Requirements for All Writing Intensive-Designated Courses
Tara Pauliny, WAC Coordinator
619 West 54th Street
New York, NY 10019
Requirements for All Writing Intensive-Designated Courses:
The following WI Course requirements specify the types of writing assignments, classroom activities, and learning goals that students should experience in Writing Intensive courses.
Qualitative Requirements for WI Courses (Instructional Methods & Assignments)
The integration of the following WI course criteria will ensure that students become fluent with the elements of academic writing, practice the processes and methods commonly used by effective writers, take ownership of the language and rhetorical strategies they employ, develop a working knowledge of the structures and mechanics of standard English, and experience a variety of writing tasks and scenarios. Engaging in these types of linguistic and rhetorical activities will broaden the scope of their reading and writing abilities as well as enhance their capacity for critical thinking.
Integration of “low-stakes” and “high-stakes” writing assignments:
- Low-stakes assignments can be ungraded or count little toward the final course grade. Examples include freewriting, journals, and group writing activities. These types of activities can be incorporated as pre-reading activities to prepare students for classroom conversation, as in-class writing activities (informal “pop quizzes”), peer critique, or post-class annotations of lectures or discussions. These types of assignments help students retain important content information as well as explore how ideas and concepts in the course interrelate. They can contribute to their overall understanding of the coursework and build progressively toward more formal analytical assignments.
- High-stakes assignments typically weigh heavily on a student’s course grade. Examples include lengthier essays, final papers, and structured group projects. These types of assignments allow students to demonstrate their level of comprehension and mastery of a subject. The style of presentation for these assignments is more formal, contrasted with the often informal style of the low-stakes writing.
Integration of peer review of writing assignments:
- Peer review allows students to read and critique the writing of their peers. With guidance from the instructor, this small group or homework activity helps students to promote their critical thinking about the content of a paper, to develop a language to discuss issues of writing, and to create a community of writers in the classroom.
Integration of self-reflective writing:
-Self-reflective writing asks students to reflect upon and write about the processes they go through while composing a writing assignment. It helps students comprehend the purpose of the assignment, the difficulties they face when composing, and the successes they achieve once they resolve their writing challenges.
Quantitative Requirements for WI Courses (Instructional Methods & Assignments)
-For 100-level WI courses:
At minimum, 10 pages of formal graded writing.
At minimum, 10 pages of informal low-stakes writing.
-For 200-level WI courses:
At minimum, 15 pages of formal graded writing.
At minimum, 15 pages of informal low-stakes writing.
-For 300-level WI courses:
At minimum, 20 pages of formal graded writing.
At minimum, 20 pages of informal low-stakes writing.
-For 400-level WI courses:
At minimum, 25 pages of formal graded writing.
At minimum, 25 pages of informal low-stakes writing.
Note: The writing for any of these courses can be of varied lengths and grade value, depending upon the needs of the disciplinary field and the discretion of the individual instructors. The length and "weight" of each assignment should be explicitly expressed to students in written directions that articulate the expectations of the assignment.