students at Hofstra University

Writing Intensive BA Requirement

Writing-Intensive Requirement

For students entering Fall 2018 or later: Satisfactory completion of two courses designated as Writing Intensive (WI).

For students entering between Fall 2016 and Summer 2018: Satisfactory completion of one course designated as Writing Intensive (WI).

Satisfactory completion of one course designated as Writing Intensive (WI). Must be taken after completion of WSC 002 and at least 30 semester hours, and may not include courses designed for first-year students (for example, FYC clusters and seminars and Honors College Culture & Expression). (See BA Requirements in the Bulletin.)

An Overview of WI Courses

  • A writing-intensive class calls for 5,000 words of revised writing. Each class caps at a maximum of 22 students. The majority of writing assignments should allow students sufficient time to plan, write, revise, and (if they wish) visit the writing center.
  • The WI designation is attached to sections not courses.  For example, four sections of a course could run without the WI tag, while the fifth runs with it.
  • Some departments may wish to increase the semester hours in WI courses (e.g., a course that normally runs at 3 credits may run at 4 credits to accommodate requirements for content coverage as well as writing instruction).
  • If you have questions about WI courses, please contact the HCLAS Dean’s office: 516-463-5412.

Syllabus Guidelines

Please include the following information on your WI syllabus:

  • A description of the writing-intensive nature of the class
  • Information about the number and types of writing assignments
  • The percentage of the grade dedicated to writing assignments
  • Policies about plagiarism, revision, and the submission of late-assignments.

Models of Organization

The organization of a writing-intensive syllabus will vary depending on the level of the course, the subject area, and the instructor's preferences. These models illustrate possibilities:

  • Students produce weekly short essays. Each can be scored with a rubric and/or instructor feedback. Alternately, the class may begin with a series of short essays, each responding to a related question. At the midterm, students revise their short works into a longer and more coherent text.
  • Students produce between 3 and 5 projects over the term. The length and genre may vary (e.g., argument, analysis, encyclopedia entry, news article, editorial, book review, etc.). Some instructors provide formative feedback on drafts and a shorter, summative assessment on the final product. Others provide a detailed summative assessment of each project and allow a predetermined number (e.g., 2 of the 5 projects) to be revised for an improved grade.
  • Students develop a single project over the course of a term, often meeting certain benchmarks along the way (proposal, annotated bibliography, literature review). This type of big research project is probably best suited for advanced courses, but it can be scaled and combined with other types of assignments.
  • Students compose works collaboratively or individually in networked environments (e.g., blogs, discussion boards, wikis). With appropriate supervision, such venues may be used at any stage of the writing process, from invention to publication.

Models for Providing Feedback

Students learn the conventions of writing in a given subject area by interacting with your expert feedback. Hence, the syllabus should plan for an exchange of ideas about good writing in general and in your discipline. The following suggestions may facilitate this exchange:

  • Students produce a draft, receive instructor feedback, and revise.
  • Students produce a draft, receive peer feedback, and revise.
  • The instructor distributes a model essay and uses it as the basis for a class discussion. Model essays can be drawn from published work or from student samples.
  • The instructor selects an excerpt from an assigned reading and prepares a short lesson on the conventions that help define the writer’s task and the audience’s expectations. Alternately, students might be asked to identify strengths and weaknesses in the writing itself.