Philosophy & Aims

The Institute for Writing and Rhetoric fosters the habits of inquiry, reading, writing and speech that constitute the heart of a liberal arts education.

Through its many endeavors, the Institute prepares Dartmouth’s students to be stand-out critical thinkers, speakers, readers, and writers: the first step in readiness for success here and leadership beyond. We are committed to establishing a writing and speech program without peer—one that is locally outstanding and internationally known.


Offering 125 courses in writing and speech each year, the Institute is the largest academic enterprise on campus.  Through our first-year curriculum, we comprise the single shared intellectual experience among Dartmouth students. Our rigorous upper-level courses offer our students continued opportunities to develop their capabilities in writing and speech. 


Our faculty are talented teachers and scholars whose pedagogical methods are grounded in best practices and in the ideals of liberal education. Our academic expertise spans the areas of intellectual inquiry—from work in disability studies to modernist British literature—found at Dartmouth College. Regular professional development opportunities further enhance our culture of teaching and learning by bringing faculty from across the disciplines together in ongoing discussions of pedagogy and practice.

Peer Writing Support

Further augmenting our program are our peer writing support services, which offer assistance in writing, research, multi-media composition, and multilingual writing. These peer programs are similarly grounded in research, internal assessment, and careful innovation.