Writing Enriched Curriculum

The Writing Enriched Curriculum Project of the University of Minnesota offers a powerful set of resources for those of us interested in the integration of writing into the disciplines, including program descriptions, guidelines, and evaluation criteria. Of particular interest for us is the Writing Plan for the Carlson School of Management. Additionally, we do well to compare to a similar account, Performing the Groundwork at the College of St. Scholastics, Heather Bastian

Principles

  • Where writing in the disciplines supports learning of discipline-specific arguments, concepts, vocabulary, and conversations students can put to direct use; learning of grammar, random vocabulary, and free writing “skills” is likely at a considerable remove
  • From the first semester, writing in the disciplines makes available disciplinary fundamentals for the BA thesis in the last
  • Instructors identifying where and how writing best addresses their lessons typically develop a far richer and more satisfying understanding of both
  • Disciplinary assumptions and expectations identified collectively contributes mightly to coherence, continuity, and collegiality
  • Writing instruction is typically more complex and demanding than disciplinary experts might achieve on their own; the development of roadmaps, exercises, tutors, etc., likely requires skilled programmatic assistance

Resulting in a disciplinary consensus on writing goals

  • Articulates a clear position in a central thesis
  • Employs key disciplinary theories, concepts, and/or evidence in justifying analysis, conclusions, and recommendations
  • Bases argument and conclusions on situational and/or organizational context
  • Identifies an organization's key competencies using an analytical framework
  • Recognizes and addresses counterarguments or alternatives
  • Uses effective, valid data/evidence that is relevant to audience concerns
  • Sequences most important arguments first
  • Is designed for easy reading (skimming, headings, bullets)
  • Avoids unnecessary words; is succinct/concise
  • Uses direct, plain English
  • Uses an engaging style, such that the reader’s attention is sustained
  • Summarizes ideas, texts, or events appropriately
  • Communicates information using graphics and/or visuals that are appropriate to the audience and content
  • Integrates source information (whether textual or graphic)
  • Uses correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation
  • Uses correct citation formatting