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Department of Writing Studies

Exploring all aspects of written communication
Our department is the first of its kind in Australia. Modelled on writing centres in the US and Europe, we engage with the New Rhetoric to develop your academic writing, critical thinking and public speaking abilities.

We focus on composition, argumentation and cross-cultural communication across print and digital media. We also adapt New Rhetorical concepts for the Australian context – reviving, redefining and expanding the scope of classical rhetoric in light of contemporary theory and practice.

Our academics hold qualifications in a range of disciplines including rhetoric and composition, classics, philosophy, visual arts, English, religious studies, archaeology, digital cultures, linguistics, Australian studies and higher education studies.

Through the lenses of these disciplines, we examine written, spoken and visual texts. Those texts include academic and professional documents, advertisements, films, songs, art, statues and monuments.

Our study offering

Drawing from established research in a wide range of fields, in Writing Studies you will learn to combine various research methods including rhetorical, discourse and textual analysis to examine written, spoken and visual texts at various stages of production, from conception to transmission and consumption.


*Available to all students studying the Bachelor of ArtsBachelor of Economics and Bachelor of Visual Arts, as well as all combined Bachelor of Advanced Studies degrees.  

Our research

We engage with the latest research in writing and rhetorical theory. We focus on composition, textual editing, argumentation and cross-cultural communication in print and digital media, adapting New Rhetorical concepts in the Australian context. You will graduate equipped for the modern work environment, with both general and specialist knowledge complemented by your capacity to learn continually.

The difference between the almost right word and the right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.
Mark Twain

Our people


Visit the School's events calendar  to see our upcoming events and seminars.

UPDATE: In light of COVID-19 developments, please be advised that most events will be held online.

Learn more about the University’s advice regarding COVID-19 here.

Department Chair

Associate Professor Rebecca Johinke

School of Literature, Art and Media

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