Graduate Studies in Writing and Rhetoric



Graduate study in Writing and Rhetoric at Northeastern University is focused on four core areas: teaching and assessing writing, community engagement, diversity and identity, and empirical research methodologies. At Northeastern, teaching and research are interconnected across the various communities in which we work, extending from the university into the city of Boston. Our partnerships also include work with international communities. Some of the community partnerships we have fostered include faculty writing groups at Northeastern, student tutoring at 826 Boston and a local high school, and digital language archives and education for the Cherokee Nation. Our commitment to diversity informs our research and teaching, including research on fairness in writing assessment, decolonial methodologies, and rhetorical education of court advocates. We also have strong ties to the Northeastern Digital Scholarship Group, which supports digital modes of research, publication, and collaboration. Recent seminars have included Writing and Community Engagement, Rhetorical Education, Globalization and the Geopolitics of Writing, and What is Good Writing? Throughout the graduate experience, students find a supportive learning experience that provides students many opportunities for both qualitative and quantitative research as well as support for professional development and publishing.



The Writing and Rhetoric group at Northeastern University comprises a dynamic mix of faculty, lecturers, and graduate students. Our tenured and tenure-track faculty, including Elizabeth Britt, Ellen Cushman, Chris GallagherNeal Lerner, and Mya Poe, are nationally recognized figures in community engagement, writing assessment, writing centers, writing across the curriculum, writing program administration, legal writing, rhetoric and law, and the teaching of writing. They have earned major awards in teaching as well as research, including the Richard Braddock Award, the CCCC Outstanding Book Award, the James Berlin Memorial Dissertation Award, the IWCA Outstanding Scholarship Award, the NCTE David H. Russell Award for Outstanding Research, the NCTE Award for Best Article Reporting Historical Research in Technical or Scientific Communication, the CCCC Advancement of Knowledge Award, Best of the Independent Journals, and the Wenner-Gren Dissertation Grant. They have also held leadership positions in major professional organizations, including NCTE, CCCC, and IWCA. Our faculty serve on the editorial boards of Research in the Teaching of English, Assessing Writing, The WAC Journal, Studies in Writing and Rhetoric, Written Communication, and Literacy in Composition Studies. Currently, the flagship research journal of NCTE—Research in the Teaching of English—is co-hosted at Northeastern.

Writing Program


The Writing Program at Northeastern is a nationally recognized program, winning the 2015 Certificate of Excellence from the Conference on College Composition and Communication. Doctoral students teach both first-year and upper-level writing courses and all students have opportunities to intern with faculty in specialized rhetoric and writing studies courses in the English major, including Introduction to Rhetoric, Introduction to Writing Studies, Creative Nonfiction, and Processes of Writing and Tutoring. Through its multiple venues, the Writing Center offers a number of traditional and ad hoc opportunities for writing community support.