G.E. Course Proposal for Writing Intensive Course Proposal
Graduation Requirement: Writing Intensive
Department__________________________________ Course Number _______
Course Title_______________________________________ Units ________
Submitted for: 1) Major ____ 2) General Education ____ Area____
Contact Person_____________________________________ Phone ________
I. Submission shall include the following:
A. A proposed course syllabus which must include: catalog description of the course; prerequisites; student learning objectives; assignments; texts; reading lists; materials; grading system; exams and other methods of evaluation. The proposed syllabus must also indicate the number (minimum two), approximate length, and due dates of writing assignments. If more than one section is offered, provide a description of what would be considered common to all sections and what might typically vary between sections.
B. A statement indicating
1) the means and methods for evaluating the extent to which the criteria of Writing Intensive are met for all course sections, and
2) the steps the department plans to take to ensure that instructors comply with the category criteria and who is responsible?
II. Indicate how the course meets the following criteria for Writing Intensive. Relate the statement to the course syllabus and outline. Be as succinct as possible. Courses must comply with the general criteria for Writing Intensive courses:
A. The course must build on the basic skills and knowledge acquired by students in their foundation courses in General Education or the major.
B. The course must expand students' knowledge by examining complex issues.
C. The course must expand students' abilities to reason logically and to write clearly in prose.
D. Students must be required to write not less than 5,000 words of clear and logical prose (not to include simple narrative or diary writing).
E. Instructors must work actively with students to sharpen analytical abilities and to improve their writing styles.
F. Writing assignments must be spread over the entire semester (with at least 3,000 of the 5,000 words due before the last two weeks of instruction).
G. Instructors must provide timely responses and evaluation of each writing assignment, and evaluations and comments must not only be about the subject matter content but also about writing skills.
III. If you would like, you may provide further information that might help the G.E. Course Review Committee understand how this course meets these criteria and/or the G.E. Program Objectives found on pp. 2-3 of the "Statement of Policies Pertaining to the G.E. Program" of August, 1991.
Submit proposals to the General Education Office in Sacramento Hall 234 .
Recognizing the value of writing in all disciplines, as a tool in learning as well as conveying knowledge, the Academic Senate mandated that the teaching of writing be an all university responsibility. To that end, the Senate recommended that three units of Writing Intensive be a graduation requirement.
The chief aim of Writing Intensive is to promote students' ability to write logically and clearly, using standard written English, in their major discipline or in a discipline outside their major.
The Writing Intensive requirement can be satisfied in one of three ways: a) Departments/programs may specify that the Writing Intensive requirement must be met in the major; b) In cases where the requirement is not specified as required in the major, the requirement must be satisfied by taking an Writing Intensive course in the General Education program, or c) student's choice.
Departments/programs wishing to have courses approved as Writing Intensive must submit the course syllabus to the General Education Review Committee which shall review and approve the course for listing as Writing Intensive. (General Education courses must also be approved for G.E. listing in the normal way.)
Courses designated as Writing Intensive build on the basic skills and knowledge acquired by students in their foundation courses in General Education or the major. These courses are to expand students' knowledge by examining complex issues and they are to advance students' abilities to reason logically and to write clearly in prose.
The English Composition and Critical Thinking courses and the Writing Proficiency Examination are prerequisites to all Writing Intensive courses. Some Writing Intensive courses listed in the General Education program may explore more specialized topics and may thus require prerequisites, but most are to be courses of a broader nature and generally require no formal preparation in the discipline offering the course. Writing Intensive courses not in the General Education Program may also have prerequisites, but they should focus on the broad and general rather than the more technical areas of a discipline.
Students are required to write not less than 5,000 words (20 typed, double-spaced pages) of clear and logical prose in Writing Intensive classes. (Once a course is approved for Writing Intensive, all students enrolled in the class, whether they are taking it to fulfill their Writing Intensive requirement or not, must write no less than 5,000 words in order to receive a passing grade.)
An important aspect of the task of instructors is working actively with students to sharpen their analytical abilities and to improve their writing styles. Simple narrative and diary-type writing will not fulfill the requirement.
Writing assignments must be analytical in nature, discipline specific and spread out over the entire semester. (At least a total of 3,000 words of writing assignments must be due before the last two weeks of instruction.) Instructors must provide timely responses and evaluations of each writing assignment. Evaluations and comments must only be about the subject matter content but also address the writing skills. Additionally, evaluations and comments must be given to the students early enough to be reviewed before their next formal writing assignment is due.
Recommendations for Implementation
Although Writing Intensive courses have a 5,000 word requirement, this word requirement can be met by both formal and informal writing assignments. Instructors might require 10 pages each of formal and informal assignments (journals, responses to reading, for example). Yet all should require analysis in order to promote learning as well as improved writing skills.
Although the number of writing assignments depends upon the discipline and nature of the course, a study conducted by the Writing Intensive Committee in Spring 1988 discovered that those students who had been assigned a number of shorter assignments (usually four 5 page ones) reported that their writing had improved as a result, in part, of more frequent feedback. Those with only two long assignments reported that they did not feel the assignments had helped them improve their writing.