As writing teachers, we spend considerable time thinking about how documents come into being, how writers navigate between rhetorical situations, and how individuals learn the craft of writing. In fact, these questions represent some of the most pressing overarching points of departure for our most exciting and generative formal research as well as for our most fruitful everyday conversations with each other.

As a result, we’re continually examining a range of finished documents in order to learn more about how the texts’ constituent elements manage to move audiences to action. These dispositions toward language mean that we often find ourselves examining, for example, the processes that aid in the production of text, the histories of genre development, and the rhetorical theories that support effective  communication across diverse modes.

We’re also keenly aware of the stages of development that take place as writers transition from high school to college and from college to civic and professional engagement.  We focus on helping writers to become excellent communicators in the various communities that constitute their day-to-day lives.

In other words, a portion of our discipline’s focus is devoted to understanding how people become exceptional, mindful writers in their professions as well as  in their civic and personal lives. We hope that you will draw on our expertise as you study writing throughout your time at James Madison University, and we particularly encourage you to take advantage of the wealth of knowledge that your teacher brings to your section of GWRTC 103.  At the same time, we hope, also, to learn more from you about how our course does and does not address your needs as a developing writer, so please contact us with any and all questions, concerns, and comments.

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