Advanced Writing Course Proposal

Automatic Temporary Approval Granted for Some Courses

There are many courses at Miami University that could become fully approved as Advanced Writing courses. The LEC recognizes that most of these courses were not developed with the requirement in mind. Our consensus is that the best way to handle this difficult transition is to fully institutionalize the temporary approval process that has already been advanced for some courses and sequences.

Many courses have been granted two-year temporary approval to allow for the thoughtful development of these courses as they evolve toward fully approved courses. These include CAS writing in the major courses, some newly developed ENG courses and other courses identified as fulfilling some writing requirement throughout the university. Doubtless, there are other units that have plans for writing courses that we want to learn about and help with.

New/Continuing Courses

This form is designed for new or continuing courses that have not already received approval. All departments seeking to designate courses that fulfill the advanced writing requirement can submit proposals.

Appended below is the overview of the writing requirement. It may serve as a handy reference during course development.

Overview for Full Approval

Courses that are granted temporary approval must develop over time (2 years) to include the following three components. Please consider these as guidelines in writing the statement (below) that describes how the course will develop to meet Advanced Writing guidelines.

  • Student writing as the central focus. For a course to be an AW course, the instruction of writing must be the primary focus of the course and more than 50% of class time must be devoted to writing instruction and activities about writing. We would like to define writing instruction and activities about writing as broadly as possible so that departments have the flexibility to develop courses appropriate to their disciplinary frameworks. These activities could include: in-class writing assignments to generate ideas for writing; analyzing written work for its rhetorical effectiveness and/or its disciplinary conventions; class discussions about writing conventions and strategies; analyzing particular audiences and genres for writing; lecturing on writing; group work focused on revising writing and responding to peer's writing; workshops on locating, evaluating, and integrating research sources, editing and style activities; and the discussion of disciplinary-based research strategies and methodologies as they relate to generating written work. Students should read samples of the kind of writing that they are asked to produce, as well as essays or books specifically about writing (e.g. advice for writing particular genres, strategies for revision, techniques for integrating research sources). While there will likely be some days spent primarily on disciplinary content, writing should be covered on a weekly basis and at least 50% of the course should be dedicated to writing and/or writing instruction. Writing assignments must also constitute a predominate portion of the final grade. Courses that are currently focused predominately on disciplinary content could be adapted to meet this requirement by either redesigning the course to make writing a more central focus or by adding credit hours .to the course.
  • Frequent opportunities to write with ongoing instructor feedback on multiple drafts of major projects. Revision is a central part of the writing instruction of any advanced writing course. Multiple assignments with drafts and instructor feedback on drafts are required to give students the opportunity to revise on multiple occasions. Assignments can be structured in a variety of ways to best meet course goals. For example, assignments could be independent or could be linked together, and instructors could assign multiple drafts of sections of a larger assignment, or single drafts of smaller assignments. Many other configurations are possible and there are many ways to satisfy this requirement. While peer feedback is a valuable tool in writing instruction, it cannot substitute for instructor feedback.
  • Multiple, substantial writing projects (at least 7500 words over the course of the term). The writing projects that contribute to the word count can be structured in multiple ways, as best fits the goals of the course. Assignments that provide frequent opportunities for writing are generally preferable to larger, infrequent assignments. For example, a course that assigns a 2500 word paper with two drafts would technically satisfy the word count requirement but would not provide frequent opportunities for students to write throughout the semester, and careful justification of such an approach would be necessary. Any drafts that receive instructor feedback contribute to the word count; these are not all required to be formal writing assignments. Courses can also count around 2000-2500 words of informal writing that does not require intensive instructor feedback. Assignments that use other modes of expression (e.g. visual, spoken, and various forms of multimedia) can substitute for up to 2500 words of this requirement if they include drafts and revision based on instructor feedback. These assignments should take an equivalent amount of student time and preparation as the writing that they replace.