Courses in Composition will help you become a better writer—a skill you will use throughout your time at Whitman and for the rest of your life. In these courses, you will explore all types of writing, from the more formal forms such as lab reports, research papers, and theses, to the less formal, such as blogs and email.

In the 100-level courses, you will focus on grammar, diction, and syntax, and will improve your skills in these areas through extensive writing practice and revision. You will also learn strategies for creating and developing your ideas and editing your work.

In the 200-level courses, you will learn how to tailor your writing for different audiences and purposes and will work on developing your writing voice and personal style.

ContactLydia McDermott, Director of the Center fOr Writing and Speaking (on Sabbatical, 2017-18).

Distribution: Courses completed in composition apply to the humanities distribution area.

Writing Proficiency Requirement

Because nearly all courses at Whitman require writing proficiency, students who are identified as needing additional work in writing must take Composition 170, Language and Writing, during their first term at the college.

Shortly after arrival on campus, all entering students will write in response to a prompt. Those writing samples, with names removed, will be evaluated by a panel of Whitman writing professors to identify those entering students who need extra attention in writing.

Every student required to enroll in Composition 170 will receive an email notifying them of the requirement before their first meeting with their advisor. Advisors will get this information at the same time and will help students register into appropriate sections.