GEW Mission Statement
The General Education Writing Program (GEW), as part of the Literature and Writing Studies Department (LTWR), reflects the mission of both the University and LTWR. We build upon LTWR’s foundation in cultural and diversity studies and echo the broader department’s commitment to social justice, critical reading, and writing in diverse genres. Our courses prepare students to successfully navigate CSUSM’s all-campus writing requirement.
Our core values include:
Writing is Social. Writing (re)produces particular social constructions and power relations, such as those around gender identity, racial identity, linguistic identity, sexuality, nationality, class, ability, and neurodiversity. In other words, writing is never ideologically neutral because the meaning conveyed is always informed by the social context of the writer(s) and the reader(s).
Writing is Rhetorical. Because writing is social, “good” writing does not follow a decontextualized formula. Instead, effective writing is determined by the specific rhetorical situations that motivate the writing and that make that writing available to readers. The details of a successful composition--language use, language variety, organization and presentation of ideas, mode of delivery--are informed by the project’s audience, purpose, and genre.
Writing is a Process. Because writing is social and rhetorical, it must be taught as a process. GEW students analyze rhetorical situations and investigate genre norms as they engage in multi-draft writing projects. They learn to revise their writing in response to peer, instructor, and writing center tutor feedback, which prepares them to seek feedback and prioritize revision in future writing projects.
Academic Writing. By teaching students that writing is social and rhetorical, and by training them to engage in a multi-layered writing process, GEW guides students to become confident academic writers. We encourage students to draw on their experiences as successful communicators in diverse contexts and apply those skills to specific academic genres. We also emphasize that “academic writing” is an umbrella term that encompasses many different genres with unique norms and conventions. Our goal is to equip students with the rhetorical skills to navigate the many different writing situations they will encounter at CSUSM and beyond.