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WI Course Objectives

The ability to communicate effectively in writing should be aligned with the learning outcomes of the course.

Outcomes Examples

  • Use writing as a tool to discover ideas.
  • Demonstrate the ability to use writing as a way of communicating ideas.
  • Identify discipline-specific ways of writing.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in disciplinary writing conventions appropriate to the course.
  • Demonstrate a degree of mastery in writing a paper in the format of the journal, Ecology.
  • Show competency in standard written, edited American English according to assigned disciplinary Style Guide(s).

WI Course Criteria

The following criteria will be met in the Designation of "Writing-Intensive" courses:

1. Instructors must provide at least one writing-related learning outcome.

Outcomes should state what the student will be able to do (i.e. writing skills learned in the course), rather than what students will do in the course (i.e. activities performed in the course).

2. Students must complete informal and formal writing assignments sequenced during the course intended as "writing to learn" and "learning to write" assignments.

Examples of informal "writing-to-learn" writing assignments include brainstorming, free writing, journals, reaction- response essays. Examples of formal "learning to write" assignments include critiques, reviews, laboratory reports, case studies, observations, essays, proposals, and research papers.

3. Students must receive feedback from instructors. The feedback should facilitate the composing process but give the primary responsibility for revision to the student.

This feedback might be supplemented by peer mentors, writing fellows, and writing center instructors.

4. Students must have an opportunity to incorporate feedback from instructors (as well as from peer mentors, writing fellows, and writing center instructors) and complete substantive revision of written work.

This feedback might provide comments rather than markings and use sequencing to facilitate invention and pre-writing, drafting and revision, substantive editing and proofreading.

5. The course must include classroom discussion of particular writing conventions—vocabulary, organization, evidence, citation—specific to the discipline or profession.

A simple exercise is to address the assignment prompt and the difference between using a thesis and hypothesis, or using primary texts or field research.

6. A minimum of 20% of the grade for the course must be based on the extent to which students display program writing criteria (i.e., as evaluated by rubrics) in the revision and editing processes of formal writing.

Course Outline Form

The "Course outline form" is now used to propose any new or existing course as writing intensive, or WI. "Appendix B" on the form poses questions relevant to the review of any course proposed as WI. If you have any questions please consult with your college representative, or contact UWP Director, Dr. David Martins