As one of the larger academic units on the new UC Merced campus, the Merritt Writing Program (MWP) is charged with training students “to convey information to and communicate and interact effectively with multiple audiences, using advanced skills in written and other modes of communication” (from Guiding Principles for General Education at UC Merced). We offer an array of courses in which students explore the art of critical thinking, craft their written expression, and address a variety of issues and audiences. Our students learn to use language actively, inventively, and responsibly by exchanging their work at all stages of their writing process while building cumulative portfolios. Our interdisciplinary approach to writing offers students the opportunity to reflect broadly on their college education as well as to consider a range of pre-professional and academic opportunities.
Our classes generally feature the following: about twenty students per section; teacher-student conferences; frequent written and verbal feedback on writing and ideas; interdisciplinary teaching, ranging from scientific literacy to aesthetic appreciation; conversational and collaborative in-class projects; portfolio projects that emphasize process and product in writing; and detailed assessment of student learning and teaching effectiveness. All courses are writing-intensive.