You are here

Framework for Success in Postsecondary Writing


Council of Writing Program Administrators et al. “Framework for Success in Postsecondary Writing.” Jan. 2011,


Members from the Council of Writing Program Administrators, The National Council of Teachers of English, and the National Writing Project joined forces to develop this framework as a method for describing the “rhetorical and twenty-first century skills, as well as habits of mind and experience critical for college success.”

Writers of this document promote the need for students to write across curricula at all grade levels, along with the cultivation of habits of mind and experiences with reading, writing, and analysis so that they may find success in credit-bearing college courses. Habits of mind are listed first as: curiosity, openness, engagement, creativity, persistence, responsibility, flexibility, and metacognition. They are specifically defined and unpacked in the context of writing. Experiences with writing, reading, and critical analysis are listed as: developing rhetorical knowledge, developing critical thinking through writing, reading and research, developing flexible writing processes, developing knowledge of conventions, and composing in multiple environments. These are also explicitly defined and unpacked in the document.

Classroom Application

Overall, the framework is an easy to read document, replete with opportunities for educators to reflect upon and examine current practices in the teaching of writing. The document emphasizes what teachers and schools can do to create authentic writing tasks with real purposes and audiences to build students’ capacity for writing in different contexts.