WRITING ASSISTED-COURSE PROPOSAL
Please complete each section of the proposal and send an electronic copy in Word to Tim Doherty
(email@example.com). If the course in question is also a new Core course or a JYS course, please
simultaneously submit the appropriate proposal form to the Chair of the Undergraduate Curriculum
Committee. Those submitting proposals are warmly welcome to join the Writing Committee when it meets
to review the proposal. Syllabus and sample assignments, though not required, are greatly appreciated when
submitting this proposal.
For more information, contact Dr. Tim Doherty at x8483.
DEADLINE: October 15 for all proposed W courses slated to be offered in the following Spring or Fall. Proposals
submitted well before that date are welcome.
Parameters for Writing-Assisted Courses
Unlike other courses at the College in which writing is assigned, a "Writing-Assisted" (W) course is distinguished
by the level of attention a teacher pays to the design of writing assignments, the way that some assignments may
promote content acquisition, the process by which they may unfold, the way they may sequence and build upon each
other, and the way that they may offer writers real opportunities to construct meaning through a workshop process.
Each W course shares these particular features:
1. Formal and Informal Writing: These courses involve at least 12 pages of “formal” writing and at least 5
pages of “informal” writing. “Formal” writing means writing that is responded to by the professor, revised
by the student, and then evaluated. “Informal” writing means writing that might be responded to and
perhaps graded, but is mainly designed to help students engage with course content in a “low stakes”
2. Revision: The 12 pages of formal writing are the product of a writing process; in other words, students will
receive feedback from the professor and then revise; they may also receive feedback from peers.
3. Course Enrollment: All W courses are capped at 21 students (cap may be exceeded with professor’s
College and Department:
Course Title: Number:
Department Coordinator Date
Author of This Proposal:
Name: Phone: Email:
NOTE: The course plan presented here is taken as a representative example of the way the course will be taught.
Section I: Overview of the Course Writing Requirements
Please provide the following information.
1. Number of credit hours:
2. Total number of pages of writing that each student will be required to write and submit to the instructor:
3. Number of pages that each student will be required to revise, in response to instructor comments:
4. Percentage of the final grade that is based on written materials:
Section II: Administrative Information
(Please NOTE: The information you provide in this section is very useful to the writing committee, but it will
NOT be used in deciding whether proposals are approved.)
1. Course is: General Ed. Core course
Required for major
Required for minor
2. When will this course be offered?
3. If your department plans to offer this course in the subsequent academic terms, during which terms will it
4. According to current department plans, who will teach the course?
5. Who are the possible instructors for the course in the future, in addition to the instructor[s] listed above?
Section III: Writing Assignments and Revision
A. Informal Writing Assignments: Below is a checklist of informal types of writing (the list is not
exhaustive). Please check off the types of informal writing students will write.
Types of Writing
answer to a test question
description of writing process
micro-essays and mini-themes
notes from lecture/reading
pre- and post-lecture questions
problem / solutions
letter to editor
B. Formal Writing Assignments: Below is a checklist of formal types of writing (the list is not
exhaustive). Please check off the types of writing students will write. In the columns to the right,
please indicate how many of this type the student will compose and if the text will be revised.
How Many of This Type? Revised?
Types of Writing
problem solutions (in-depth)
research paper / literature review
C. Course Plan
The Writing Committee appreciates the chance to see your course through students’ eyes, to help ensure
that students will find the approach to writing clearly and fully articulated. If you have a syllabus with a
course schedule already worked out, please simply include that with your proposal. Otherwise, the
following brief answers are appreciated.
The “W” Designation
The syllabus should contain a brief statement about the “W” dimension of the course; faculty often include
it after the section listing Course Objectives. What statement will you make to indicate to students what the
“W” dimension of the course will entail?
Example: From ART 341 Art: Mirror of Conscience:
“The writing element of this course is integral to its objectives. In addition to the one-page
“initial” and “informed” writing assignments regarding specific artists/movements, a research
paper, lecture notes, and an essay (in the form of the Final Exam) are required. Good writing and
clarity of expression appropriate to research writing by college juniors are required; bad writing
and format errors will adversely affect your grade. You will hand in at least one draft of the
research paper for review before turning in the final version.”
Structure, Sequence, and Revision of Assignments
In the space provided, please help the committee see the writing component of the course through students’
eyes. What will they write? What will they revise? When are writing assignments due? If convenient,
please append a syllabus and sample writing assignments. In “W” courses, students are expected to
complete at least 12 pages of formal writing. “Formal” writing is understood as writing that is responded to
by the professor, revised, and graded. Please briefly state how assignments will be structured and
sequenced, and how revision will be carried out.
Example: From ART 341 Art: Mirror of Conscience:
1) Students will turn in the following components of the research paper as follows:
Topic: due Feb. 4, 2009 (week 3);
Thesis statement: due Feb. 18, 2009 (week 5); focused peer feedback received; revised
in light of both peer and instructor feedback;
First draft: due March 16, 2009 (week 8); focused peer feedback received; conferences
as needed in the interim; Instructor-reviewed draft returned to student: March 30, 2009
Final draft due: April 27, 2009 (week 13 ); conferences as needed in the interim.
2) Students will write two in-class one-page response papers about each of the artists or art
movements as follows: one initial response paper after viewing the art at first encounter (“Initial
Response”), and a second at the end of our consideration of the artists or art movements, after
lectures explicating formal, contextual, and critical aspects of the art and artists under scrutiny
(“Informed Response”). These will be due at the approximate rate of every two weeks after the
fourth week of the course.
3) Lecture notes: students will turn in their lecture notes at midterm and endterm, with cover pages
for each lecture addressing 1) the most prominent idea from the lecture, and 2) ideas you would
like to understand better.
4) A final examination will consist of an essay reflecting on the efficacy of the visual arts in
effecting real change in view of social justice issues.
Section IV: Additional Comments?
NOTE: Please be aware that any instructors teaching a W course for the first time must contact Tim Doherty for
resources and assistance (firstname.lastname@example.org; x8483).