Guidelines for Writing-Rich Courses at Carleton

Revised March, 2010

The ability to write effectively is one of the fundamental goals of a liberal arts education. In writing-rich courses we strive to help students develop fundamental writing skills so that they can use their writing to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences and for a variety of purposes.

Goals for college-level writing include attention to:

  • Audience and purpose;
  • Clarity of prose;
  • Clear organization;
  • Effective use of evidence;
  • Appropriate diction;
  • Effective use of Standard English.

Learning Outcomes for WR Courses

In writing-rich courses we also help students to:

  • understand writing as a process and begin to develop an effective process of their own;
  • learn how to seek and use feedback;
  • gain an awareness of audience and of voice and begin to see themselves as part of a community of scholars/writers;
  • learn how to apply forms of attribution and citation as appropriate;
  • understand accepted guidelines for academic honesty;
  • develop confidence in their writing, both through experience and also by producing at least one polished piece of their own writing

Main Components of a WR Course

  • Number and Variety of Assignments
    • A WR course will normally have 3 or more writing assignments. These assignments may include papers, posters, lab reports, web pages and other formats and types of writing;
    • These assignments may be components of one large writing project or several smaller papers, or some combination of the two;
    • Informal, ungraded, writing assignments may also be used to help students create a polished piece of writing.
  • Opportunities for Feedback
    • A WR course will offer students feedback on their writing;
    • This will take place through faculty comments or individual conferences and may also include: writing tutors; peer review; class conferences; writing workshops; use of a Writing Assistant; and other opportunities;
  • Opportunities for Revision
    • A WR course will provide students with opportunities for revision;
    • These may include rewriting to improve a grade; producing drafts of a paper in succession; polishing a paper for the Sophomore Writing Portfolio; or something else.

Fact and Fiction”: A brief version of WR guidelines for faculty.