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Writing Intensive Courses

Writing Intensive (WI) courses attach special importance to writing and revision and help students consciously develop greater facility in academic writing and critical thinking. Although students engage in writing in these courses to learn course content, of equal focus and concern in a Writing Intensive course is the writing process.

WI courses serve the interests and needs of CC writers at all levels of proficiency and may be either introductory or upper-division courses. These courses help students develop the rhetorical skills of effective writers—specifically, the ability to:

  • formulate a clear premise or argument;
  • organize material compellingly;
  • utilize effective evidence;
  • write in a lucid prose style;
  • develop a sense of writing to a specific audience;
  • demonstrate an improved grasp of the grammar and mechanics of standard English;
  • use writing as a heuristic tool in disciplinary work across the curriculum.

WI course proposal

Writing Intensive course proposals are now being accepted for the 2019-2020 academic year. Proposals will be accepted until February 13, 2019 (the end of block 5). 

Courses can be proposed by completing the following form (located here) and emailing it to Aaron Stoller ( Submissions will be reviewed and faculty will be notified of approval of their course on a rolling basis by the Curriculum Executive Committee.

For any questions regarding the submission and review process, please contact Aaron Stoller (

WI course guidelines

  • Class size is limited to 12 students in a one-block course, 16 students in a team- taught one-block course, or 16 students in a two-block course. Enrollment is limited to allow time for individual conferences, small group response, and detailed criticism.
  • WI courses require a minimum of 15 double-spaced pages of polished, revised writing. Professors of WI courses should include process-based assignments and opportunities for revision of writing and incorporate both formal and informal writing in the course.
  • Examples of formal assignments include lab reports, posters, abstracts, project proposals, précis, critical essays, journalism, response pieces, annotated bibliographies, literature reviews, or projects that involve research. Examples of informal writing include field notes, journal/e-journal entries, contributions to a course website, or in-class free writing.