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The mission of the ISU Writing Program is to provide writing learners with structured support to deepen our embodied knowledge of writing as an everyday activity that can be researched, learned, and practiced ethically and equitably.


The Writing Program prioritizes practices grounded in contemporary writing research and writing pedagogy research.

  • We work with all learners to research our own writing practices so that we are able to identify complex writing situations, use all available writing tools, and transfer our writing knowledge to future situations.

  • We practice genre research so that we are able to describe, produce, and challenge the genre conventions we see in the world across cultures and communities that matter to us.

  • We work with writing teachers to learn and put into practice contemporary, interdisciplinary, anti-racist research approaches to teaching, learning, and writing in and beyond the university.


The Writing Program recognizes the historical relationships between writing, writing instruction, and systemic barriers to literacy, writing education, and participation in structures of power.

  • We work toward approaches to participatory assessment where all learners’ perspectives are included and valued.

  • We include documenting and tracing learning as a substantive part of our curriculum in addition to producing written texts.

  • We prioritize experimental approaches to writing learning and assessment as integral to challenging our biases and assumptions about teaching, learning, and writing.


The ISU Writing Program is committed to creating equitable and inclusive learning environments where all writing learners can:

  • Access resources and learn practices to improve as writers

  • Develop writing skills and knowledge through research and practice 

  • See ourselves as capable writers and writing researchers

  • Understand the value of writing as a complex everyday activity

  • Work toward writing practices that can create equitable social change

  • Trace our practices and learning so that we might better transfer our writing knowledge and experience to future writing situations

  • Produce texts that show how writing is a culturally situated activity and a tool for expression, communication, and change

  • See opportunities to break down barriers that prevent marginalized folks from learning, producing, and sharing writing within communities of power that matter to them


To work toward our commitments, the ISU Writing Program values a range of activity:

  • Researching and tracing personal writing histories, practices, and trajectories

  • Tracing our current writing and learning practices

  • Researching and describing everyday writing practices and genres in the world

  • Researching and identifying academic writing practices and genre conventions

  • Questioning and expanding what counts as valuable writing and research practices

  • Producing written texts in recognizable genres for particular communities

  • Experimenting with new and unfamiliar genres across different media and modes

  • Experimenting with inclusive forms of assessing our own writing texts and practices


The ISU Writing Program sees our work as aligned with missions of other units on campus:

Land Acknowledgement

Illinois State University was built on the land of multiple native nations. These lands were the traditional birthright of Indigenous people who were forcibly removed and have faced centuries of struggle for survival and identity in the wake of dispossession and displacement. We would like to acknowledge that our campus sits on the lands that were once home to the Illini, Peoria and the Myaamia, and later due to colonial encroachment and displacement to the Fox, Potawatomi, Sauk, Shawnee, Winnebago, Ioway, Mascouten, Piankashaw, Wea, and Kickapoo Nations. We also express honor to those Indigenous people who we may have excluded in this acknowledgement due to erasure and historical inaccuracy.

Source: Land acknowledgement for Illinois State University

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