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Writing Program

Motion Regarding the Requirements for the W1 and W2 courses of the Areas of Competency and Engagement (ACEs). Approved by the Faculty on November 12, 2015.

Rationale: The recently passed curriculum outlines only very basic requirements concerning W1 and W2, the courses making up the Writing Area of Competency and Engagement (ACE). The more specific guidelines below are intended to more clearly outline parameters for courses designated W1 and W2. This is to ensure some level of consistency across courses, and also to allow for better assessment tools to later be put in place.

The specific criteria below emerged from a series of discussions and surveys. Specifically, in an electronic survey conducted in September, whose results have already been shared with faculty, 77% of the faculty who responded to the survey judged the criteria to be "about right" for W1 courses. With regard to the W2 courses, 70% of the faculty who responded judged the criteria to be "about right," suggesting a healthy level of consensus regarding the criteria for both W1 and W2.

Motion: to adopt the following sets of basic requirements for the courses bearing the designation of W1 and W2 within the WAC portion of the new curriculum as adopted by the Hanover College faculty in October 2015.

W1 Level: a one-semester course to be completed within the first year.

  • Instruction in the basics of expository writing (thesis, organization, style, grammar, mechanics, evidence and source use)
  • 12 pages or more of formal writing in final draft form
  • A minimum of three papers (to maximize repetition and re-enforcement in writing skills)
  • At least one paper of 5 pages in length (to ensure that students learn to craft a sustained essay)
  • Engagement in each step of the writing process, from pre-writing to revision.
  • 35% of the grade or more derived from papers
  • Feedback through workshops, conferences, and/or peer-editing sessions
  • Instruction in the basics of information literacy (how to find and evaluate sources, how to cite sources in an ethically responsible way using a publishing style appropriate to the discipline)
  • W1 courses need not include a research paper.
  • A suggested cap of 15 students, to be implemented at the instructor's discretion

W2 Level: a one-semester course to be completed by the middle of the junior year.

  • W2 builds upon W1 courses, but also introduces students to research methods and writing within the specific disciplines
  • May be a 200-level or 300-level course
  • Can, but need not, fall within a student's major
  • Introduces students on how to formulate questions within a specific discipline, to formulate a methodology for addressing those questions, and to evaluate and employ evidence for advancing their conclusions in writing
  • 12 pages of writing in final draft form
  • Written work may take the form of multiple assignments spaced over the course of the term, or a single culminating paper that reflects various stages of the learning with the course
  • At least one research paper or other extensive essay requiring students to manage sources/ data.
  • May also include co-authored papers that result from a small-group project. (Co-authoring is a writing skills all its own that students will be called upon to use in a variety of professions, notably in the sciences and social sciences. Instructors are encouraged to find ways to keep individual students accountable for their contributions to co-authored pieces)
  • At least 35% of the grade for the course is derived from papers.