Writing Studies Courses

Please consult the University Calendar for a full listing of our Writing Studies courses, not all of which are offered in a given year. 

Our WRS courses:
• Teach theory and practice of writing
• Explore diverse forms of academic & professional writing
• Use unique and interactive and individualized approaches to learning
• Help develop students’ critical analyses & reflection skills
• Offer dedicated sections for BP and TYP students
• Fulfill specific requirements in many bachelor programs

WRS 101: Exploring Writing
The course focuses explicitly on writing and language use as the content of the course. Students will actively engage with both the theory and practice of writing. The course combines both low-stakes discovery writing and high-stakes, polished, formal writing. It builds on The Discovery Writing Premise, which stresses that writing is a powerful and unique mode of learning that encourages students to explore course material actively, to understand and remember difficult concepts, to organize their thinking, and to evaluate what and how they have learned. Discovery writing complements other forms of learning, enriching the learning process by providing students with a physical record of their inquiry and discovery throughout a course. Please see our brochure for more information. WRS 101 was recognized with a 2014-2015 Certificate of Excellence from the Conference on College Composition and Communication. Note: Some sections are restricted to Bridging Program students.

WRS 102: Writing in the Disciplines
This course is about how to write well at university. Writing at a university-level is a complicated undertaking for a number of reasons: The kinds of writing students are required to do vary considerably from one program to another; the definition of "good" writing varies across the university; and instructors as audiences vary in what they expect from students. This course prepares you to address these concerns as you progress through your university experience. This course will be taught in a blended format (a mix of in-class and online components).
The in person component will be delivered via remote lecture while the university's COVID-19 remote teaching policy remains in place.

WRS 104: Writing Persuasive Arguments
Introduction to the principles, theories and practice of writing well supported and convincing arguments.

WRS 201: Peer Tutor Training in Writing
Students in this course will build both knowledge about and practice in working with peer undergraduates learning academic writing. They will read research and theory about commenting on peer writing, working individually and in groups with international students, and on delivering writing instruction in online environments. They will observe, critically reflect on, write about, and discuss intersections they see among the theory, research and practice to develop both practical skills and a theory/philosophy of coaching peer writers.

WRS 206: Writing Special Effects: Rhetorical Grammar and Style
This course is designed to help students develop a grammatical and stylistic awareness in their own speaking and writing, as well as in the speaking and writing of others. The course’s philosophy is based on the idea that language use is situated, public and interpretive; therefore to understand the impact of different grammatical and stylistic choices we make, we must challenge ourselves to view our language (spoken and written) within specific contexts and accept that it is always contingent.

WRS 210: Introduction to Professional Communication
Analysis of and practice in key genres, processes, and strategies for professional communication. In this course, students learn to think strategically about professional communication and writing. We analyze professional audiences and choose the appropriate genres for our communication goals. We also practice composing important professional genres such as emails, letters, resumés, interviews, presentations, and reports.

WRS 301/603: Introduction to Writing Centre Theory and Practice
The course introduces students to writing centre work and the collaborative learning theory and practices necessary to successfully work as peer writing tutors and writing instructors in universities, colleges, and high schools across the world. The course includes a tutoring practicum and guides students through readings and discussions on tutoring strategies, the writing process, plagiarism, English as a Second Language, citation styles, grammar, writing across different disciplines, research, neurodiversity and writing, AI, and online tutoring. Students who successfully complete WRS 301/603 will become eligible to apply to work as peer tutors at the Writing Services. 

WRS 601: Composition Theory
This course provides an introduction to composition theory and past and current scholarship in Writing Studies. It recognizes that composition and rhetoric since the mid-1960s have emerged as an important interdisciplinary body of scholarship, which intersects communication, creative writing, education, linguistics, literary studies, and media studies.