Writing Course Proposal Form
Students must complete English 101 (Thought and Expression I). In addition, students must take three (3) courses that carry a Writing designation. One of these three courses must be a specially designated Research Writing course, typically located either within students’ majors or in the English Department (English 201: Thought and Expression II (formerly EN102). This course must be taken after English 101 and before the end of students’ second year. Another one of these three courses will, in many cases, be taken in students’ final year as part of a Senior Capstone Project within their major.
The Writing Intellectual Practice is coordinated by the Director of University Writing.
The requirements that students take two W courses following successful completion of English 101 indicated that these courses should be designed to provide advanced writing instruction and practice in the context of students’ maturing knowledge, ordinarily courses in the major field of study. Although the W course may be taken before the RW course, it is best (though not required) that the four-year developmental model guide students’ course selection and advisors’ counsel: to take W courses in the junior and senior years, with the final W course most often the capstone project or senior seminar.
Learning Goals and Course Development Guidelines
Writing courses meet several of the following goals:
- To use writing productively to learn course material through critical reading and thinking taken into writing
- To develop ideas through preliminary writing-journals, notes, portfolios, proposals, drafts- and in revising written work
- To advance thinking and intellectual development by having writing projects cross boundaries, i.e., to express concepts to differing audiences for different purposes, and in doing so to translate ideas into appropriate language and formats
- To move toward improved control over appropriate organizational formats, use id evidence and source material, and expression of ideas in standard, concise, and correct English sentences and style
- To enhance the ability to frame research essay projects narrowly and to develop a thesis integrating source material with one’s own ideas in a controlled essay
A Writing (W) course directly connects writing as an intellectual practice to the conceptual learning demanded of students in the course. Writing becomes a matter of intense, selfconscious activity as part of students’ reach for new understandings in their field of study. As such it moves from the background as a means of expression or evaluation to the foreground as a central learning goal of the course. As a mode of inquiry, it partially shaped the course structure and receives regular instructional attention across the course. Under normal circumstances W courses should enroll no more than 20 students; piloted courses most often would be capped at 15 students.
- Assignment of preliminary writing guiding students to explore and to analyze course concepts and research ideas in the field of study
- Attention to students’ analytical reading of research materials, including instruction in the nature and role of specialized language, formats, and knowledge in conveying research information
- Oral and written feedback on students’ preliminary writing, drafts, and final projects addressing issues like clarity of purpose and narrowness of focus for a project; organization and structure of ideas; and conventions of style, format, and documentation
- Class discussion of issues raised in crossing disciplinary boundaries and conveying ideas for varying audiences and purposes