Guidelines For Writing Across the Curriculum

Implementation of WAC Guidelines

The Writing Across the Curriculum program requires all students to take five designated Writing (WAC) courses, from at least two divisions, and one Senior Writing Experience (WS). In order for courses to be designated WAC or WS, faculty must submit proposals that describe the writing requirements of each course for which they seek approval. The primary concern of the Writing Board is that these courses emphasize the importance of writing in the thinking and learning process, that writing be an integral and clearly evaluated part of the course, and that students receive constructive feedback on their writing between assignments.  WAC courses should include written assignments that require critical thinking, sound evidence and reasoning, and well-crafted rhetorical structure.  The descriptions below offer guidelines for the WAC and WS designations.  The Writing Board feels that challenging, engaging assignments --- along with faculty feedback on them --- are the most effective ways to help students improve their writing.

WAC and WS courses are normally certified for individual instructors.  Recertification is needed every four years. 

The following information is offered to guide faculty in filling out the Request Forms.  

WAC:  A WAC course requires students to complete three or more significant writing assignments that receive constructive written faculty response between due dates. Assignments should require critical thinking and rhetorical structure.  Kinds of assignments may vary greatly depending on the discipline. They could take the form, for example, of essays, research papers, responses to readings, summaries, logs, lab reports, legal briefs, or problem sets. These could vary in length from 3-4 page assignments to much longer papers assigned in several segments or required drafts.*  The Writing Board will consider WAC certification for a course with only two writing assignments if they are substantial in nature, if there is intervening faculty response, and if there is a clear sequential relationship between the assignments. 
         Faculty might also consider the value of peer critiques and group or individual conferences to improve student writing.

   * WAC course possibilities:
      Four analytic essays with faculty response but without rewrites, 4-5 pages each
      Two or three position papers with faculty response and with rewrites, 3-4 pages each
      One longer research paper with two or three segments or drafts, each receiving written and/or oral evaluation, building to a final paper of 15 to 20 pages.                                  

WS:  Senior Writing Experiences will normally involve theses, special seminars, research projects, project reports or independent studies. Whatever the form, this course should include regular meetings between student and faculty member, the submission of segments or drafts for written response by the faculty member, and rewrites with written and/or oral evaluation throughout the term of the project.

                                     Click here for Request Form for WS Designation

Student WAC Requirements at Union:

All students will be required to complete the following writing requirements.

  1. Preceptorial and Sophomore Seminar (foundational writing courses)
  2. 5 WAC courses from at least 2 divisions (Divisions III and IV are considered as one division)
  3. Senior Writing Experience