Writing in the Disciplines Guidelines
Student Learning Outcomes
After completing the Writing in the Disciplines (WID) requirement, successful students shall be able to do the following:
- demonstrate further development of fundamental competencies gained in freshman composition;
- demonstrate the ability to use the major discipline's research practices, using the databases, bibliographies, and documentation conventions appropriate to the discipline;
- demonstrate the ability to use the writing strategies and to write within the genres expected in the relevant academic and professional communities; and
- demonstrate command of the major discipline's discourse practices, vocabulary, and style.
Please note: This requirement specifically addresses preparation for appropriate writing skills for the student’s chosen career path; students who change majors may need to take additional WID course(s) to meet the requirements of their new major. This determination will be made by the student's major/degree program.
Each course or course sequence (see below) must:
(1) be approved by the University General Education Committee; course sequences must be submitted to the General Education Committee as a group, rather than intermittently as individual courses; and
(2) involve more than just having students "write"; they must include explicit instruction, guidance, and feedback concerning the disciplinary specific writing and research expectations, practices, and strategies, including but not limited to:
- locating and evaluating disciplinary appropriate secondary resources;
- understanding and using disciplinary appropriate genres;
- generating and developing content;
- identifying and using appropriate organization strategies;
- using disciplinary appropriate styles (sentence style, word choice, etc.);
- using disciplinary appropriate formatting and documentation styles;
- using effective revision strategies and practices; and
- using effective editing/proof-reading strategies.
Typically, the WID requirement should be satisfied by coursework within a student’s academic program or a closely related discipline. WID courses thus can be restricted to specific majors and can carry other prerequisites. If a program desires to allow students to satisfy the WID requirement by taking another program's WID course(s), the program providing such course(s) must have agreed to do so.
The University General Education Committee has approved two general academic approaches that programs may use to satisfy the WID requirements:
- A single, three-hour writing course designed or designated by the academic program (will be identified as "Single Course Instruction"; see, for example, BIOL 3150, CIST 3000, ENGL 2410, etc.). Such courses must involve explicit instruction in disciplinary writing and research practices, comprehensively addressing all four SLOs. Approximately 70-90% of the final course grade should derive from the assessment of students' successful engagement in both the writing process and the production of competent writing.
- A minimum of three (3) writing intensive courses as designated by the academic program - typically taken as a sequence of courses (to be identified as "Sequenced Course Instruction"); although each course need not completely address each SLO, programs must demonstrate that all four SLOs will have been met by the time students complete the sequence. Each course must devote at least 1/3 (1 hour equivalent) of the course to explicit instruction in disciplinary writing and research practices. At least 1/3 of the final grade in each course should derive from the assessment of the writing process and writing product.