Writing Requirement Course Policies
- The language of instruction in any Writing Requirement class must be English.
- The primary method of assessment in a Writing Requirement class must be the evaluation of students' writing assignments. (Translations and oral reports do not meet this requirement.) Form and content should have approximately equal weight. At least 80% of the final class grade
must be based on the student's written work (excluding examinations). Instructors who make essay examinations a part of their class may reduce the writing component of the final grade to 70% (again, their essay examinations would not form part of this 70%). In this case, the essay exam must be worth at least 10% of the final grade.
- So as to provide students with continuous practice and evaluation of their writing skills, writing assignments should be no fewer than four per term. Formal instruction in writing, variation in the types of writing assigned, and opportunities for revision are all desirable elements that should be incorporated into all Writing Requirement classes. The total amount of work required in each Writing Requirement class should not vary unreasonably from the total amount required by other Writing Requirement classes.
- It must be possible for students to receive individual attention and advice from professors or graduate teaching assistants with respect to improving their writing. No Writing Requirement class may be offered if the ratio of students to teaching staff (including teaching assistants) is
greater than 30.
Introductory English Course Content
- The introductory literature courses (ENGL1005, 1015, 1025) are intended to provide overviews of major literary genres and techniques. Instructors should not teach only their area of specialty nor should they design their section as an historical survey. There should be variety in periods covered and a variety of cultural perspectives presented. Students should be introduced to some basic vocabulary and approaches that literary critics use in discussing literature, and should be able to discuss the relationship between a work's form and its content.
- ENGL/CRWR1030 Reading and Writing Stories provides an overview of literary genres and techniques (creative non-fiction, prose fiction, and poetry) and instruction and workshopping in the craft of creative writing. Students should be introduced to some basic vocabulary and approaches that literary critics use in discussing literature, should be able to discuss the relationship between a work's form and its content, and should be given ample opportunity to discuss and review each other’s creative work.
- The courses on Reading Popular Culture, Pulp Fiction, and Reading Literature and Science (ENGL1040, 1050, 1060) should likewise be taught as overviews of genres and forms. There should be variety in periods covered and a variety of cultural perspectives presented. Students should be introduced to some basic vocabulary and approaches that critics use in discussing popular culture or fiction.
- ENGL1100 Writing for University provides formal instruction in writing, with a particular focus on the composition and rhetoric of academic writing. It should not be taught as a literature course, though sample literary and academic essays can be included for purposes of illustration and discussion.
- All sections of 1000-level English courses other than ENGL1100 must require a final examination in order to ensure that all the readings may be evaluated. The exam also helps to ensure a greater degree of equity across sections. The final examination is normally worth no more than 20% of the course grade. The examination is compulsory: students must write it to complete the course.
- A final examination is recommended for sections of ENGL1100. If a final examination is not scheduled, additional writing assignments, exercises or tests are required (over and above the three essays that are required for Writing Requirement courses).
- Students' writing must be addressed formally in all Writing Requirement sections of 1000-level English courses (ENGL 1005, 1015, 1025, 1030, 1040, 1050, 1060). Students must be given instruction in the organization of writing (thesis sentences, opening paragraphs, use of evidence, argumentative structure, transitions, handling of quotations) and in the principles of writing grammatically correct sentences (agreement and presence of subject and verb, correct pronoun form, agreement of pronoun with antecedent, punctuation). Students should also be given training in the fair and effective use of secondary sources. Part of this training should include a review of the university policy on Academic Integrity and an introduction to the MLA Style for documenting sources.
- The non-Writing Requirement sections of 1000-level English courses (1041 and 1051) are typically taught as subsections of a Writing Requirement course; they are taught by the same instructor, usually in the same room at the same time (for example ENGL1041 is taught with ENGL1040), but with less emphasis on writing instruction. However, students must be given training in the fair and effective use of secondary sources. Part of this training should include a review of the university policy on Academic Integrity and an introduction to the MLA Style for documenting sources.
- The Undergraduate Advisor (or, more formally, the Chair of the Undergraduate Committee) serves as the coordinator of 1000-level English courses. As coordinator, the UG Advisor provides advice to instructors, reviews syllabi, and ensures equity across all sections.
Revised October 2016