WIC Culture of Writing Awards in the Disciplines

In order to recognize and value excellence in student writing at OSU, each spring the Writing Intensive Curriculum program offers the WIC Culture of Writing Awards in the Disciplines, offering $50 in matching funds to $50 from any unit that wishes to participate in this undergraduate writing prize.

As the name implies, the WIC Culture of Writing Awards are designed to help create a culture of writing in which writing is taught, practiced, modeled, valued, and recognized at the class level, the unit level, and throughout the university as a whole.

Why give writing awards in the disciplines? This recognition sends a message to undergraduates and to the university community that excellence in writing matters in the unit, is recognized by the faculty, and is rewarded. For many students, even knowing that a professor has nominated their paper for a writing award is a significant form of recognition and a source of pride.

Participating units select and nominate the best student paper written in their undergraduate courses, whether it was written in a Writing Intensive Course or not. As each unit assesses the best writing by their undergraduates, faculty have an opportunity to more clearly articulate what aspects of writing are highly valued in their field and select the student writing that best represents those qualities. Recognizing that the qualities of excellent writing are discipline-specific, awardees are selected by faculty within each discipline, with the selection process administered within each participating unit. Besides the $100 monetary award, the WIC Program issues an award certificate that is unit-specific -- for example, the WIC Culture of Writing Award in Forest Engineering, or the WIC Culture of Writing Award in Political Science.

How to Nominate a Paper

  • Select the best paper written by an undergraduate in your unit/major in the past year. Units comprised of more than one major/designator may give an award for each major/designator (but not for each concentration). The manner in which a paper is selected is up to the unit, but here are three possible models to follow:
  • Model 1: the academic unit might use the unit awards committee to ask faculty to nominate and submit their best undergraduate paper for the year. The committee chooses the awardee.

  • Model 2: the academic unit wants the awardee to be from a WIC course, so one or more WIC instructors select the best paper.

  • Model 3: the academic writing occurs in a capstone course with a team project. The unit selects the team with the best-written capstone project for the award. When the award goes to a team of four, some units divide the $100 award four ways, while other units contribute more than $50 so that individuals will receive a more substantial award.

  • Fill out the nomination form in its entirety and submit the form to Caryn Stoess no later than 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 30th, 2024.
  • If you would like to receive the award certificate in time for your spring awards event, submit the nomination form as early as possible and include that information/date with the nomination form.

After the award is processed, the $100 prize -- $50 from WIC and $50 from the unit index noted on the nomination form -- will be deposited in the recipient’s student account. Students who have graduated prior to June 2023 will be mailed a check.

Winners will be invited to submit their papers to ScholarsArchive@OSU.

Team Projects

If your unit would like to recognize a paper written collaboratively through a team project, please contact Sarah Perrault to discuss how the prize money should be disbursed among team members.

Past Culture of Writing Award Winners: 2006-2023

Read Culture of Writing Award-winning Papers Uploaded to ScholarsArchive@OSU