Writing-intensive courses give students practice in academic, professional, creative, personal, and civic  writing genres. Writing assignments should be suitable to course learning outcomes and the  disciplinary expectations of the field in which the course is being taught. Writing can support, or be  embedded in, a variety of communicative forms such as posters, data visualizations, and multimedia.  Although we invite faculty to include these types of assignments, all writing-intensive courses should  provide students with substantial opportunities to produce and revise prose. The following  requirements provide direction for how writing-intensive classes should be designed.  How a course will meet these guidelines should be indicated on Faculty Educational Policy Committee (FEP) proposals for W-courses and all W-intensive course syllabi.  If you feel like  any of these requirements are inappropriate to a writing course you hope to design, please  communicate those concerns when you coordinate with the Curriculum and Educational Policy  Committee during the course proposal stage.

  1. At a minimum, students will complete either: 1) 5000 words of writing that have been revised into final form; or, 2) 10,000 words of writing total, which would include all rough and final drafts, revisions, and informal writing. For the second option, the number of words that reach  final form will be at the discretion of the instructor and should be appropriate to the discipline  and course outcomes. This second option also enables instructors who include digital projects  such as podcasts, videos, and infographics to count the writing required to support the  development of those projects (e.g., research writing, progress reports, and final reflections).  Instructors will also have discretion over how they count collaborative writing. Please keep in  mind that instructors may assign more words than the minimum, and many do. Note from CWP: The first option is the traditional model for Lafayette writing-intensive classes, and it is the model used in all FYS classes. The second option tends to be the more flexible option intended for discipline-specific courses.
  2. Students will receive regular feedback on their writing, which can come from the instructor, a writing associate, or from student peer review. Students should also be given opportunities to revise their writing in response to feedback. This emphasis on the feedback and revision cycle is  an important component and distinguishes writing-intensive classes from other courses that  include substantial amounts of writing. In most cases, revision means that students will receive  feedback on a draft (or drafts) and then integrate that feedback into a (potentially graded) final  draft. In limited cases, it might mean students receive feedback and then have the opportunity  to apply that feedback to a new assignment that contains similar thought processes and writing  conventions as the previous one. In these cases, writing that asks students to reflect on their  rhetorical development can be a particularly helpful way to help them create connections  across assignments.
  3. Writing will be assigned at regular intervals across the semester rather than all at the end.
  4. Instructors will provide detailed and sustained attention to the conventions of writing required by their assignments. This attention can happen in class or in conferences, and it might include discussions of genre conventions, audience expectations, citation protocols, style advice, etc.