Writing Intensive (WIC)

What is the objective, or purpose, of Writing Intensive courses?

Writing intensive (WIC) classes are listed among the high impact practices that promote student engagement and learning. In WI designated classes, writing is embedded in the course to help students think critically about course content, practice core writing skills, develop information literacy, and gain an understanding of disciplinary specific writing conventions and ways of knowing. These courses help students develop competencies established in the first-year writing sequence, ENGL 1310 and ENGL 1410, TCID 2080 and TCID 2090, and INOV2100.

Writing Intensive courses are grounded in the following theoretical assumptions:


  • Writing and thinking are interconnected recursive processes
  • Writing can play an important role in students' engagement with and understanding of course material
  • Writing must be practiced across contexts in order to promote transfer of learning
  • Writing is a process, and all aspects of the process, from invention through drafting and revision must be taught
  • Writing abilities develop over time and across opportunities to write
  • Writers develop when they receive meaningful feedback on their work from peers and faculty
  • Writers need instruction as they develop into members of a disciplinary community
  • Instructors in the disciplines are best positioned to provide students instruction in disciplinary specific writing conventions

How are Writing Intensive courses structured?

Students are required to take 2 WIC-designated courses beyond the two writing program courses (ENGL 1310 and ENGL 1410, TCID 2080, TCID 2090, or INOV 2100). One WI-designated course must at the upper-division level. This WI component could be integrated into courses within students' majors, general electives, or general education coursework.

Courses may be designated Writing Intensive if they meet the following criteria:

  • Assign writing of at least 3000 words (approximately 12 pages) over multiple assignments and/or multiple submissions (revisions) of specific assignments (both formal and informal). Note that word count accrues across multiple submissions of an assignment. Assignments can be revised multiple times, with each revision contributing to the total word count.
  • Emphasize, through course assignments and class discussions, writing as a process
  • Devote class time to discussion of genre features and writing strategies
  • Provide students with feedback about their writing, including instructor and peer review, and allow at least one opportunity to submit revisions based on feedback
  • Assess writing assignments as a major portion of course grade (at least 25-30%)

Note that WIC courses provide multiple opportunities for sustained engagement in writing. As such, the WIC designation is not fulfilled via a single term paper due at the end of the course. Instead, the traditional "term paper" assignment can be broken into stages and supported through class discussion, peer review opportunities, and drafting. Written texts are means of creating and sharing knowledge within and among disciplines.

Goal 3: Act and Interact


  • Writing helps shape our understanding of concepts and promotes deeper processing of ideas generated from reading, listening, and thinking.
  • Writing can be a form of action in the world through grant proposals, op ed pieces, policy statements, and articles.
  • Writing is a medium through which we interact and engage with our communities.

Approved Courses