Sep 26, 2022  
USC Catalogue 2018-2019 
USC Catalogue 2018-2019 [ARCHIVED CATALOGUE]

The Writing Program

Return to: USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences  

Writing Program courses are designed to help students develop practices of reading, writing and critical reasoning that are necessary for success in academic and professional discourse. Writing Program pedagogy emphasizes small classes and frequent conferences in order to provide the highly individuated instruction and careful feedback necessary to extend the writing process and enhance the rhetorical judgment of each student. To meet the university’s writing requirement, students must complete WRIT 150  (or its equivalent) and an advanced writing course, WRIT 340 .

Jefferson Building 150 (JEF 150, mc 1293)
(213) 740-1980
FAX: (213) 740-4100


Director: Norah Ashe, PhD


Professor (Teaching): Diana Blaine, PhD

Associate Professors (Teaching): Norah Ashe, PhD; Stephanie Bower, PhD; Michael Bunn, PhD; Jeffrey Chisum, PhD; James Condon VII, PhD; Andrew De Silva, MPW; William Feuer, PhD; Nathalie Joseph, PhD; Stephen Mack, PhD; Matthew Manson, PhD; Mark Marino, PhD; Indra Mukhopadhyay, PhD; John Murray, EdD; Erika Nanes, PhD; Shefali Rajamannar, PhD; Eric Rawson, PhD; Sandra Ross, MA; Scott Smith, PhD; David Tomkins, PhD; Robert Waller Jr., MPW; William Wyatt, MPW

Assistant Professors (Teaching): Jennifer Sopchockchai Bankard, PhD; Jessica Wells Cantiello, PhD; LauraAnne Carroll-Adler, PhD; James Clements, PhD; Carlos Delgado, MFA; Elizabeth Durst, PhD; Antonio Elefano, JD; Jay Fisher, MPW; Farida Habeeb, PhD; Amanda Hobmeier, PhD; Ashley Karlin, PhD; Rory Lukins, PhD; P.T. McNiff, MPW; Sarah Mesle, PhD; Amy Meyerson, MPW; Cory Nelson, PhD; Daniel Pecchenino, PhD; Steve Posner, MPW; DeAnna Rivera, JD; Deborah Sims, PhD; Ellen Wayland-Smith, PhD

Lecturers: Emily Artiano, PhD; Justin Bibler, PhD; Tamara Black, PhD; Amanda Bloom, PhD; Ryan Boyd, PhD; Brent Chappelow, PhD; Nicholas De Dominic, MFA; Daniel Dissinger, PhD; Amber Foster, PhD; Mary Glavan, PhD; Rochelle Gold, PhD; William Gorski, PhD; Taiyaba Husain, MFA; Meridith Kruse, PhD; Kate Levin, MFA; Dana Milstein, PhD; Meghan Olivas, PhD; Vanessa Osborne, PhD; Benjamin Pack, MPW; Leah Pate, PhD; Stephanie Payne, MFA; Jessica Piazza, PhD; Alisa Sanchez, PhD; Atia, Sattar, PhD; Anne Schindel, PhD; Mary Traester, PhD

Lower-Division Requirement

WRIT 150 Writing and Critical Reasoning–Thematic Approaches  focuses on the rhetorical principles and techniques necessary for successful college-level writing. Special attention is paid to critical thinking and reading, sentence-level fluency, research techniques, and the elements of academic argument and reasoning. WRIT 150  will not satisfy the lower-division writing requirement if taken on a Pass/No Pass basis.

Advanced Writing Requirement

All students at USC, except those who satisfy their general education requirements through the Thematic Option Program, must complete WRIT 340 Advanced Writing , an upper-division course designed to help students write on topics related to their disciplinary or professional interests. Students usually enroll in WRIT 340  in their junior year, and may not take the course earlier than their sophomore year. Different schools within the university offer sections of this course. Students should consult their major departments to determine which version of WRIT 340  best complements their program of study. WRIT 340  will not satisfy the university’s advanced writing requirement if taken on a Pass/No Pass basis.

All classes that meet the university’s advanced writing requirement teach students to write clear, grammatical, well-structured prose; to discover and convey complex ideas critically; and to appreciate the nuances of effective argumentation. The principal aim of the requirement is to develop a student’s capacity to formulate thoughtful and compelling writing for specific academic, professional and public audiences.

Preparatory Course Work

Some students are better served by taking a preparatory course before they enroll in WRIT 150 . Entering freshmen who score below a specified level on the verbal portion of the SAT take the University Writing Examination. Based on the results of this examination, certain students enroll in WRIT 120 Introduction to College Writing  or WRIT 121 Introduction to College Writing in a Second Language  during their first semester at USC.

International students take the University Writing Examination after having completed any course work required by the American Language Institute.

Transfer Credit

Students may complete the lower-division requirement by completing an equivalent second-semester composition course that is taken for a letter grade option (not Pass/No Pass) at another institution after high school graduation and prior to enrolling at USC. Equivalent transfer credit is determined by the university’s articulation officer. The advanced writing requirement must be completed at USC.

Time Limits

Students should complete the lower-division writing course requirement by the end of their first year at USC and must complete it before they enroll in their sixty-fifth unit. Transfer students who have not completed the lower-division requirement prior to entering USC should enroll in WRIT 150  during their first semester at USC, and must enroll in WRIT 150  no later than their nineteenth unit (second semester) at USC.


    Writing Program