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Writing Across the Curriculum

WI Course Requirements

Writing Requirements for Mandated Writing-Intensive Courses

The following are guidelines for writing-intensive courses in the disciplines and the Core Seminar.

Writing Intensive courses should be designed and taught by faculty members, at a 20:1 student to faculty ratio. This ratio will give faculty more time to respond to student writing.

Planning the WI Syllabus
  • The syllabus should clearly indicate that the course is a WI course and that writing assignments will be a major component of the course grade.

Please include the following statement on your WI syllabus:

This is a writing-intensive course which fulfills LIU Brooklyn’s writing-intensive requirement.  For graduation, all students are required to take nine credits of writing-intensive courses.  These courses include English 16, Core Seminar, and a WI course in the major.
  •  Writing assignments should be explicitly integrated into the course. The syllabus should clearly indicate when all writing assignments, including drafts for the formal paper(s), are due. Sufficient time should be allowed between drafts for students to revise.


Types of Writing Assignments

Each course should include multiple assignments both formal and informal totaling at least 20 pages (5000 words). These assignments should be distributed throughout the semester.


  • At least one formal assignment (6-10 pages) should ask students to think critically about a problem or confront an issue in their discipline. This assignment(s) should encourage students to reflect on a critical question from several points of view and to use writing to analyze the issue and construct an effective argument.
  • The formal writing assignment(s) should be complex enough to require substantial revision. Revision includes proofreading and editing, but must also include allowing students to rethink their approach, consider alternate points of view, bring in new evidence, and redesign their argument accordingly. In a WI course, revision should be one of the primary means by which students engage with the course material and learn critical thinking skills.
  • Each course should include at least one assignment requiring the use of source material and appropriate documentation (MLA or APA). The source material may be researched by the students independently or developed out of course material. This requirement can be included in the 6-10 page formal paper or it can be assigned separately.


Informal assignments (totaling 10-14 pages) may or may not be revised and may include the following:

  • journals
  • reflective essays
  • response papers
  • summaries
  • reviews of literature
  • abstracts
  • written reports
  • meta-texts
  • self-evaluations


Recommendations for Assessment and Grading
  • Students should receive feedback on drafts from the professor and, whenever possible, from other students (peer review).
    • Examinations in the writing intensive courses should include essay instead of or in addition to multiple-choice questions whenever possible.
      • Grades for students’ written work should be determined by assessing ideas, argumentation, style, originality of expression, and critical thinking in addition to grammar and correctness.

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