Writing Intensive


The writing intensive requirement teaches writing as a mode of learning, not simply as a way to articulate what is learned. Students become familiar with the conventions and intellectual traditions of the discipline of their major and use writing to acquire knowledge in that discipline.

Learning Goals

Critical Thinking, Reading, and Writing

  1. Grasp the specific problem-finding and thesis-defining conventions of a discipline
  2. Understand how to make a contribution to the ongoing progress of research in that discipline
  3. Write clear, persuasive, and expressive prose in a disciplinary context


  1. Become adept in the research and composition procedures of a discipline
  2. Learn to evaluate one’s own written work as a contribution to a discipline

Knowledge of Conventions

  1. Become proficient in the formal writing conventions of the discipline concerning form, style, methods of citation

How to Fulfill the Requirement

The writing intensive requirement will be fulfilled for most students through coursework taken in the completion of their major. As such, departments and interdisciplinary programs will determine which writing skills and learning goals are relevant to their discipline and their major. Options will vary by major and include the following:

  • A four-credit writing intensive course offered within the major in which the writing conventions, styles and formats of the discipline are taught
  • A two-credit practicum devoted to writing offered in coordination with a course or courses in the major
  • Cross-listed courses from different departments and programs to fulfill the requirement
  • An e-portfolio demonstrating key aspects of writing skills relevant to the learning goals established in the major

Courses of Instruction

Departments and programs shall articulate the options available to declared majors in their individual sections of the Bulletin.