Center for Writing and Public Discourse

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Our Mission

The Center for Writing and Public Discourse (CWPD) at Claremont McKenna College (CMC) supports the school’s mission to “educate its students for thoughtful and productive lives and responsible leadership” by fostering excellence in written and oral communication. Through one-on-one peer tutoring, extensive programming, and multilingual writing support, the CWPD empowers students in all disciplines to make confident and informed decisions as they participate within a variety of discourse communities.

Our Values

We believe that developing excellent written and oral communication skills is an essential component of a liberal arts education.
We believe in encouraging students to explore and articulate developing ideas across a range of disciplines and within a variety of rhetorical contexts. 
We believe in cultivating a culture of writing and speaking that promotes inclusion and collaboration.
We believe that writing and speaking skills emerge through extensive reading, thoughtful analysis, and continuous revision.
We believe that students come to campus with a wide range of language and writing backgrounds, and we encourage students to draw upon their knowledge as they improve their written and oral communication skills at CMC.

Our Mission and Values in Action

Students work with CWPD consultants to:

  • Grow in confidence as writers and speakers;
  • Consider the context, audience, and purpose of their writing;
  • Understand and respond to classroom assignments;
  • Engage intellectually with their chosen topic;
  • Deliver relevant content in a compelling and polished manner;
  • Convey their understanding of a topic;
  • Develop a clear central message that shapes the entire work;
  • Learn to deploy disciplinary conventions regarding organization and style;
  • Present ideas in an organized and cohesive manner;
  • Discern credible and relevant supporting material; and
  • Use appropriate and interesting language.
 
Student Consultations

Student Consultations at the Center for Writing and Public Discourse

Our highly trained student consultants review drafts of papers at any stage of the writing process from any and all disciplines, including the Senior Thesis and class presentations. Consultants assist CMC students with issues related to argumentation, clarity of prose, and overall quality of composition. To schedule an appointment with one of our Writing Consultants, please click on the box above to access the TutorTrac system. You may also call extension 74142 to schedule an appointment. Consultations are also available on a walk-in-basis.

Student Language Support

Multilingual Writing Support

Mellissa Martinez, the Assistant Director of Multilingual Writing, is located in Kravis 202. She specializes in assisting multilingual students at CMC and the Robert Day School. She can provide information about American discourse conventions and clarify expectations regarding correctness and style. She can supply students with tools useful in increasing their control of communication in English, whether English is one of their first languages or is an additional language, whether they went to high school in the U.S. or abroad. To schedule an appointment, write to mellissa.martinez@cmc.edu. See more...

CWPD Programming

CWPD Programming

In order to foster a community of thought leaders and public intellectuals, the Center for Writing and Public Discourse offers a variety of workshops on writing-related topics. We bring well-known writers to speak at the Athenaeum, host hands-on sessions with professionals in journalism and writing fields, and sponsor field trips to the offices of Los Angeles-area publications. We also offer trainings each semester on library resources, the research process, and the senior thesis.