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The Writing Intensive (WI) Requirement

Passed in December 1993 by the Faculty Senate, implemented in Fall 1995, and amended in May 1997, the Writing Intensive (WI) requirement stipulates that:

every undergraduate student must complete at least one writing-intensive course in the major at the 300 level or above.

The purpose of a designated Writing Intensive (WI) course in the major is to instruct students in the main types of writing practiced by members of the discipline.  Specifically, the course must give students opportunities to draft and revise based on instructor feedback so that they can practice the writing processes, forms, and conventions expected in the field.  The WI requirement was mandated by the Faculty Senate and the Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) Committee convened to oversee the requirement. The WAC Committee understands that writing varies by discipline, and thus instructors in the discipline are most qualified to teach writing practices specific to the major.

All Writing-Intensive Courses Will Meet the Following Criteria:

All WI course syllabi should include the WI Syllabus Statement.

However, the WAC Committee strongly encourages departments to set enrollments at 25 or lower. Lower student enrollments enable both instructors and students to meet WI goals successfully. 

Detailed written assignments with explicit learning goals and evaluative criteria are strongly encouraged as part of this instruction. Expectations should be communicated for all types of writing, including writing in digital spaces, as appropriate to the assignment. For example, expectations for a blog or discussion post may vary depending on the purpose for the assignment and the discipline, and these distinctions and expectations should be made explicit.

In courses in which students complete multiple short assignments of a similar nature, e.g., mathematical proofs, revision need not be required. However, instructor feedback should still be given so that students have the opportunity to improve.  If the only assignment in the course is not due until the end of the course, it should be divided into sequenced sections that receive feedback and can be revised.

Feedback should focus on how meaning is made in the discipline, including organizational strategies, written forms and conventions, appropriate evidence and source use, etc. The types of writing and the grade value assigned to them will vary according to the discipline and the assignment. Note: While peer feedback can also be a valuable part of the process, it does not replace instructor expertise.

Writing that specifically addresses and is graded on how well students address the content, intended audience, and rhetorical purposes can count towards the minimum word requirement.

Writing-Intensive Course Information

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