Skip to main content
Jump to Footer

Academic Writing

Writing classes at Shippensburg University provide students with the practical writing and critical thinking skills they will need to be successful in their college courses and beyond. Good writing requires a great deal more than formal mechanics and proper formatting, though these skills are essential. Writing professors at Shippensburg emphasize the importance of research, rhetorical inquiry and critical analysis as they prepare students to be effective writers.

Mission Statement and Course Goals

The purpose of Academic Writing is to introduce students to the critical writing and research skills they will need to be successful writers in college, as well as their professional lives.

For students, this class provides a supportive environment to become familiar with the language, formal conventions, and formatting that are the foundation of writing at the university level. Students also develop as writers by conducting independent research and then thoroughly evaluating and presenting their findings.

For the writing professors teaching Academic Writing, good writing is more than simply jumping through hoops to get a good grade; instead, professors emphasize the importance of audience. An awareness of audience shapes the tone and content of students' essays.

Expected Outcomes

After completing Academic Writing, students will:

  • Know how to develop a clear central thesis supported by a critical argument
  • Understand how to communicate effectively and persuasively to a specific audience
  • Have experience with the process of revision and peer editing that moves beyond simply correcting mechanical errors to expand their original thoughts and ideas
  • Integrate research from personal interviews, library resources, assigned texts and their own experience into their writing
  • Use MLA formatting effectively to document sources

Writing Resources

There are a number of writing resources for students who may need help strengthening their writing skills. Students can make an appointment at the Learning Center to work one-on-one with a writing tutor, or they can work with the writing tutors in the English Department Computer Lab, DHC 002. Tutors are trained to guide students through all stages of the writing process and can provide advice on issues ranging from organization and grammar to MLA citation.

Writing Opportunities

Students interested in the world of creative writing can join the team at The Reflector, a student-run creative journal. Students who join the staff of The Reflector participate in the tradition of preserving the creative talents of Shippensburg's undergraduate literary community which include fiction, non-fiction, poetry, photography, and graphic art.

One of the most important ways that we celebrate strong writing here at Ship is through Write the Ship, a compilation of the strongest student essays from across the university campus. Students from all colleges and every department are encouraged to submit their work. There are a variety of internship positions available on the staff of Write The Ship.

Contact the Director of First-Year Writing Dr. Nicole Santalucia Dauphin Humanities Center 128 1871 Old Main Drive, Shippensburg, PA 17257