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Writing Intensive Course Guidelines

Writing-intensive courses will have an enrollment cap of 18 students and will meet the following guidelines:

1. The course requires students to produce 15-20 pages of formal writing for a specific audience and purpose.  This does not include in-class essay exams or informal writing about course content. Students will produce two or more formal written pieces unless a single longer piece written in multiple drafts is more appropriate to course objectives. Instructors will provide explicit written directions for completion of the formal writing assignments as well as clear assessment criteria; they will build into the course syllabus instruction in how to complete formal writing assignments.

2. For at least two of the formal written pieces, the instructor will intervene in the students' writing process, guiding them to generate ideas, plan a draft, and make substantive changes to produce a final draft. If a single longer piece written in multiple drafts is more appropriate to course objectives, the instructor will intervene at least twice in the students' writing process. The instructor may choose to make suggestions for revision either in written form or in conferences with students. 

3. Students will use informal writing to explore course materials, engage the readings, and reflect on course content.  Such informal writing can include any of the following and any number of other writing activities:  reading journals or logs, focus questions or discussion topics, short in-class responses to lectures or readings, invention and pre-writing for formal papers.

4. The course description and syllabus distributed to students will indicate that it is a writing-intensive course, describe the role writing will play in it, and explain any special policies related to writing such as a policy on late papers, peer writing workshops, revision, or plagiarism.

Writing-Intensive Course Procedure for approval

Faculty who wish to teach a writing-intensive course should indicate that fact on the teaching preference sheet distributed by the Chair.  Approved writing-intensive courses are scheduled at the Chair's discretion. Three weeks after the Chair has determined teaching schedules, faculty members assigned to teach writing-intensive courses will complete a writing-intensive course proposal form and submit it to the Curriculum Committee for approval or suggestions for revision. 

Faculty who would like to continue teaching an approved writing-intensive course should indicate that wish to the Chair on the teaching preference sheet.  A faculty member who teaches a course as writing-intensive one semester need not always teach it as writing-intensive.

Writing-intensive course proposal form [DOCX]
Writing-intensive course sample proposal [DOCX]
Sample description & syllabus for writing-intensive course [DOCX]