Goals of Writing Enhanced Courses

The goal of the writing enhanced course is simple: to foster the development of critical thinking and thinking skills. The student who is fully engaged with her coursework as a result of writing that underscores and reinforces curricula enjoys a lasting benefit that her colleagues in the residence halls may not: as a result of her coursework, she understands the material and what can be said and thought about it in ways that students in a traditional lecture course cannot.

Subsidiary goals include the following:

  • To heighten the academic experience for both professor and student
  • To strengthen existing writing skills
  • To heighten student understanding of discipline-specific conventions
  • To provide students with the tools to help themselves: critical thinking, speaking, writing and reading

Writing assignments in the writing enhanced course can and should play many roles. Some roles overlap with others, some focus on a specific objective and some writing assignments play all these parts. To give students variety and focused attention on specific elements, vary your writing assignments so that they're not all trying to do everything.

A writing-to-learn pedagogy adopts the following objectives for students:

  • To ensure that students read carefully
  • To help students make sense of the material
  • To teach students to think critically about the subject matter (especially through analysis and synthesis)
  • To assist students in organizing their thoughts and presenting them in a comprehensible format
  • To help students master the text conventions of the discipline (e.g., formats, documentation styles, assumptions, acceptable evidence)
  • To reinforce the writing skills we teach students at all levels in the University