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Effective January 2002


The Advanced Writing in the Disciplines Program (AWDP) approves the departmental curricular offerings that satisfy the Upper-Level Writing Requirement (ULWR). The AWDP course is the final requirement of the writing program that all students in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts must complete in order to graduate.

The ULWR, which is generally completed within the student's major, aims to help LSA students recognize and master the writing conventions of their chosen discipline, so that, upon graduation, they are able to understand and communicate effectively the central concepts, approaches, and materials of their discipline. The program is based upon the assumption that the best way to master disciplinary knowledge is to express that knowledge in the form of clear and incisive writing.

Course Goals: The goals of your course should relate to the intellectual and curricular aims of your department. By the end of the semester, students should possess the skills of organization, know or have mastered analysis, and be able to use data or evidence appropriate to the assignments. Their language should be clear and concise, and they should be competent with the conventions of the written language within the discipline. They also should be competent with the conventions of any particular format required in the course (e.g., the scientific journal format).

Writing Assignments: Writing assignments should be closely related to course content. Clear and explicit guidelines for assignments help prepare students for challenging rhetorical tasks. By the time students complete your course, they should have written on a variety of levels and completed a significant amount of polished writing with no less than half of that writing turned in first in draft form and returned with suggestions for revisions. Assignments can take many forms: journals, research papers, short critical analyses, lab reports, etc. Ideally, writing assignments should be sequential (to facilitate the development of ideas and concepts), dispersed over the course of a semester (to enhance continuity), and revised (to promote reflection and rigor). We understand that paper length and requirements vary by discipline and, as a result, we leave the paper length requirements up to the instructor.

Writing Instruction: The methods of writing instruction should be clearly indicated on the course syllabus. Indicate how students will receive feedback on their writing (through conferences about papers, class discussion of common problems in organization and development, written comments on preliminary drafts, etc.). Students' benefit from written feedback on (mid-process) drafts and class discussion about student texts. Individual conferences with students about their writing enhance their concept of audience and reader expectations. Structured peer review is an effective way of responding to student writing.

Faculty Role: Faculty members should fully engage in writing instruction and modeling the discipline's written discourse, communicate expectations about style and method, and supervise closely the composition pedagogy of GSIs.

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