Community Writing


The Department of English at The Ohio State University offers three advanced-level community writing courses that fit within either the "Lived Environments" or "Traditions, Cultures, and Transformations" G.E. Themes. Two of these courses are Service Learning courses and are, therefore, considered "High-Impact, 4-credit-hour" courses that fully meet the specific GE Thematic Pathway requirement.

Community Writing Staff

For questions about courses, curriculum, assessment and teaching, please contact:
Dr. Beverly Moss, Director
Allison Hargett, Graduate Student Writing Program Administrator

Course Offerings

English 2367.07S: Literacy Narratives of Black Columbus (service learning) (soon to be renumbered "English 3016S")

GE(N): Lived environments theme; High-Impact, 4-credit hour course

This service-learning course focuses on collecting and preserving literacy narratives of Columbus-area Black communities. Through engagement with community partners, students refine skills in research, analysis and composition; students synthesize information, create arguments about discursive/visual/cultural artifacts, and reflect on the literacy and life-history narratives of Black Columbus. 

English 3014: Writing about the U.S. Folk Experience

GE(L): Second-Level Writing and Social Diversity in the United States GE(N): Lived Environments theme

English 3014 is a writing course designed to help students become stronger writers and stronger critical thinkers. Toward that end, the course mobilizes folklore as the critical “lens” through which students will do this writing and thinking. We will study cultural expression as it is presented in a variety of different forms.  Students will examine the experiences, traditions, and expressive and material culture of everyday Americans from diverse groups and subcultures.

(Coming Soon) English 3041S: Literacy Narratives of Central Ohio Communities (service learning)

GE(N): Traditions, Cultures, and Transformations theme; High-Impact, 4-credit hour course

Literacy Narratives of Central Ohio Communities is designed to offer students a high-impact educational experience working with community partners to collect and preserve oral histories from specific members of the Central Ohio region. All versions of this course include a variety of common activities and assignments designed to achieve this goal. This includes not only conventional academic writing and scholarship, but also opportunities for field research, digital media production, public presentations of research and community engagement.


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Goals and Objectives


By the end of the course, students will have written a minimum of 5000 total words (roughly 20 total pages of written work) and a variety of texts, including at least one researched essay, with opportunities for response and revision.


Rhetorical Knowledge: Students will further develop their understanding of rhetorical situations as they read academic texts and practice tailoring their work for specific audiences. The course reinforces the rhetorical principles that students address in the first writing course. In addition, by the end of the course, students should be able to:

  • Read academic texts and understand how disciplinary conventions shape the texts they read.
  • Compose texts that respond to the needs of appropriate audiences, using suitable discourse conventions to shape those texts.
  • Use academic conventions of format and structure when appropriate.

Critical Thinking, Reading and Writing: Students will further develop their critical thinking skills as they analyze and synthesize academic texts. The course should reinforce critical reading and thinking skills. In addition, by the end of the course, students should be able to:

  • Find and evaluate appropriate material from electronic and other sources.
  • Locate, evaluate, organize and use primary and secondary research material. Secondary research material should be collected from various sources, including journal articles and other scholarly texts found in library databases, other official databases (e.g., federal government databases), and informal electronic networks and internet sources.
  • Analyze and critique sources in their writing.
  • Juxtapose and integrate ideas and arguments from sources.
  • Use strategies—such as interpretation, synthesis, response, critique and design/redesign—to compose texts that integrate their original ideas with those from academic sources and other documents.

Knowledge of Composing Processes: Students will continue to hone their revision strategies and reflect critically on their writing practices. The class should reinforce the fact that writing is a flexible and recursive process—including practice in generating ideas and text, drafting, revising and editing. By the end of the class, students should be able to:

  • Select and apply appropriate writing processes to match the context.
  • Revise for a variety of technologies and modalities.
  • Use composition and revision as a means to discover and reconsider ideas.
  • Reflect on the development of their revision strategies and consider how those strategies influence their work.
  • Produce successive drafts of increasing quality.

Knowledge of Conventions: Students will study academic conventions and apply appropriate conventions to their own work. The course reinforces and expands the knowledge of conventions. In addition, by the end of the course, students should be able to:

  • Understand why conventions vary.
  • Recognize the genre conventions employed by various academic disciplines.
  • Employ appropriate textual conventions for incorporating ideas from sources (e.g., introducing and incorporating quotations; quoting, paraphrasing and summarizing.)

Coursework develops students’ skills in written communication and expression, reading, critical thinking, oral expression and visual expression.

  • Through critical analysis, discussion and writing, students demonstrate the ability to read carefully and express ideas effectively.
  • Students apply written, oral and visual communication skills and conventions of academic discourse to the challenges of a specific discipline.
  • Students access and use information critically and analytically.

Coursework fosters students’ understanding of the pluralistic nature of institutions, society and culture in the United States and across the world in order to become educated, productive and principled citizens.

  • Students describe and evaluate the roles of such categories as race, gender and sexuality, disability, class, ethnicity, and religion in the pluralistic institutions and cultures of the United States.
  • Students recognize the role of social diversity in shaping their own attitudes and values regarding appreciation, tolerance and equality of others.