Embedded Skill: Written Communication

Requirement – A student will be required to have four WC courses.

  • One WC course will be the Simpson Colloquium.
  • At least one WC course will be in the student’s major area of study.
  • Two of the three post-Simpson Colloquium WC courses must be above the 100-level.

Requirement Purpose

Written communication is the ability to communicate successfully via handwritten, printed, or electronic text.

Writing is an essential skill that students need in order to comprehend, analyze, and synthesize a variety of texts in a variety of disciplines. In college, students will learn to write in multiple contexts: in the Simpson Colloquiums, in general education courses, in courses for their majors, and in elective courses. Effective writing is also a skill they will find indispensable in their professional lives beyond the undergraduate academic setting.

Engaged citizens rely on strong writing skills, whether they are exploring and developing their own ideas, responding fairly and responsibly to the ideas and perspectives of others, or crafting the polished, compelling and persuasive expression so often necessary to shaping and creating a diverse and just community.

Definitions:  These terms are used in the Course Characteristics and Student Learning Outcomes below.

  • Writing:  Examples include responses (reading / journal), essays (personal or academic), reports, proposals, abstracts, journal / literature reviews, research papers, portfolios.  The 3,000-word / 12-page total can be comprised of multiple assignments.
  • Discipline-specific writing:  Examples include proposals, lab reports, research papers, portfolios.
  • Individual writing:  If collaborative writing is assigned, each student’s contribution must be calculated and applied to the student’s individual 3,000-word total
  • Feedback:  Substantive feedback includes written instructor comments and/or conferencing on issues encountered in the pursuit of the student learning objectives.

Required Course Characteristics

A course in this area will

WC CC1. offer explicit instruction in writing
WC CC2. require each student to submit at least 3,000 words of graded individual writing demonstrating the learning objectives of this embedded skill
WC CC3. provide students with substantive feedback on the 3,000-word minimum of graded writing assigned
WC CC4. give students the opportunity to revise the work in accordance with that feedback
WC CC5. normally have no more than 18 students enrolled per section


Embedded Skill Learning Objectives

Through completion of a WC course, students should be able to

WC SLO1. articulate an idea and formulate a thesis as appropriate to the discipline
WC SLO2. identify and correct errors in grammar and/or style in written communication
WC SLO3. provide credible evidence to support claims and arguments in written communication
WC SLO4. organize thoughts in a logical fashion in written communication
WC SLO5. incorporate elements of written communication that address the needs of a specific audience in written communication


WC Proposal Form