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University Writing Requirement

About This Policy

Responsible Office
Academic Affairs

Written work is an important part of the University curriculum because writing offers students the opportunity to think deeply and searchingly about their subjects and because skill in written expression is crucial to the welfare of both individuals and society. The University policy regarding written work includes the following requirements and provisions:

  1. The document, “Standards for Formal Written Work,” which can be found online in the Student Handbook, outlines in a general way the University’s expectations concerning the content, organization and format of written assignments. These provisions may be supplemented by departmental writing policy statements or by those of individual instructors.
  2. As part of the General Education Requirement, each student must satisfy the communication requirement in writing, usually by taking College Writing I: Intellectual Prose.
  3. Writing is an important part of course requirements throughout the University (minimum: 2,000 words per course).  This work may take such forms as essay examinations, research papers, laboratory reports, critical essays and so forth.
  4. All students must satisfy a graduation requirement in writing. Each department must evaluate the writing ability of its majors by means of a required course (or choice of courses) with substantial writing assignments. 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 may not graduate until those problems have been eliminated. Students should consult their University academic advisor or major department chairperson regarding this course and other aspects of the department’s writing policy.
  5. The Center for Writing Excellence, located in Bohn Hall, offers consultation and tutorial help to all students.  There is no charge for this service.

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