Principles for the Postsecondary Teaching of Writing

Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC), October 1989, Revised November 2013, Revised March 2015

Executive Summary

For the over 25 million students enrolled in America’s colleges and universities, postsecondary writing instruction is critical for success in college and beyond. In writing courses, students gain experience analyzing expectations for writing held by different audiences and practice meeting those expectations. This experience contributes significantly to the development of productive writing practices and habits of mind that are critical for success in different contexts, including academic, workplace, and community settings.

For the many stakeholders working to meet the challenges of this enterprise—among them faculty, program directors, deans, and college and university administrators—this statement presents a distillation of principles for sound instruction in postsecondary writing. These principles extend from empirical research in the fields of English Language Arts and Composition and Rhetoric and from existing statements developed by the field’s major organizations (including the Conference on College Composition and Communication, the National Council of Teachers of English, the Two Year College English Association, the Council of Writing Program Administrators, and the National Writing Project). They presume that sound writing instruction is provided by professionals with degree-based credentials in Writing Studies, Composition and Rhetoric, or related fields, or that have been provided with and/or have sought out professional development in this area. This particular statement is endorsed by CCCC (the largest professional organization representing two- and four-year writing instruction) and offers guiding principles and enabling conditions for sound writing instruction.

Read the full statement [1].