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Graduation Writing Requirement

Welcome to the site for Montclair State University’s Graduation Writing Requirement. This page has been developed to define and explain the graduation writing requirement; to introduce the work of the Committee that supports the requirement; and to aid faculty in developing and revising writing requirement courses.

The Committee

The Graduation Writing Requirement is supported by a subcommittee of the Committee on University Effectiveness. In conjunction with the Center for Writing Excellence, the subcommittee approves courses designated by departments as mandatory for fulfillment of the Graduation Writing Requirement. This requirement is separate from the General Education Communication: Writing/Literature requirement and the requirement that all General Education courses include substantial written work (minimum of 2,000 words of formal writing).

The Graduation Writing Requirement Subcommittee evaluates courses designated as writing requirement courses. Typically this evaluation process takes place when new programs are developed, or when existing programs are revised. The Center for Writing Excellence and the subcommittee are also available to facilitate and further writing in the disciplines. For more information, contact the subcommittee chair, Dr. Melinda Knight.

Graduation Writing Requirement Catalog Description 

“Each department must evaluate the writing ability of its majors by means of a required course (or choice of courses) with substantial writing assignments (formal and informal, opportunities for revision and instructor feedback.) Normally this course should be taken in the junior year. Students with serious writing problems will be referred to the Center for Writing Excellence and/or provided with individual tutoring by the instructor. Students may not graduate until they have passed the course. Students should consult their academic advisor or major department chairperson regarding this course and other aspects of the department’s writing policy.” (Undergraduate Catalog)

Procedures for Writing Requirement Course Proposal or Alteration

When a new major is created or a current major is revised, sponsors must include a proposal for meeting the Graduation Requirement in Writing. Within the documentation it should be clear that writing is central to the course, and it should also be clear how instructors will provide instruction and assessment of student writing. Successful proposals offer specific examples of assignments and activities, and detail instructor role in providing feedback and assessment. All proposals include clear language in the course description itself, indicating that the course is designated as the Writing Requirement course. (For example: This course will fulfill the Graduation Writing Requirement.)

Occasionally departments mistakenly “lose” their writing requirement by eliminating this course from their departmental offerings. When this happens students will not graduate in the major as the Registrar’s office is unable to complete such students’ audits. This problem can be remedied by either writing a new course or revising an existing one for inclusion of the Graduation Writing Requirement.