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 indispensible 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.

Required Course Characteristics

A course in this area will

  • require each student to submit at least 3,000 words of graded writing (approximately 12 standard double-spaced pages) that demonstrates the learning objectives of this embedded skill. Examples of individual writing that would meet this requirement include responses (reading / journal), essays (personal or academic), reports, proposals, abstracts, journal / literature reviews, research papers, portfolios, etc. The 3,000-word / 12-page total can be comprised of multiple assignments. If collaborative writing is assigned, each student’s contribution must be calculated and applied to the student’s individual 3,000-word total
  • provide students with substantive feedback on the 3,000-word minimum of graded writing assigned. Students will be given the opportunity to revise the work in accordance with that feedback. Substantive feedback includes written instructor comments and/or conferencing on issues encountered in the pursuit of the learning objectives listed above
  • provide the following information in their course materials
    • description of the types of discipline-specific writing students will undertake (e.g., proposals, lab reports, research papers, portfolios)
    • description of the writing process each course will incorporate (at least three of the following processes should be included: drafting, peer critique, line editing assembling portfolios)
    • type and frequency of instructor feedback
  • 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

  • articulate an idea and formulate a thesis
  • organize thoughts in a logical fashion
  • support arguments with credible evidence
  • address the requirements of various audiences
  • identify and correct sentence-level errors

WC Proposal Form