Revised March 2010
The ability to write effectively is one of the fundamental goals of a liberal arts education. In writing-rich courses we strive to help students develop fundamental writing skills so that they can use their writing to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences and for a variety of purposes.
Goals for college-level writing include attention to:
- Audience and purpose;
- Clarity of prose;
- Clear organization;
- Effective use of evidence;
- Appropriate diction;
- Effective use of Standard English.
Learning Outcomes for WR Courses
In writing-rich courses we also help students to:
- Understand writing as a process and begin to develop an effective process of their own;
- Learn how to seek and use feedback;
- Gain an awareness of audience and of voice and begin to see themselves as part of a community of scholars/writers;
- Learn how to apply forms of attribution and citation as appropriate;
- Understand accepted guidelines for academic honesty;
- Develop confidence in their writing, both through experience and also by producing at least one polished piece of their own writing
Main Components of a WR Course
Number and Variety of Assignments
- A WR course will normally have 3 or more writing assignments. These assignments may include papers, posters, lab reports, web pages and other formats and types of writing;
- These assignments may be components of one large writing project or several smaller papers, or some combination of the two;
- Informal, ungraded, writing assignments may also be used to help students create a polished piece of writing.
Opportunities for Feedback
- A WR course will offer students feedback on their writing;
- This will take place through faculty comments or individual conferences and may also include: writing tutors; peer review; class conferences; writing workshops; use of a Writing Assistant; and other opportunities;
Opportunities for Revision
- A WR course will provide students with opportunities for revision;
- These may include rewriting to improve a grade; producing drafts of a paper in succession; polishing a paper for the Sophomore Writing Portfolio; or something else.
See “Fact and Fiction”: A brief version of WR guidelines for faculty.