Strategies for Mid-level Writing-Rich (W-R) Courses

Instruction in a mid-level W-R course introduces students to the academic writing of a discipline and gives students opportunities to improve their writing over the term of the course.


  1. The instructor dictates the length and type of writing assignments for the course based on best practices of a particular discipline.
  2. The instructor guides students in their development as writers and does not simply assign writing for students to complete.
  3. In each assignment, the instructor identifies a specific audience and valid purpose.

Achieve these writing requirements by:

  • Calculating writing as a large component of the final course grade: However, promote the relationship between writing and learning rather than emphasize total page count
  • Scaffolding or sequencing writing projects: Assign smaller writing experiences and explain how each experience builds on the other so students learn to transfer writing skills from assignment to assignment
  • Instructing and assigning a variety of writing: For each writing experience, guide students in understanding the content, style, design, and organization of writing
  • Clarifying assignment expectations: Give students an assignment sheet that defines and explains the writing project and a rubric that clarifies how their writing will be evaluated
  • Implementing classroom collaboration: Spend class time preparing students to complete the assignment, discussing writing in progress, and engaging in collaborative efforts
  • Emphasizing the composing process: Separate assignments into sections (e.g. prewriting, drafting, revising, editing) so students understand that writing involves stages of learning
  • Integrating information literacy into the writing process: Guide students in understanding the sources, formatting, and citation conventions typical of the discipline
  • Providing opportunities for feedback: Give students feedback and advice throughout the composing process, and allow students to engage in peer feedback in or out of class
  • Including student evaluation: Require students to evaluate the course’s writing component at the end of the term

These guidelines support the undergraduate college’s goals for written communication: Consider audience and purpose; Use evidence effectively; Apply critical reasoning and creativity; Choose appropriate language and style; and Follow the conventions of a particular discipline