The academic Minor in Writing is designed for any undergraduate student who is interested in developing his or her disciplinary and professional writing abilities. Students must apply to and be accepted by the Sweetland Center for Writing to be declared in the academic minor. Applications are accepted twice a year, in the fall and winter semesters.
The application deadline for Fall 2013 admission has passed. Check back in October for information on applying for Winter 2014.
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The Minor in Writing is designed for undergraduate students who are interested in developing their disciplinary and professional writing abilities while pursuing concentrations across the liberal arts and sciences. This academic minor complements students' primary course of study by promoting discipline-specific writing competence expertise in new media and rhetorical awareness across a range of genres and modes. This academic minor is particularly advantageous for students who may already be completing writing-related coursework (or have an interest in completing such coursework) and wish to earn a credential that certifies their writing expertise to prospective employers and graduate programs.
Applications are accepted twice a year, in March and October. Students must apply to and be accepted by the Sweetland Center for Writing in order to declare the Minor in Writing.
Requirements for the application:
- Students must have completed their First-Year Writing Requirement with a grade of C or higher. Transfer students who completed the FYWR with a transfer course approved by Sweetland will need to show proof of receiving a grade of C or higher.
- Students must have at least three full terms remaining in their academic program.
- Students must be able to enroll in WRITING 220: Introduction to the Minor in their first semester in the Minor.
Materials for application:
- Completed application form
- Letter of interest
- Writing sample from any college course
- Unofficial U-M transcript (available through Wolverine Access)
Admission process and criteria:
- Submit all materials in hard copy to Sweetland Center for Writing, 1310 North Quad, by the application deadline.
- The admission process is competitive and space is limited. Because space is limited students must complete the minor gateway course, Writing 220: Introduction to the Minor in Writing, in their first semester Minor.
- Application materials are reviewed by a committee of Sweetland faculty, who make admissions recommendations based upon the quality of the writing sample, the reasons given for applying to the minor, and student’s overall academic performance.
- Students are notified of the decision via email prior to the beginning of registration.
Download the application form today!
Students completing the Minor in Writing are required to develop an electronic portfolio (e-portfolio) of the writing they produce throughout their undergraduate career. The e-portfolio provides students with the opportunity to reflect on their development as writers, demonstrate their proficiency in visual rhetoric, and showcase their writing abilities. These e-portfolios are created in the gateway course, WRITING 220 and finalized in the capstone course, WRITING 400.
Minor In Writing Program: At least 15 credits of courses. Students must complete the following courses, with an average minimum GPA of 3.3 for courses applied toward the academic minor:
- WRITING 220: Introduction to the Minor in Writing: (3), which must be completed in the students’ first semester in the Minor
- One of the following courses:
- ENGLISH 225: Academic Argumentation (4), or
- ENGLISH 229: Professional Writing (4), or
- ENGLISH 325: Art of the Essay (3)
- One Upper-Level Writing Requirement course in concentration, which may also satisfy a concentration requirement (3-4)
- One additional Upper-Level Writing Requirement course, which cannot fulfill a concentration requirement (3-4)
- WRITING 400: Advanced Rhetoric and Research (3)
Students who complete the Undergraduate Minor in Writing will demonstrate the ability to:
- Produce complex and well-supported arguments that matter in academic contexts.
- Use flexible strategies for organizing, revising, and proofreading writing of varying lengths and genres.
- Identify and implement rhetorical choices responsive to the demands of specific genres, audiences, and rhetorical situations, both academic and non-academic.
- Compose in a variety of modes, including a range of new media.
- Identify the expectations that characterize writing in their concentration, and use this knowledge to write effectively in a range of genres in that discipline.
- Use meta-language regarding writing processes, rhetorical choices, genre expectations, and disciplinary discourse to discuss writing-in-progress and writing development over time.
- Collaborate with other writers to improve writing-in-progress and produce co-authored documents.
Your final eportfolio for the Sweetland Minor in Writing will be drawn from the whole array of writing you have done and projects you have developed, both within, across, and independent of your undergraduate coursework.
In order to have access to this array, you will need to archive your work during your four semesters in the Minor. We encourage you to make a habit of archiving anything you think might be useful to you when you assemble your portfolio: not just papers or presentations, but notes, drafts, email... a broad history of your compositional process, whether for coursework or for your own purposes. To streamline archiving, we have an online location for you to save your work, as well as a form that accompanies each new item to remind you what it is and why you saved it. You'll learn how to use this archive in your WRITING 200 class.
This archiving process will provide you multiple resources to choose from. We call these artifacts – these can be textual (for example, a written essay), multimedia (for example, a video essay or podcast) or a hybrid (for example, a PowerPoint presentation).
One way to imagine the relationship between your archive and your eportfolio is to think of your archive as a closet, filled with garments for every situation and climate, and your eportfolio as an actual outfit, artifacts selected and assembled from the archive/closet. Part of what you will learn in this program is how to design an eportfolio to meet the needs of various rhetorical occasions, like those presented by job interviews or grad school applications, as well as the final Minor portfolio itself.
Your eportfolio will showcase your selection of artifacts for the purpose of displaying the range and quality of your work, as well as your understanding of that work and how best to present it.
Your final Minor in Writing portfolio will contain the following components:
- Your Directed Self-Placement (DSP) essay
- 1 major artifact from your First-Year Writing Requirement Course
- 1 major artifact from each course you've taken that fulfills the Minor requirement
- Your WRITING 200 course
- An Upper-Level Writing Requirement course in your concentration
- A second Upper-Level Writing Requirement course in your concentration or another field
- Your English department course (ENG 225, ENG 229, or ENG 325)
- Your WRITING 400 course (your major capstone project)
- At least 3 writing artifacts produced outside of coursework in various modes
- At least 3 additional reflective artifacts of your choosing
- A link to the writing blog to which you contributed over the course of the Minor
- An evidence-based reflective essay that introduces your final portfolio
- At least one artifact chosen must include all components of the writing process for that assignment, including:
- some aspects of invention
- rough drafts
- peer and instructor feedback
- responses to feedback
- revisions, and
- final draft
- Of the artifacts included, at least three must be in various modes/media (such as an audio essay, or a peer critique letter, or a PowerPoint presentation, etc.).
The archive can be found on CTools; you will see the Writing Minor Archive tab when you login. Follow the instructions on the archive home page to create your archive Profile and get started archiving! Each time you complete a piece of writing that is meaningful to you (whether personally, professionally, academically, etc.), please archive it by uploading it to the drop box and completing the Artifact Record form. Please note that we’re defining writing broadly to include any relevant medium, whether it be a paper, PowerPoint, video, blog post, mind map, etc.
The Minor in Writing blog exists as a venue for conversation, reflection, and cohort-building for the entire Minor community, and it provides an ongoing record of your growth as a writer within the program. The blog has three sections -- Gateway, Capstone, and Community -- for the different phases of your time in the Minor. In your gateway and capstone courses, it will be a place to think through class readings, reflect on your writing process, and exchange ideas and comments with classmates who share your learning experiences and care about writing as much as you do. On a broader scale, the Community section of the blog allows you to converse with all members of the Minor in Writing program, and to maintain your sense of connection with the community, even when you are not enrolled in shared classes. Here you will reflect on new writing experiences, share successes and challenges, articles and websites, and generally keep in touch.
All sections of the Minor in Writing blog are publicly available to anyone with the link, but they are not available to search engines (so if someone Googles you, your Minor blog posts will not show up).
The nitty-gritty details
After you are accepted into the Minor, your gateway course instructor will add you to the blog, and you’ll receive an email from WordPress containing a username and password; follow the link and log in, and you will be taken to your “Dashboard” where you can create your profile and your first post. You can also click on “Visit the site” at the upper left of your screen to go to the blog main page.
To-dos and to-remembers
- Subscribe to the RSS feeds for your class blog (Gateway or Capstone) and the Community blog. Then you will know when your friends have posted, and you can be the first to leave a comment!
- After you log in for the first time, update your profile and select your full name on the "Display name publicly as" dropdown menu, so that Minor classmates and community members know who you are!
- Add a brief bio (and even an avatar, if you want) to introduce yourself to the Minor community!
- When you add a new post, always, always, always select the blog section in which you want to publish by checking the category for Community, Gateway, and/or Capstone blog. If you don't check a category, your post won't show up!
- Also check the category box for your cohort (e.g., 2013 Winter Cohort) -- that will allow you, your friends, your Minor in Writing instructors, your advisors, and everyone to find all the posts from a single cohort.
- If you want one of your posts to be restricted from public view, you can set the post visibility to Private within the Edit Post page -- that way only members of the Minor community can view it if they are logged in.
- In the semesters between your gateway and capstone courses, contribute to the Community blog at least once a month, and comment on the other posts you read!
To help you achieve your goals for the Minor and assure your progress through the portfolio archiving process, you should plan to meet at least once each semester with an advisor to discuss your academic plan, assess your progress, and get answers to any questions you may have. Graduating Minors must meet with their advisors in the semester before graduation to complete their Minor Release form. Advisors are also available to review your blog, archive, and portfolio with you in order to brainstorm, discuss choices and revisions, consider layout, visual rhetoric, navigation, and more.
To meet with a Minor in Writing advisor, please schedule an appointment on the Sweetland website here.
Julie Babcock (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Paul Barron (email@example.com)
Louis Cicciarelli (firstname.lastname@example.org)
T Hetzel (email@example.com)
Shelley Manis (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Raymond McDaniel (email@example.com)
Naomi Silver (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Sweetland Center for Writing hires two graduating undergraduates who have completed one of the following: the Sweetland Peer Tutor Program or the Sweetland Minor in Writing to work as paid interns from mid-May through mid-August. Interns work 15-20 hours per week between 8am and 4:30pm, Monday-Friday. Interns will work closely with each other and Sweetland staff and faculty on several writing center initiatives. Click here for more info.