Checklist for a Strong WIC Proposal

QUALITIES OF A STRONG WIC SYLLABUS AND PROPOSAL

1.  The course syllabus clearly indicates that the course is Writing Intensive, that students will be using writing to learn the subject content, and that the course satisfies the WIC requirements for the major.

2.  The syllabus clearly states learning outcomes, including the WIC learning outcomes.  Required WIC learning outcomes that must appear on the syllabus are:

Students in this WIC course will:

  • Develop and articulate content knowledge and critical thinking in the discipline through frequent practice of informal and formal writing.
  • Demonstrate knowledge/understanding of audience expectations, genres, and conventions appropriate to communicating in the discipline.
  • Demonstrate the ability to compose a document of at least 2000 words through multiple aspects of writing, including brainstorming, drafting, using sources appropriately, and revising comprehensively after receiving feedback on a draft.

3.  The syllabus indicates that students working on formal writing assignments will be guided through the writing process, will have opportunities to receive feedback, and will have reasonable time to revise their drafts.  Substantial revision is required, not optional.

4.  The course proposal is specific about how the course will involve informal, ungraded or minimally graded writing-to-learn exercises throughout the term (for example, brief in-class writing or reading response journals).

5.  The proposal is specific about how students will be introduced to writing in the profession or the discipline.

6.  The course proposal includes a full syllabus and the handouts (i.e. the written instructions) which students will receive for formal graded writing assignments.  The assignments are clearly developed, indicating the purpose and task of the assignment, format, schedule (topic, drafts, peer review, final draft, etc.), and criteria for evaluation.

7.  At least one formal graded assignment asks students to integrate information from more than one outside source and document the borrowed information according to the conventions of the discipline.

8.  The course requires at least 5000 words of writing (including drafts, in-class writing, informal papers, and polished papers); 2000 words of this total should be in a polished paper/papers which the student has revised after receiving feedback and critique.  Word counts are specifically addressed in the proposal. 

9.  Method of grading is specified on the syllabus.  Grades for writing form at least 30% of the overall grade for the course.

10.  Individually written papers constitute at least 25% of the course grade.  Team projects may be used in a WIC course, but students must also fulfill the WIC requirement for amount of individual writing (see #8).

11.  The course is restricted to manageable size (no more than 25 students) and is at least three credit hours.

12.  All Baccalaureate Core course syllabi must specify how the course will promote critical thinking about the course content.  WIC courses also promote critical thinking about writing.