September 5, 2008

About Writing Intensive Courses at PCCC

What are writing-intensive courses as implemented at PCCC?  A writing-intensive course incorporates discipline-specific writing extensively into the course, and the writing contributes significantly to each student's grade. These courses are in many subject areas.

The instructor in a WI course uses writing assignments to promote the learning of the course content, as well as to increase the students' critical thinking and information literacy skills. Instructors use both formal and informal writing assignments.

Courses designated as writing-intensive will:

1. Incorporate frequent informal, short-writing assignments to help students generate ideas and better engage with their learning;
2. Require students to do formal writing assignments, totaling up to no less than 2,500 words (approximately 8-10 typed pages) during the semester;
3. Incorporate research requirements that exercise information literacy competencies in at least one of the writing assignments;
4. Use the same assessment rubric for writing as is used for the CWE scoring;
5. Have a pre-requisite of EN 101;
6. Not be taken concurrently (that is, only one IW course may be taken by a student in any given semester);
7. Have enrollment limited to 25 students; and
8. Be approved by the Office for Academic Affairs.

Upon completion of a writing-intensive course, students should be able to:
  •  Use the process of writing, including pre-writing and revision strategies;
  •  Support their ideas in writing with specific details and evidence;
  •  Structure their ideas in an organized format;
  •  Edit their writing according to the rules of standard academic English;
  •  Evaluate their sources for credibility and academic appropriateness;
  •  Employ techniques for integrating information, such as paraphrasing, summarizing, and quoting;
  •  Exhibit the ability to think critically;
  •  Demonstrate, through their writing, familiarity with the College's standard, evaluative writing rubric; and
  • Cite sources using an appropriate documentation style.