Tuesday, August 18, 2009

For 396 students - General Thoughts about Writing Requirement

From the Campus Guidelines for General Education:

1.2.4 Courses approved to meet the Advanced Composition requirement must involve writing assignments that (a) demand analysis and synthesis of the subject matter of the course, or in the case of writing courses in the rhetoric and communication disciplines, application of the principles under study; (b) require substantial original composition (typically totaling at least 20 to 30 pages over the course of a semester); and (c) involve multiple drafts throughout the course of the semester. By special permission of the General Education Board a two-course sequence may be certified as fulfilling the Advanced Composition requirement, if the writing component of the sequence meets the standards specified for certification of a single course; credit for Advanced Composition will not be given for completing only one course in the sequence.

We will stick to both the letter and the spirit of the requirement. The reflective writing will achieve some of this, but there will be no revisions on the reflections. So we will do some other work as well that will entail multiple drafts. There will be 3 additional "writing" projects. The first two will be in a preassigned formats. The third will be you choosing to do another in one of the first two formats.

Schedule-wise, divide the semesters into the following chunks:
First three weeks - do extra reading to prepare for the first assignment
Next four weeks - work on first writing project.
Subsequent four weeks - work on second writing project.
Final four weeks - work on last project.

Grading-wise, each of the projects will be worth an additional 10% of the grade. The shrewd student will note that for students in 396 we have now allocated 130% of the grade. We will simply divide the total points earned by 1.3 and thus re-norm accordingly.

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