Writing Intensive Courses
Writing Intensive courses help produce an educated, articulate citizenry capable of reasoning critically, solving complex problems, and communicating with clear and effective language.
MU’s writing requirement — English 1000, followed by two WI courses — is part of a 30-year-old trend in U.S. higher education known as “writing across the curriculum,” or “writing in the disciplines.” Since 1987, every undergraduate degree granted by MU has been strengthened by the WI requirement.
Over 170 courses from disciplines across the university are offered each semester.
Benefits of Writing Intensive Courses
Writing Intensive courses maintain a low student-to-teacher ratio (20:1), require at least 5,000 words of writing, and give students ample opportunity to revise their work to improve their performance. Writing assignments are designed to teach course content and to assess students’ learning, giving faculty the chance to focus on content, concepts and quality of argument while students take responsibility for surface features such as grammar and syntax. WI assignments are tied directly and specifically to the goals of the course and are fully integrated into the syllabus. Through writing and revising, students not only master course concepts, they also learn to think and write in ways particular to their chosen disciplines.
Writing Intensive courses attempt to foster the ability to
- pose worthwhile questions,
- evaluate arguments,
- give and receive criticism profitably,
- distinguish among fact, inference and opinion,
- articulate complex ideas clearly,
- deal with problems that have no simple solutions,
- consider purpose and audience,
- understand how given disciplines define themselves,
- become informed, independent thinkers.
The 3-Part Writing Requirement at MU:
- Through the English Department: English 1000, a one-semester, first-year composition course.
- Through the Campus Writing Program: Two WI courses.
One WI course may be taken in any discipline; the other must be an upper-division WI course in the major. The Campus Writing Board reviews and approves courses as writing-intensive. Departments, not the Campus Writing Board, determine which WI courses may count as “upper-division courses in the major.”
A grade of C- or better is required in English 1000 or 1000H, as well as in both Writing Intensive courses, in order to meet MU’s General Education Requirements.
Note: According to the Coordinating Board of Higher Education Articulation Agreement, students who transfer to MU with an AA degree have fulfilled the “first” WI course and need to take only the “second,” upper-division in-the-major WI course.