WRITING IN THE DISCIPLINES
The University Writing Program assists students with writing throughout their career at GW. During the sophomore and junior year, students take two Writing in the Disciplines (WID) courses. WID courses, intended as follow-up courses to UW1020, are designed to facilitate student involvement with particular bodies of knowledge, their methods of scholarship, and modes of communication. These discipline-based courses have a significant writing component, but are not designed to teach students basic writing skills. Rather, the function of WID courses is to engage students in writing frequently and intensively, with editing and rewriting, to improve both learning and communication. WID courses typically cover the same material as non-WID courses offered by the same department, but they require more writing and revision and provide more writing instruction than non-WID courses.
Information for Students
Number of WID Courses
You are required to take two (2) WID courses in separate semesters to fulfill your literacy requirement. You may take as many WID courses concurrently as you wish; however, only one per semester may be used to fulfill your WID requirements.
When to Take WID Courses
Students must complete UW1020 before enrolling in a WID course.
There is no requirement that either WID course be taken in the major. However, we strongly suggest both WIDs be in your major or minor.
Students who plan to study abroad may take both WID courses in their sophomore year or one each in their sophomore and senior years. It is not recommended that they take both WID courses in their senior year since this would defeat one of the major goals of the WID program, which is to provide intensive writing instruction throughout a student's undergraduate career.
Information for Faculty
WID Course Guidelines
Because appropriate amounts of writing will vary across disciplines (for example, mathematics students generally write less than philosophy students), the instructor, in consultation with UWAC, will determine appropriate course guidelines for assignments and target appropriate quantities of writing. While the amounts of writing may vary, all WID courses will
- require students to write throughout the course rather than at the end of the course;
- provide opportunities to revise writing assignments in collaboration with peers and faculty;
- require students to complete multiple writing projects designed to communicate for different purposes and with a variety of audiences;
- teach the conventions of writing and thinking in a particular discipline, or in a particular interdisciplinary context.
Some WID instructors may require students to take mid-terms, finals or other exams, but graded writing assignments, with opportunities for revision, will constitute a large percentage of the final course grade.
Faculty are encouraged to be innovative in their course design. Courses in different disciplines (for example, a biology course on evolution or genetics and an anthropology course on human paleobiology) may be linked together, occasionally meeting together in a larger group in order to explore the similarities and differences between the disciplines.
Course Proposal Information
Fill out this form in order to propose a WID course. Make sure that you submit this form by the appropriate deadline (for Fall courses: March 1st; for Spring courses: August 1st, for Summer courses, December 1st). NOTE: This course will not officially have 'WID' status until you receive approval from the program (decisions are returned generally within a week of submission). Direct all questions about this form to Najiyah Williams at: email@example.com
WID Course Support
Each semester, the WID Program provides funding for WID faculty to hire graduate or undergraduate students, in the following appointment categories, to assist with the writing component of their WID courses:
Graduate Assistants are advanced MA or PhD students in the faculty member's home department or a related department and are paid a salary to grade papers, read drafts, and meet with students to discuss their writing. To qualify, the course must enroll a minimum of 20 students. Salary and hours per week start at $1,000 and 5 hrs/wk and increase incrementally with enrollment, up to $4,000 and 20 hours/week. GAs are intended to make the workload manageable, but they should not be expected to do more than 50 percent of the grading in a WID course. Click here for WID Graduate Assistant Request Form.
- grading and evaluating for the writing intensive part of the course.
- design assignments.
- lead discussion sections.
- lead peer review meetings.
- hold office hours to consult with individual students.
- locate and prepare materials or activities that are relevant to the teaching topic.
Peer Writing Preceptors are outstanding undergraduate students with a strong interest in writing and the ability to provide informal "coaching" and feedback to their fellow undergraduates. (They are not permitted to do formal "grading.") Preceptors are typically nominated by a former professor and serve in courses in which they themselves have excelled. The Peer Writing Preceptorship initiative offers an opportunity for select undergraduate students to work closely with a faculty mentor and gain experience in teaching. Preceptors will be awarded a stipend of $1,000 per course, and faculty mentors an honorarium of $500. Funding is limited to WID courses enrolling 18 or more students. Click here for WID Peer Writing Preceptor Request Form.
- provide responses and suggestions for improvements on student writing.
- review outlines and rough drafts for coherence, clarity of purpose, argument, etc.
- lead peer review meetings.
- PWPs do not grade papers.
For further information, contact Rachel Reidner, Director, WID Program ( firstname.lastname@example.org ).