The development of skills in reading and writing are fundamental to any liberally educated person. The Rhetoric Program at Hampden-Sydney College is an important part of our academic program, and has been central in giving our students skills in communication that are essential in their lives outside the gates to the College. Our students are expected to comprehend what they read in all disciplines, and are challenged to write in courses at all levels and in all academic departments.

Critical Reading and Writing

Summary:  In the measures of reading and writing, Hampden-Sydney students rate more highly the amount of reading and writing they do than students from other baccalaureate-granting arts and sciences schools and considerably more than students from the entire population of NSSE respondent schools. Moreover, this occurs in both the first year and in the senior year, where the same pattern is found.

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Reading and Writing survey

NSSE Reading and Writing survey items:

  • Prepared two or more drafts of a paper or assignment before turning it in.
  • Worked on a paper or project that required integrating ideas or information from various sources.
  • Number of assigned textbooks, books, or book-length packs of course readings.
  • Number of books read on your own (not assigned) for personal enjoyment or academic enrichment.
  • Number of written papers or reports of 20 pages or more.
  • Number of written papers or reports between 5 and 19 pages.
  • Number of written papers or reports of fewer than 5 pages.