting for a range of audiences, from individuals to the global stage. Prerequisite: English 0492 with a grade of C or better, or equivalent or English Language Studies 0553 with a grade of C or better, or equivalent or appropriate score on the Writing Placement Test(s). Course requires Reading Placement Test Score-Category One. (3 lecture hours)

  • NET (16 week session) | Professor Jacinta Yanders

ENGLI 2100: Writing Center Theory and Practice

Experiential course designed to prepare students for writing center work through instruction in writing center theory and practice. Includes writing; observing sessions in the Writing, Reading, Speech Assistance area; tutoring; and self-reflecting on writing and research experiences. Prerequisite: English 1101 with a grade of B or better or equivalent and concurrent enrollment in English 1102 or consent of instructor. (3 lecture hours)

  • VCM (16 week session - Tuesday, Thursday, 9:30 to 10:45 a.m.) | Professor Jillian Grauman

ENGLI 2110: Professional Editing

Focuses on the basic principles of editing professional documents, including editing for content, organization, style, layout, and mechanics. Topics may include documentation formats, readability, usability testing, digital publishing, and proofreading. Prerequisite: English 1102 with a grade of C or better, or equivalent or concurrent enrollment in English 1102 or consent of instructor. (3 lecture hours)

  • NET (16 week session) | Professor Jillian Grauman

ENGLI 2115: Writing in the Community

An in-depth study of the content, form, and function of the professional writing used in community organizations. Provides a solid foundation for students currently working or planning on working at a community organization. Special attention will be paid to public rhetoric for the purposes of communicating the missions of the community organization, such as attaining grants, fundraising, and establishing goodwill in the community. Includes instruction in rhetoric, research, and writing professional texts, such as grants, reports, proposals, advertisements, research requests, and presentations. Prerequisite: English 1102 with a grade of C or better, or equivalent or concurrent enrollment in English 1102 or consent of instructor. (3 lecture hours)

  • NET (12 week session) | Professor Steven Accardi

ENGLI 2300: Advanced Composition

Builds upon the rhetoric and writing skills developed in Composition I and II. Students will study and apply rhetorical theory, from the classical through the postmodern periods, in order to read and write within a variety of rhetorical situations. They will also investigate and incorporate research methodologies and prose styles used in different academic and professional discourse communities. Students will create a portfolio of work tailored to their academic and professional goals, which will include multimodal elements. Prerequisite: English 1102 with a grade of C or better, or equivalent. (3 lecture hours)

  • VCM (16 week session, Tuesday, Thursday, 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.) | Professor Steven Accardi

The rhetorical and problem-solving skills learned through Writing Studies are foundational to diverse career fields including:
  • Law
  • Medicine
  • Politics
  • Teaching
  • Business
  • Public Relations
  • Marketing
  • Writing

Enrolling in the Professional Writing Certificate has allowed me to branch out into the world of business writing better than any specific course could have done. [...] Having the opportunity to interview and observe writing from an actual business allowed insight into a world that can only be described in classes but not understood.

Spencer PhillabaumProfessional Writing Certificate Graduate

English Department Chairs

Jill Salas
Chair of Developmental English

Tim Henningsen
Chair of Composition

Jason Snart
Chair of Literature, Creative Writing and Film