Writing Intensive Course Guidelines
A writing intensive course recognizes the importance of writing as a way of thinking, and therefore incorporates writing at multiple stages of the teaching and learning process. Unlike a writing instruction course in which class time is devoted to learning the tools of the writing process, a writing intensive course uses various kinds of writing assignments to deepen thinking about course content. The writing intensive course helps develop students’ identities as good writers by linking their writing proficiency with their desire to know more about the field of study, to engage in questions in the discipline, and become a participant in academic discourse.
Classes are capped at 18 students (per the guidelines for seminars), although in cases where a department cannot offer a seminar, a lecture/discussion course capped 25 is acceptable. Each student will produce approximately 20 pages of finished academic prose, although the required amount of un-graded, informal, or draft writing may be much higher.
Writing intensive courses differ from writing instruction courses in both their learning goals and in their course methodologies.
|Writing INSTRUCTION Courses||Writing INTENSIVE Courses|
|Learning goals are focused on writing competencies.||Learning goals are focused on course content.|
|Instructional time is focused on covering the full scope of the writing process, from idea development (brainstorming, concept mapping, etc.), researching, drafting, seeking feedback from readers, revising, to editing.
|Instructional time uses informal and formal writing in various ways to explore course content.|
|Students are taught various modes of writing including (but not limited to), expository, evaluative, and argumentative.||Class includes appropriate, discipline-specific writing assignments, such as lab or research reports, summaries of scholarly articles, critiques of or responses to the research of other authors, interpretations, proposals, and other thesis-driven arguments.|
|Students write several papers of various lengths, but each time going through the complete writing process in an explicitly identified way with the rest of the class.||The course may include a longer research or term paper but rather than it being written in one draft and submitted at the end of the semester, the course includes a series of smaller writing assignments that are designed to structure students’ learning sequentially|
|Rubrics are used to clarify expectations for students and make the grading process transparent.||Rubrics are used to clarify expectations for students and make the grading process transparent.|
|Faculty member works individually with students on areas that need development, including macro and micro level concerns.||Faculty member works with students on macro level concerns so that students learn the discipline’s methods and standards, but will expect students to take responsibility for their own improvement in identified micro level areas of concern (which includes seeking tutoring at the Writer’s Place).|
|Students produce finished prose which reflects their development as scholars who have rethought and refined their arguments throughout the process, and as writers who have crafted words for a specific audience.||Students produce finished prose which reflects their development as scholars who have rethought and refined their arguments throughout the process, and as writers who have crafted words for a specific audience.|