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Writing Intensive Courses at St. Ambrose provide our students vital tools and are part of a liberal arts education foundation. Faculty can receive support, guidance and processes about courses that are part of Writing Across the Curriculum.

Course Guidelines

A typical Writing Intensive course should adhere to the following practices and principles (from Educational Policies Committee, 04/13/2004).

  • The recommended enrollment cap for a WI course is 18 students.
  • The WI course contains a significant amount of both formal and informal writing [approximately 6,000 words or 16 standard pages of text]. Discipline and course content determine the actual types of writing completed and the weight given to formal and informal writing.
  • The instructor allows for revision time, inside and/or outside of class, for the formal papers.
  • The instructor is the main respondent to student writing but may direct students to other readers when appropriate. [The readers beyond the instructor may include but are not limited to a classroom peer, a classroom peer group, a peer or peer group beyond the classroom, a tutor in the Student Success Center...].
  • The instructor explains the role writing plays in the discipline during the class as well as in the course syllabus.

The basic objective of the revised WI guidelines is to allow WI instructors greater discretion in providing a proper emphasis on writing in the course. The recommended cap at 18 is intended to encourage adequate time for instructors to provide responses to student papers. It is also hoped that this will encourage the development of more WI courses, especially at the 200-level.

WI designated courses should be reviewed in their respective departments' 5-year program reviews. The Director of Writing will review WI courses with their instructors at the end of the semester the courses are taught.