Fundamental to the Writing-Intensive Course Program is the premise that
writing constitutes an important mode of learning—not just a means of
testing learning—in all disciplines. Writing is an activity that
empowers the learner and that leads the learner
to develop and augment critical thinking processes intrinsic to
academic inquiry. Writing also is a means of creating and exploring
knowledge in an academic field as well as a way of understanding the
language and methodology of a discipline. For all these reasons, it is
crucial that students write during every stage of their college
The guidelines for writing-intensive courses include the following:
They will reflect a philosophy compatible with that outlined in
the Writing Board’s Goals Statement.
They will require substantial and ongoing writing experiences in
forms appropriate to the discipline and to the course. The Writing
Board recommends a balance of in-class and out-of-class writing and of
informal and formal writing activities. Examples of informal and formal
writing assignments include brainstorming, free writing, journals,
reaction-response essays, critiques, reviews, laboratory notebooks and
reports, case studies, observations, essays, proposals, and research
They will involve students in the composing process (prewriting,
shaping, drafting, revising, editing, and proofreading) and allow for
substantive revision of work.
They will provide opportunities for response to work and support
the development of writing abilities through peer review, conferences
with instructors, and/or tutorial assistance.
They will stress elements of effectively written English
organization, development, grammar, sentence sense, style) and
emphasize clear, cogent communication which
is directed to an appropriate audience.
They will be regularly scheduled courses. Special topics;
independent or honors studies; senior projects or theses are not
eligible for writing intensive credit.
Considerations of Writing Intensive Courses
Writing is an ongoing activity throughout the course.
The course stresses the process of gaining knowledge as well as
Students need opportunities to work on stages and/or drafts of
assignments, receive comments from their instructors and/or peers, and
revise their work.
Faculty members should consult with their department chair when
deciding which course(s) should be considered as writing-intensive.
Writing-intensive courses are limited to 20 students and may be
designated writing-intensive for all sections of the course or may be
It is recommended that the faculty member proposing a WI course
attend at least one Writing Board workshop, retreat or event.
Faculty members will prepare a packet of material for each
course consisting of:
A narrative including supporting information demonstrating why a
course should be
A sample syllabus
The documents are submitted to the chair, who will write a memo
to the chair of the Writing Board to request consideration.
The department chair will pass the documents to the Writing Board
Chair. The Writing Board will review the material and either a)
recommend the course to the Curriculum Committee for final approval; b)
invite the faculty member to clarify issues prior to recommendation; or
c) suggest modifications and ask for the course
to be resubmitted. Following approval by the Curriculum Committee, the
Provost must approve the course, which will then be designated a
writing-intensive course. If a faculty member decides to modify an
existing writing-intensive course, s/he must resubmit the course.
Preparation of the documents :
A. Writing Intensive Course Proposal Form (see links above)
Include all of the following
Instructor. Note that the course designation of WI is specific
to the faculty member submitting the course for such a designation.
Exception: an upper level senior seminar type course with a consistent
format that is taught on a rotation basis by full-time faculty. Be
certain to note any need for a WI designation of multiple sections.
Course Title and Number
Writing Requirements. Summarize the number and types of writing
assignments to be assigned (graded and ungraded)
B. Narrative (1 page or less). Include a description of how the
course fits the criteria of a writing intensive
course. The applicant is expected to explain the various
ways in which writing will be used as a mode of learning.
C. Syllabus. Should clearly reflect the commitment to writing along
with the opportunities to work on stages and/or drafts of assignments,
receive comments from their instructors and/or peers, and revise their
work. A copy will be kept on file.