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The Writing Program at CHC

The Writing Program at CHC

Writing can be an expression of creativity, a simple mode of communication, and also a vehicle for a higher level of thinking. Writing is a crucial skill for life.

At Chestnut Hill College, we want students to have a strong basis in writing in order to succeed academically and their jobs later on. We've designed a writing program to meet each student's individual needs. 

Writing Center and Tutoring
Male teacher tutoring a female student

Located in St. Joseph Hall, Room 333, the Writing Center offers individual tutoring, group workshops, and a resource library. To learn more about the lab and how to schedule an appointment, visit their Web page.  

 

The First-Year
Female student looking at paper

Before new students arrive on campus, the Chestnut Hill Writing faculty assess students to determine the best fit for their first writing class. Over half of those students take ENGL 100: Essay Writing, and all FY students take Foundations in the Liberal Arts (FILA 120), a reading and writing course. Students study works from ancient to modern times, across a variety of disciplinary perspective. They consider big topics such as human nature, inequality, and the nature of government.

Students write several essays and practice the skill of summarizing, which reinforces the relationship between reading and writing and is a skill that crosses disciplinary boundaries. Following those classes, students move to research writing in ENGL 101 or 105. Students research a topic for most of the semester, as each assignment builds on the one before. The CHC Librarians work with ENGL 101 students as well and have created a specialized library guide for the class. In addition, the writing faculty have developed a custom book for the students in this course. Writing classes at CHC have no more than 15 students, to support strong faculty mentoring of students in their writing process. In addition, many of the ENGL 101 sections are "service-learning" classes, using service to the community to enhance the writing and researching process.

Following those classes, students move to research writing in ENGL 101 or 105. Students research a topic for most of the semester, as each assignment builds on the one before. The CHC Librarians work with ENGL 101 students as well and have created a specialized library guide for the class.  In addition, the writing faculty have developed a custom book for the students in this course. 

Writing classes at CHC have no more than 15 students, to support strong faculty mentoring of students in their writing process. In addition, many of the ENGL 101 sections are "service-learning" classes, using service to the community to enhance the writing and researching process. 

 

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The Following Years: Writing Intensive and Senior Seminar
Psychology major shows her seminar on social media

Writing does not end in the first year. Students write in most of their courses and are later required to take a writing intensive class and a senior seminar in their major, in which they demonstrate their writing and researching skills in their discipline. 

The writing intensive course, which is the third part of the writing sequence, is meant to build on the skills of both the first- and second-level courses and prepare students for academic research within a specific discipline.

Students must take at least one writing intensive course before graduation. Students are encouraged to take the writing intensive course in their major and may be required to do so. Senior Seminar may not be used to satisfy this requirement.

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Creative Writing Minor
Female teacher talking with female student.  A world map is in the background.

The Creative Writing Minor gives students an opportunity to explore creative writing while they pursue another major.   Courses expose students to a range of writing styles, including the "The Art of Travel Writing," "Screen Writing," and "Writing Poetry"

The Grackle, Blogging and Speakers
The Grackle cover

Students have opportunities to explore writing in other venues.

  • The Grackle, the College's Literary and Art Magazine, is published by students once a year.
  • The College sponsors lectures and workshops with notable writers.  The events are listed in our Events calendar.
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If you have questions about the writing at CHC, please feel free to contact the Writing Program Coordinator, Dr. Keely McCarthy.

Dr. Keely McCarthy
Associate Professor of English
mccarthyk@chc.edu