As part of the Baccalaureate Core Committee's review of Writing Intensive courses, and in order to meet the request of several departments that they be permitted to use a thesis option as a WIC, the committee has developed guidelines that need to be met for a department's thesis option to be approved. Departments offering the WIC thesis option should submit course documents (including those distributed to students) to the BCC demonstrating that their thesis writers will meet these guidelines. The committee wants students who write a thesis to have as full a writing experience as students in regular WIC courses, learning the writing skills, types, and practices required of all WIC students.

The Baccalaureate Core Committee's guidelines (approved Nov. 11, 202) for departments using the thesis as a Writing Intensive Course are:

  • The thesis must be written in the student's major, or in the case of a student with an interdisciplinary major, in a subject area relevant to the major.
  • Students in a major who are writing a thesis will meet together regularly in a group, with faculty leadership, to discuss and demonstrate understanding of issues related to writing in the discipline; to discuss and demonstrate familiarity with a variety of types of writing used by those working in the field (for example, writing done for various audiences); and to participate in peer review of ongoing drafts of writing projects in the major.
  • The person leading the thesis writing group will be a faculty member in the discipline rather than a graduate teaching assistant.
  • Students writing a thesis will gain experience in the steps involved in the process of writing a large document over time. Documents in the process might include: thesis proposal or project description, update memos to the committee or faculty mentor, literature review, drafts of required thesis sections on which the student received feedback, a whole draft with feedback, and a final polished version.
  • Thesis writers will receive instruction in revising their writing and will perform significant revision of their writing.
  • Thesis writers will have opportunities (perhaps in the thesis writing group) to use informal, minimally graded or ungraded writing as a mode of learning and understanding content.
  • Thesis writers will write at least 2000 words of polished writing that has gone through revision in response to feedback, and a total of 5000 words including drafts. Graphics are not included in the word count. Drafts to prepare for an oral presentation can also be counted in the 5000 words.
  • Thesis writers will demonstrate in their thesis the ability to integrate and document information from outside sources.
  • Students receiving WIC credit in a thesis option will take a minimum of three hours of thesis/research credit.

Additional Recommendation:

  • It is recommended that at least one person in a department offering a WIC thesis experience have taken the WIC Seminar in order to be familiar with current research and pedagogies for helping students become better writers.