Designating a Course a W2

When you request a W2 writing designation for a course on the Garnet Gateway, you will be given the following information and be asked to respond to the questions below.

To qualify for designation as a W2 writing attentive course, a substantial amount of the course must adhere to the five principles of writing at Bates:

1. Writing is taught, not just assigned.
2. Writing assignments of varying scope or genre are a significant portion of the coursework.
3. Students have multiple opportunities to revise their writing.
4. Faculty members give feedback on writing, commenting on rhetorical issues in addition to content.
5. Research skills and scholarly citation practices are taught, not just assigned.

To prepare your W2 writing course, please see the resources Writing Attentive Courses on the Dean of the Faculty’s Teaching and Advising site or contact “Writing at Bates” at writing@bates.edu .When you request W2 writing designation for your course, you will be asked to respond to the following questions.

A. INQUIRY
Goals for student learning about Inquiry:

  • Independently create a question that drives research and writing
  • Decide on the best genre and medium for approaching a particular audience and purpose

Pedagogical approaches to teaching about Inquiry:

To cultivate attention toward the process of writing, the W2 course offers a variety of writing assignments—varying, for example, in purpose, genre, sequencing, and complexity.  A W2 course asks students to take on several different assignments, or one substantial assignment with components scaffolded across a semester, equaling approximately twenty to twenty-five pages of finished prose.  (A course that assigns one large paper without stages for feedback and revision would not meet the expectations of a W2.)  

First Inquiry Response: Please describe the number, type, and general outline of the writing assignments that you anticipate including in your course.

B. INQUIRY continued. . .
Additional pedagogical approaches to teaching about Inquiry:

When taught as part of the scholarly writing process, revision allows students to revisit their ideas and rethink their rhetorical choices; feedback from readers (whether faculty, peers, writing assistants, or Writing Specialists) is key to guiding this rethinking. Students might undertake revision of one part of an assignment or of an entire draft, or have opportunities for rewriting. Students should be reminded of the differences between revising and editing and understand the importance of each in the writing process.

Second Inquiry Response: Please describe the approach to commentary and revision you anticipate for your course.

C. ARGUMENT
Goals for student learning about Argument:

  • Construct, support, and defend an argument appropriate for the scholarly approach being taken
  • Understand alternative terminology for “argument” and “thesis” within various disciplines or genres (for example, a policy brief, an informative essay, or a literary journalism piece)

Pedagogical approaches to teaching about Argument:

To help students improve their critical thinking skills and their ability to create and support a line of thinking, a W2 course engages students in the relevant scholarly conversation of a discipline, field, or interdiscipline. Doing so might entail such assignments as critically evaluating the argument of course texts, discussing the questions asked in a particular field or about a particular issue, creating and defending an original argument, and exploring differing viewpoints.

Argument Response: Please describe the ways in which you anticipate that your course will ask students to critically assess their own arguments and the arguments of others.

D. EVIDENCE
Goals for student learning about Evidence:

  • Show a more sophisticated and nuanced understanding of the kinds of support and source materials deemed credible within a discipline
  • Make choices, for example, among primary and secondary, text-based and data-driven, or print and multimedia sources

Pedagogical approaches to teaching about Evidence:

The W2 course deepens and broadens students’ understanding of research and writing as modes for creating and communicating knowledge.  In the W2, students strengthen their skills with the research process through assignments and class dialogue that encourage them to ask, investigate, and answer questions of interest and significance.  Attention to library resources might entail an assignment-specific session in the library or an introduction to the research methodology of a particular field or fields.

Evidence Response: Please describe specific research-related activities you anticipate including in your course:

E. ORGANIZATION and STYLE
Goals for student learning about Organization and Style:

  • Understand different organizational approaches
  • Choose the organizational scheme that is best for the purpose at hand
  • Recognize different approaches to organization in different media and genres
  • Use fluid and sophisticated prose
  • Show an appreciation for tone and diction appropriate to the discipline, genre, and medium

Pedagogical approaches to teaching about Organization and Style:

In the spirit of “teaching writing, not just assigning it,” W2 courses devote some class time to discussion of the writing process and craft, practical exercises, or workshops that teach discipline-or assignment-specific writing concepts and skills (such as the literature review, the research question, or disciplinary conventions).  These discussions might take place on a regular basis or they might be scheduled to correspond with various stages of an assignment.  Resources available to your class to supplement class discussion include workshops led by the Director of Writing or the staff of Writing at Bates (Writing Specialists and peer writing assistants, when attached to W2s); numerous teaching materials from Writing at Bates are also available for your class.

Organization and Style Response: Please describe how you anticipate covering issues of organization and style: