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Writing Across the Curriculum
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Best Practices for Writing-to-Learn Courses

1.  Grading Criteria

Formal writing submitted in a WL course is evaluated on the quality of content and effectiveness of writing according to criteria that are clearly stated in the instructions for the assignment or other course document (such as a grading rubric) distributed to students before they submit the final draft.

2.  Writing and the Course Grade

The writing component of a WL course represents a significant portion of the course grade, and a student cannot pass a WL course without earning a passing grade on the writing component of the course.

3.  Amount of Writing

In addition to any informal writing, assigned at the instructor’s discretion, a WL course includes a minimum of 15 pages of formal writing (15 pages of finished draft, not counting any working drafts submitted for review), distributed across the course in any combination of paper types and lengths. 

4.  Instructor Feedback

Students in a WL course receives formative feedback on their writing while there is still time in the semester for students to act on instructor feedback.

5.  Academic Honesty and Integrity

WL courses follow the University’s Academic Honesty and Integrity policy on plagiarism.  Therefore, assignments that allow or require students to use information from outside sources hold students accountable for using source material in an academically appropriate way.

Best Practices Documents

PSU Writing Rubric PDF MS Word

Abbreviated PSU Writing Rubric PDF  MS Word

WL Best Practices Checklist PDF MS Word

WL Best Practices Documentation Sample PDF MS Word

WL Program Philosophy PDF MS Word