Writing Intensive Policy

All students will earn a grade of "C-" or better in at least two writing-intensive courses beyond courses required for General Education in Goals 1-11 and 13. Writing-intensive courses shall be designated in the Catalog, in the registration schedule, and on the course syllabus. Each major discipline should offer at least one writing-intensive course each year. Transfer courses do not satisfy writing-intensive requirements.

To qualify as writing intensive, a course must adhere to the following requirements as explicitly demonstrated on the course syllabus. Departments will strive to limit enrollment in such courses to 20 students when possible, or to otherwise manage faculty workload to promote writing instruction.

Writing-intensive courses comprehensively integrate written assignments with course objectives and outcomes, such that students may master course content and develop the abilities to provide professional contributions;

1. Writing assignments must comprise a minimum of 31 % of the final course grade.

2. Writing-intensive courses must provide explicit instruction on disciplinary expectations as to how to complete formal writing assignments;

Course-specific writing instruction may take many forms, including engaging students in discussions of the relevance of writing to the discipline; asking students to analyze course readings by looking specifically at the rhetorical strategies; facilitating frequent workshops to engage in interactive and context-specific analysis of writing style, usage, or mechanical issues; providing students with style guides or texts on writing appropriate to the discipline; discussing procedures for gathering and organizing information; and providing appropriate models.

3. Students must write a minimum of 3,000 words or the equivalent of finished writing, distributed over two or more formal papers that use appropriate resources. This does not include essay examinations. Group-authored documents may be part of a writing-intensive course, but each student must meet the minimum word count;

The intent of this requirement is that each student completes a substantial amount of writing. The amount of finished product that constitutes "substantial" varies among disciples. One thousand words of political science or literature differs from one thousand words of mathematical writing; in the sciences and in business and economics, figures, captions, and charts, for example, frequently require substantial effort. The emphasis here, however, should be on the completion of a substantial amount of writing.

4. Faculty will provide students with a detailed assignment sheet and a rubric explaining the specific grading criteria for each piece of formal writing. The syllabus must indicate where these are available.

5. Faculty in writing-intensive courses must provide substantial feedback on formal writing assignments and allow revision in response to that feedback.

Writing is learned through revision. A common form of feedback for revision is for students to submit drafts of all or part of an assignment with sufficient time allowed for revision. However, other forms of feedback are possible, including conferences with the faculty member. With group-authored documents, courses are expected to implement a process whereby each student benefits from a course-determined revision process.

6. Students must earn a C- or better in the course in order to apply it toward their writing-intensive course requirement.