The LSA Curriculum Committee recognizes and endorses the importance placed on writing throughout the curriculum, as affirmed by the Faculty’s adoption of the First-Year and Upper-Level Writing Requirements into the LSA Faculty Code. The Committee further recognizes the significant role of writing in fostering and consolidating student learning even in courses that are not designed to be writing intensive.

We encourage faculty to integrate regular and varied modes of writing into their courses as an effective reinforcement of course content. Under certain circumstances, the Curriculum Committee may suggest that a proposed course would benefit from longer or more frequent opportunities for student composing:

Distribution Credit

Courses for which distribution credit is requested can benefit from a strong writing component, due to the opportunity it provides students to express in their own words their understanding of the important paradigms, principles, ideas, accomplishments, and modes of analysis characteristic of the field and discipline. When distribution credit is requested, the Curriculum Committee’s main concern is whether the proposed course content addresses the area distribution guidelines; at the same time, the Committee encourages all faculty to consider incorporating appropriate forms of writing into their courses. It is understood that the role and style of writing in different distribution areas will take a variety of different forms. Writing assignments may range from formal, revised essays, lab reports, or research reports as a primary means for assessing student learning, to short reflections, responses, or blogs that complement exams and other forms of assessment.

Credit Hours and Course Level

On occasion, the Curriculum Committee will conclude that a proposed course should have its content augmented to match the number of credit hours or the course level requested. When that happens, the Committee may suggest increasing the frequency or length of writing assignments, precisely because of the value the Committee places on writing. The Committee always invites alternative suggestions from the course proposer, who may have another vision of how the course could be enhanced.

Faculty are invited to consult the Sweetland Writing Center at swcinfo@umich.edu for assistance designing writing prompts and for examples of how writing can be incorporated into and foster student learning in a variety of disciplines.


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