Dr. Jacob Witt


As an Associate Professor in a vibrant English Department, I specialize in composition, rhetoric, linguistics and ESL. I have been teaching at NU since 2010, and teaching English composition since 2007. Before I came to the field of composition studies, I taught ESL in Japan for three years with the JET Programme and taught public speaking and debate in Iowa for two years. I am intentionally interdisciplinary in my work, teaching, and life. I love teaching in a department where a linguist, a 19th century literary scholar, a creative writer, and a minister sit down to develop writing and literature courses. The English Major exemplifies interdisciplinary work while equipping students with the necessary skills to work in a broad range of jobs and/or to continue on to graduate school. I also coach our storied speech and debate team.

I continue to do research in Second Language Acquisition with a focus on L2 writers. In addition to my academic research, my role as a speech and debate coach necessitates a broad knowledge of politics and argumentation. If you’re ever interested in either of these areas, I’m happy to chat. 

Outside of academia, I enjoy spending time with my partner, three children, cat, and dog. We love going for walks to the park, pulling dandelions in our yard, and drinking coffee in downtown Kirkland. I grew up on the Olympic Peninsula, and I love living in the Pacific Northwest.

B.A.   Interdisciplinary Studies: History                  Northwest College          1999
M.A.   Communication Studies: Political Rhetoric  U. of Northern Iowa         2007
M.A    English Language and Linguistics (ESL)     U. of Arizona                  2009
Ph.D.   SLAT (Syntactic Analysis and L2 Comp)    U. of Arizona                  2018


Associate Professor and Tenure granted Fall 2019. 

Books on the Shelf

History and Political Science:
A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn
For Reasons of State by Noam Chomsky
Whose Freedom? by George Lakoff

Syntax: A generative introduction by Andrew Carnie
Understanding Minimalism by Hornstein, Nunes, & Grohmann
Verb Meaning and the Lexicon by Ramchand

Critical Questions by Nothstine, Blair, & Copeland
The Philosophy of Literary Form by Burke
Language as Symbolic Action by Burke

All of Maya Angelou
All of Par Lagerkvist
All of Edgar Allan Poe

Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals
The Book of Confessions, PCUSA
Hymns of Glorious Praise