Writing, like life itself, is a voyage of discovery. ~Henry Miller
What is it we discover in the study of writing? What is it that writing, and in particular writing well, does that makes it so central to success in our academic, intellectual, and professional lives? For the American author, Henry Miller, what we find in the study and practice of writing is the process of discovery, a path by which knowledge is revealed and continually reimagined. Effective writing shows us what we know and points to what is still uncertain, orienting like a finely-tuned compass our passage through what Shakespeare describes as ‘the undiscovered country’ of human experience. As both an instrument and an object of study, writing therefore exists at the crossroads between our knowledge of the world and ourselves. What we discover then in learning to write is that through writing, we learn what otherwise we might never have known.
At Mercer University, the ability to articulate ideas and formulate arguments through writing is recognized as a cornerstone of academic development and a touchstone of higher education. Skill and effectiveness in writing are critical to life-long learning and integral to professional success and meaningful engagement throughout life—in career, in community, and in social and leisure activities. Students need to be able to write both for general and specialized audiences. Thus the ability to conceptualize and write with a clear sense of purpose must be developed. Mercer’s Writing Program is structured not only to provide training in how to write well to a variety of purposes, but also to insure that writing skills continue to be developed, practiced, and enhanced throughout the undergraduate experience. As an intrinsic part of critical thinking, analysis, and reflection, the study and practice of writing is central to Mercer’s General Education program. Students in both the Integrative Learning curriculum and the Great Books curriculum take three writing instruction courses in their first three years in order to develop this crucial transferable skill and the discoveries it offers as fully as possible. For more information on General Education at Mercer, visit the Core Curriculum Website.