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The Writing Program

Writing at the University of North Florida

The University of North Florida has a story about writing. Like many institutions of higher education, our story of writing has an intricate history which chronicles the struggle between student preparedness, faculty expectation, organizational mission, and cultural value. And as writing experts will attest, to speak of writing, to write about writing, is to engage in examining and sometimes even naming a complex set of skills, abilities, and principles that include thinking, reading, problem solving, and yes, writing.  

Writing can be performative, expressive, deliberative, informative, and/or persuasive, among other things. One can look at an institution’s writing curriculum as part of an aggregate vision of what writing means to its faculty, its students, and its culture. For the University of North Florida, this story of writing emerges (and continues emerging) from its own history, its student and faculty populations, its disciplinary and cultural responsibilities, its legislative obligations, and its institutional and public communities.  

Writing is part of that comprehensive network, a crucial node between skill and performance, between thought and articulation, between success and failure but such vitality often places the importance of writing into an ironic state: its importance is an unstated presumption, left unspoken because of course it is vital, essential, and necessary. Part of the mission of the Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) is to speak about writing, to reveal it to our population, examine it, test it, and improve it so that it is stated, and in that speaking, give it an opportunity to become once more a stronger component of our students’ educational experience.  

QEP: Writing Around the Curriculum

The University of North Florida’s Quality Enhancement Plan, Writing Around the Curriculum, is a five-year initiative focused on improving student writing skills. The implementation of the QEP began in 2019, and the impact report will be delivered during the 2024-2025 academic year. By directing its efforts toward evidence-based writing and effective revision strategies, the UNF QEP supports the university’s mission to prepare students for success as professionals and as citizens of the world.  

The University of North Florida’s Quality Enhancement Plan encourages a culture of writing to build a community of writers by expanding/scaling up the existing writing supports it offers both students and faculty. The UNF QEP will enable university faculty to consider and develop how they approach writing in their courses; it will simultaneously increase the number of opportunities students have to learn to write and write to learn throughout their university experience.  

Our QEP goal is simple: graduating our students as responsible citizens who can read texts carefully, cite sources responsibly, and communicate their ideas, thoughts, and plans clearly. We do this by building a university culture where writing is not simply course-based. “Around” embraces a holistic vision of writing as a communication space between faculty and students, between students and employers, and between the university and its stakeholders. The payoff comes in knowledge transfer: students grow into writing from their first year to their last, and they carry it into their internships and their careers. 

For a copy of Writing Around the Curriculum, please email Professor Linda Howell at

"I Write Like" Initiative 

What do you write like? The Writing Program & Center encourages students to reflect on their own writing and to understand that their writing has a unique style. We wish for writers to take ownership of their words and to realize the impact their writing can manifest. Moreover, we want writers to have fun and enjoy the play of putting words together. The “I Write Like” creative writing exercise aims to engage students with these goals. At public-facing events, like Market Days, our consultants connect with students and promote the Writing Center’s support to the University community. 

Students are excited to discuss their writing in their own words and to record their ideas for peer consumption while retaining authorial anonymity. This dynamic instills the exercise with a freedom infrequent within many students’ preconceived ideas of writing. The result is a community-engaging creative writing exercise in which writers reflect on their own writing, imagine how they will describe their writing, and enjoy perusing other writers’ responses to the same prompt. 

Students writing what they "write like" on a white board.