Millersville University, Faculty Senate
Attachment #3
Faculty Senate Minutes
February 6, 2007

TO: Faculty Senate
FROM: General Education Review Committee
DATE: February 6, 2007
SUBJECT: Revised Language for W Course Guidelines

In response to questions about clarity and inclusiveness raised at the January 30 special meeting of Faculty Senate, GERC has developed revised language for W course guidelines.

Writing Intensive (W) courses

Proposed Revised Guidelines:

  1. Students practice forms of writing typical of the field. Writing assignments are designed to develop their content knowledge and enhance their communication skills.
  2. Students are required to submit at least 3500 words of graded analytical and/or argumentative prose (about 14 standard double-spaced pages)--drafts, exercises, ungraded logs, etc., are additional. Some examples of how this requirement might be met include:
    1. a research paper, report, or other project in which the student is required to define a problem, select, organize, and synthesize information around a stated thesis.
    2. short analytical essays, reports, or other projects that explore a topic with reasoned evidence and informed opinion or argument.
    3. position papers prepared by students that address pros and cons of controversial topics.
    4. microthemes that ask the student to find academic sources, organize ideas, develop a thesis and show evidence, but condense the final paper to a single page or two.
  3. Because W courses assume that writing is a process, students will be given opportunities to develop and revise papers through more than one draft. Assignments will be structured and sequenced in ways that help students improve their writing through practice and revision. Instructorsí feedback on studentsí writing will contribute to effective revision and encourage students to develop effective self-assessment.
  4. Writing intensive courses work best when they include a combination of informal and formal writing experiences for students. In addition to the 3500 words of analytical/persuasive writing, instructors may assign expressive, reflective and/or observational writing tasks. The purpose of these assignments is to bring out the studentís perceptions informally, and to increase writing practice.


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