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Writing Program

The Writing Program offered by Saint Louis University’s Department of English teaches the fundamentals of persuasive composition. 

The program's courses provide students with foundational knowledge of the writing, research and rhetoric used in academic, professional and civic arenas. Our courses invite students to compose using a variety of technologies of the word, including traditional print and new media. Most importantly, the Writing Program teaches students how to craft effective and ethical persuasive messages, the basic components of what the Jesuits called eloquentia perfecta, or “perfect eloquence.”

Writing Program Courses

The Writing Program offers four courses:

  • English 1500: The Process of Composition
  • English 1900: Advanced Strategies of Rhetoric and Research
  • English 1920: Advanced Writing for Professionals
  • English 4000: Business and Professional Writing

Students are placed in either ENGL 1500 or 1900 based on our English Writing Placement Exam. More information about that exam can be found here.

Taking these courses in the first year of study is advisable, as they provide a foundation for subsequent work. English 1920 is reserved for students in the School of Science and Engineering. Many students will also take English 4000, usually later in their academic careers. Any questions about these courses can be directed to the coordinator of the writing program.

Most of our courses are taught in the department’s Computer-Assisted Instruction Lab in Des Peres Hall. The lab provides laptops and other digital media equipment for students in English department writing courses. 

The Writing Program also works closely with other units across campus, particularly University Writing Services.

Computer-Assisted Instruction Lab

The English department’s computer-assisted instruction lab provides students and instructors access to a variety of software, as well as audio and video equipment. These tools provide invaluable experience in research methods, source evaluation, varied forms of production and writing methods.

Faculty interested in incorporating additional media options into courses can schedule a technology consultation, including assignment design, tutorials, and technology and software purchases. The lab also offers certificate programs in computer-assisted instruction and training.


In addition to the workspace and software in the computer-assisted instruction lab, the following equipment is also available:

  • MacBook Pros
  • ZOOM Q2 HD audio/video recorders with tripods, wind guards and cables (available for 24-hour checkout)
  • Flip cameras (available for 24-hour checkout)
  • Portable video projector and screen (available to instructors and faculty only)
  • iPad Minis with OtterBox cases (available only after consultation with director)
  • Third-Generation iPads (available only after consultation with director)
  • VGA cables and Mac converters
  • Clickers for PowerPoint and Keynote presentations
  • HP Color LaserJet printers

The lab can also provide editing services, Sketch-Up for 2D and 3D modeling, stock images and video, and special printing capabilities.