Writing Program/Composition Studies Collection Development Policy


The purpose of the Writing Program collection development policy is to provide guidelines for the acquisition of library materials in the field of college composition and communication studies, for the teaching of academic and professional writing.


The Davidson Library's composition studies collection's primary intent is to support Writing Program faculty's research and teaching needs related to interrogating and improving their practices in teaching academic and professional writing.  The collection will also include resources to assist students in the mechanics of writing across the disciplines.  For instance, style manuals, guides, and handbooks.   Primary users of the collection are Writing Program faculty, lectures, teaching assistants and other members of the campus community seeking information or doing research related to writing, rhetoric and composition.

The field of composition studies draws on research and theories from a broad range of humanistic disciplines - English studies, linguistics, literacy studies, rhetoric, cultural studies, queer theory, gender studies, critical theory, education, technology studies, race studies, communication, philosophy of language, anthropology, sociology and more.   Within composition studies a number of subfields have also developed, such as technical communication, computers and composition, writing across the curriculum, research practices, history of composition, assessment, and writing center work (The Journal of the Conference on College Composition and Communication, National Council of Teachers of English.)

The UCSB Writing Program offers required and elective courses at freshman and advanced levels, as well as a minor in professional writing for intermediate and advanced students in all majors. The General Education Area A requirement requires that all College of Letters and Science students complete 3 Writing Program courses within their first six quarters.  Two graduate courses are offered for graduate students employed as teaching assistants in the Writing Program.



From within the broad range of humanistic disciplines mentioned above the core of the collection will consist of materials on academic and professional writing, teaching and assessment of writing, theories of composition, communication, rhetoric, instructional design, curriculum development, classroom practice, literacy, writing program administration.  Select materials on editing and publishing, and writing centers (online and departmental) will be selected.


Inclusions: Monographs and serials form the largest part of the collection.  Subscriptions to new journals are acquired after careful review by the Writing Program collection manager, and when necessary, consultation with the Writing Program faculty.  Reference books are sought and purchased as available.  Unpublished theses and dissertations are acquired on a highly selective basis.

Exclusions:  Textbooks, workbooks, readers (material reprinted from other sources that the library owns) and accompanying instructor's manuals that tend to become rapidly outdated  are not collected.

Geographical Coverage

Emphasis is on the United States, with limited coverage of Canada and Great Britain


English language materials will be collected, unless particular items in other languages are specifically requested.

Period Coverage

Titles purchased are primarily current publications.  Older titles are purchased as necessary.  Emphasis is on twentieth century trends and issues.


Author: barnes [at] library [dot] ucsb [dot] edu (Sherri Barnes)
Policy Last Updated: October 2004