The ability to write well is particularly important in college, not only as a means of demonstrating mastery of material, but as part of the process of coming to that mastery. For many people, writing well is a life-long learning process. As students develop greater understanding of themselves, the world, and language, they become more adept at expressing precisely, and perhaps eloquently, what they have in mind. The Carleton Writing Requirement is meant to be a checkpoint on that journey, not the final destination. It is a measure of progress and assurance that Carleton students are on the right path, and that with continued learning, they will develop into fully competent writers by graduation.
To guide students as they begin to work on writing at the college level, the College has developed some general criteria for good writing at Carleton. Although individual assignments, genres, or disciplines may place more or less emphasis on each criterion, faculty agree that student writing should feature the following:
1. The rhetorical strategy should be appropriate for the audience and purpose.
2. If argument is a part of the rhetorical strategy, it should contain a thesis and develop that thesis with coherence, logic, and evidence.
3. Whatever the purpose, writing should be as clear, concise, and interesting as possible.
4. Narration, description, and reporting should contribute to analysis and synthesis. The parts of a paper should lead to a greater, connected whole.
5. Writing should be edited to address surface error, including irregularities in grammar, syntax, diction, and punctuation.
Students are required to successfully complete:
1) the AI seminar (WR1)
2) six credits of additional coursework designated WR2
3) successfully complete a writing portfolio to be reviewed by faculty after the third term, and no later than the sixth term.
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