About The Thompson Writing Program (TWP)

Writing and research are the cornerstones of the Duke curriculum. The Thompson Writing Program (TWP) helps students develop as writers from their first through senior years at Duke and beyond, as well as supports faculty who teach writing in a wide range of courses across the curriculum. We further provide support for Duke staff and those outside the Duke community.

As part of TWP and our broader umbrella, our programs and resources include:

  • First-Year Writing: Writing 101 (Academic Writing) is required for all entering undergraduates in their first year at Duke. Writing 101 is an intense introduction to critical thinking and writing; it teaches students how to argue creatively in response to the work of other scholars and intellectuals. 
  • Minor in Writing and Rhetoric: The minor in Writing and Rhetoric provides in-depth inquiry and practice in the ethics, habits of mind, promises, and complexities of writing and speaking, across contexts and media, and with tailorable pathways to complement varying academic interests.
  • Writing in the Disciplines (WID): All students in Trinity College must also take two writing-designated courses ("W"-coded) in the disciplines. The TWP reviews WID courses and provides support for the faculty teaching them.
  • The TWP Writing Studio: Offering free, one-on-one writing consultations to Duke students, Writing Studio consultants are trained professionals who can help you move forward at any stage of your work on a piece of writing – from developing ideas to drafting to revising.
  • Faculty Write Program: The Duke Faculty Write Program aims to advance faculty writing and cultivate community through workshops, retreats, writing groups, and consultations.
  • Duke Reader Project: The Duke Reader Project pairs students in participating courses with a Duke alumnus/alumna or employee who has professional expertise and interest in their writing project.


The Duke TWP was established in 2000 as an effort to increase the role of writing in the Duke undergraduate curriculum. In 2006, the (then) UWP received a CCCC Writing Program Certificate of Excellence for our support of both undergraduate students of writing and their teachers.

In 1999, Robert J. Thompson, Jr., Dean of Trinity College, directed the restructuring of the University Writing Program into three complementary parts: Writing 20 (renamed Writing 101 in 2009), a first-year seminar in academic writing designed and taught by a multidisciplinary group of scholars; Writing in the Disciplines, a set of advanced, writing-intensive courses taught by faculty in almost every department at the university; and the Writing Studio, a space for students to work one-on-one with tutors to improve their writing. In 2008, to recognize Thompson's leadership and vision, the Duke University Board of Trustees renamed the Writing Program in his honor.