Institute for Writing and Rhetoric Receives Grant to Study Best Practices


Dartmouth’s Institute for Writing and Rhetoric has received a $200,000 grant from the Davis Educational Foundation to research and assess the best practices for writing instruction across diverse disciplines.

“Christiane Donahue and her colleagues at the Institute are at the forefront of writing instruction. They provide Dartmouth students with the exceptional opportunity to acquire vital skills that will last them a lifetime. This grant will allow the Institute to continue its important work in developing our undergraduates into strong writers who can translate their skills to any field of study, be that science, business or the arts,” said Acting Provost and Dean of the Faculty, Professor Carol Folt.

The project, called Re-envisioning Composition: Assessment, Knowledge Transfer, and Emerging Literacies, provides 85 Dartmouth faculty the opportunity to study the latest research in the fields of composition and literacy. They will assess the College’s current writing program, explore theories through new assignments and courses, and develop criteria for ongoing evaluation to ensure that Dartmouth’s writing program continues to be among the best in the country. “We are excited about the opportunity this grant provides for informed and ongoing curricular growth,” said Christiane Donahue, Director of the Institute for Writing and Rhetoric.

“The ability to capture an idea and convey it effectively through the act of writing is a crucial part of a liberal arts education,” said Lindsay Whaley, Associate Dean of International and Interdisciplinary Studies. “Since its inception in 2008, the Institute has continually sought to support this critical component of the Dartmouth experience. The Institute oversees the first-year writing program and speech curriculum, offers opportunities for students to become better writers and communicators, and plays a leading role in campus discussions about writing across the disciplines.”

The grant was received from the Davis Educational Foundation established by Stanton (Dartmouth Class of 1930) and Elisabeth Davis after Mr. Davis’s retirement as chairman of Shaw’s Supermarkets, Inc. The Davis Educational Foundation, established as a public charitable foundation in 1985, supports the undergraduate programs of public and private, regionally accredited, baccalaureate degree granting colleges and universities throughout New England. The foundation has provided over $75.8 million in grants to more than 139 institutions.

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