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Request for Writing Intensive Course (WI) 

FAQ for Faculty Interested in Teaching a WI Course

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Professor Adrienne Krstansky, Theatre

 "Writing an effective and passionate paper is similar to the steps taken to creating a character and performance.

"It's no accident that my students who write well are also great actors."

— Adrianne Krstansky (Theater)


Writing-Intensive Courses

Writing-Intensive Courses (designated WI in the Schedule of Classesintroduce students to the writing conventions and intellectual traditions of their major. Every academic discipline has its own requirements concerning form, style, and methods of citation, which Writing-Intensive courses teach. But these courses do not teach writing simply as a way to articulate what is learned. They use writing as a mode of acquiring knowledge and understanding in their particular discipline.

Writing-Intensive Requirement

Beginning with students entering Brandeis in Fall 2019, the Writing-Intensive Requirement will be fulfilled through coursework taken in the completion of their major, or through other options described in the requirements for the major. Options will vary and may include:

  • A four-credit writing intensive course within the major 
  • A two-credit writing practicum in coordination with a course or courses in the major
  • Cross-listed WI courses from different departments and programs 
  • An e-portfolio applying writing skills relevant to the learning goals of the major

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WI Learning Goals: Critical Thinking, Reading, and Writing
Upon completion of a Writing-Intensive course, students will be able to:
  • Grasp the specific problem-finding and thesis-defining conventions of a discipline
  • Understand how to make a contribution to the ongoing progress of research in that discipline
  • Write clear, persuasive, and expressive prose in a disciplinary context
  • Use appropriate research and composition procedures proficiently
  • Recognize how to evaluate their own written work in the discipline
Components of a WI Course
All Writing-Intensive Courses include:
  • A significant amount of discipline-appropriate writing
  • Frequent writing activities
  • A revision process informed by instructor feedback
  • Using writing as a means to increase mastery of the discipline
  • Instruction on the style and content of discipline-based texts
  • Models of exemplary writing from the discipline
  • Evaluation of both writing quality and content of student work.