As part of the Common Course of study, Lafayette students take 4 courses designated as “W” or “writing intensive.”
As part of the Common Course of study, Lafayette students take 4 courses designated as W, or writing intensive. W courses are offered across the curriculum, and they all have the following things in common: you will write at least 20 pages or 5,000 words across the semester; receive feedback on your work; learn to revise in response to that feedback; and acquire strategies for composing, revising, editing, and proofreading.
Some W courses currently offered introduce students to the conventions of academic writing (FYS, ENG 100); some take issues in writing or language as their primary subject of inquiry (e.g., ENG 202, ENG 250); and some teach discipline-specific writing conventions (e.g. ART 216, ECON 311, MATH 356).
While one of the four W courses—First Year Seminar—is required, the others are largely the student’s to determine in consultation with the academic advisor. However, students are expected to take one 300-level W in the major department and one W outside of it. They should also plan W courses so that writing experiences are distributed across all four years (this requirement is not one to be completed in the first two years, especially since Lafayette students do not formally declare a major until spring semester of their sophomore year).
CWP designed the following guidelines to help students choose appropriate W courses (appropriate, that is, to individual needs and interests). In choosing a W, students should consider with advisers the aggregate of bulleted items listed under each option below. In other words, these are indeed a set of guidelines and not a checklist.
Finally, please bear in mind that although the W requirement consists of four courses, you are not limited to that number. The development of writing skills takes time and effort, and Lafayette’s requirement is designed to let you choose the courses most relevant to your individual abilities, majors, and schedules.