St. Louis Community College Meramec logo.

Four images of students on the Meramec campus.

Welcome to the Writing in College Home page

This is the main page for the film Writing in College: Students and Professors Talk About Their Craft. On the left is a link to each chapter of the film. Although the film "hangs together" as a whole, the assumption is that instructors will use each chapter separately as it fits within their own syllabi. Read the synopsis of each chapter below or simply click on the chapter links to the left. To return to this page after viewing a chapter, click the "Return Home" link below each media window.

About the project

Motivation is a problem for many developmental and first-year college composition students. Some students think that they simply have to “get this writing course out of the way” and never worry much about writing again. This film follows St. Louis Community College-Meramec students after they transferred to four-year institutions to document their experiences--and those of their professors--in the context of various writing assignments across a variety of disciplines. The resulting film establishes the nature and importance of college writing throughout a student's academic career. The material is available to be used by composition and other general-education faculty to inform their teaching and motivate their students.


"Introduction" Synopsis

The Introduction presents an overview of writing in college. Juniors and seniors think back to when they were first-year college students and reflect on their initial writing experiences and earliest thoughts about college writing (length: 7:00).

"Why Write?" Synopsis

In the first chapter, students and professors reflect on the reasons that we write so much in college, from writing as a process of discovery to writing that communicates those discoveries to others (length: 13:04).

"What is College Writing?" Synopsis

This chapter examines product of the writing process. Students first discuss what they feel professors want from them in terms of quality college-level writing, and professors talk about their own expectations. Then students and professors discuss the qualities of an essay, including the basics of the three-part structure (length: 15:54).

"The Writing Process" Synopsis

Students discuss their writing process in this chapter, emphasizing the value of starting early. Students and professors discuss the stages of prewriting, drafting, and revising. All agree that the revision process is perhaps the most important part of the process (length: 18:22).