for Writing-Assisted Courses
Unlike other courses at the
College in which writing is assigned, a "Writing-Assisted" (W) course is
distinguished by the level of attention a teacher pays to the design of
writing assignments, the way that some assignments may promote content
acquisition, the process by which they may unfold, the way they may
sequence and build upon each other, and the way that they may offer
writers opportunities to experience authentic communication with others through a workshop
process. Each W course shares these particular features:
- Formal and
Informal Writing: These courses involve at least 12 pages of
“formal” writing and at least 5 pages of “informal” writing.
“Formal” writing means writing that is responded to by the
professor, revised by the student, and then evaluated. “Informal”
writing means writing that might be responded to and perhaps graded,
but is mainly designed to help students engage with course content
in a “low stakes” fashion.
- Revision: The
12 pages of formal writing are the product of a writing process; in
other words, students will receive feedback from the professor and
then revise; they may also receive feedback from peers.
Enrollment: All W courses are capped at 21 students (cap may be
exceeded with professor’s permission).
- Informal Writing:
often brief, in-class, or overnight exercises meant to initiate
thinking or to deepen students’ engagement with course content.
- Formal Writing:
various conventional academic and disciplinary forms of writing, where
the aim is the mastery of particular polished features of prose
(whether in essays, lab reports, proofs, critiques, student peer
- Draft: the initial
but full attempt at a “formal” assignment.
- Revision: the
process of fundamental alteration and improvement of a draft of a
formal assignment usually based upon feedback from peers, tutors, and
written feedback on drafts, which often takes the form of global
- Grading: the final
evaluation of usually formal writing, often involving a global comment
on the effectiveness of the final revision efforts.
- Workshop: a
classroom event, often taking various forms, in which the student’s
text is the center of the discussion, with a focus on improving