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Assessing Writing Across the Curriculum

Minimum Writing Requirement for All General Education Courses

The minimum requirement applies to all general education courses.  Courses that are designated as “writing intensive” have additional writing and assessment requirements.

Each major program will designate at least one required 3000- and one required 4000-level course within the major as writing intensive (WI). The 3000- and 4000-level WI courses will be offered at least annually.

    • Writing is included as a teaching and learning activity.
    •  Students must write at least 1200 words (about three pages double-spaced, 12-point font).
    • Written work must rigorously explore the subject matter of the course and apply a writing style appropriate to the discipline.

    Written work and instructor responses to student writing must stress the conventions and expectations of writing in the academic setting as well as in the business and professional world, including attention to audience and purpose, discipline-specific conventions

  • a) WI courses reinforce and develop writing skills by using writing as an integral part of the teaching and learning process.


    b) Writing and the writing process are emphasized throughout the course using a variety of formal and informal writing activities and assignments.


    c) The course must require a minimum of 3000 words (about twelve typed pages) of graded writing, including at least one significant writing assignment that emphasizes the writing process and includes opportunities for drafting, feedback, and revision. Students should receive periodic evaluations of their writing, and they should be required to redraft one or more papers in light of the instructor's critique. Ordinarily, students will write a series of papers over the course of a semester, not one long-term paper. A single long paper (such as, for example, an honors thesis) may be acceptable, however, only if it is drafted in sections that are reviewed during the semester and if the entire paper is revised at least once before the course ends. The instructor is expected to provide formal and periodic feedback via margin notes on papers, or through private conferences on aspects of the actual writing presentation, organization, style, etc., as well as addressing the substantive arguments of the papers.


    d) At least 10% of the course grade is based on written assignments. Programs are encouraged to include written work as a higher percentage of the course grade.


    e) Class size is limited to no more than 20.


    f) Course syllabi for WI courses will include the following statement:


    “____ is a writing intensive course that includes writing as an important teaching and learning tool and writing assignments as a significant part of the course grade.”