Academic Writing Sequence of Courses

The Academic Writing Program

Our academic writing program, with its Four-Year Vertical Curriculum, builds a bridge between creative writing and academic writing, and simultaneously establishes a campus-wide interdisciplinary initiative. Our writing program draws on current research, but is designed specifically for Goucher.

Brief Summary of the 4-Year Vertical Curriculum

1st Year: Students take WRT 181 or WRT 181H in either fall or spring (or FYS Honors in fall); students may choose to take 1-2 writing studios for additional support.
2nd Year: Students take a Writing Enriched Curriculum (WEC) course in any discipline.  View WEC courses offered in Spring 2021 (PDF).
3rd Year: Students take a Writing in the Disciplines (WID) course in their major (Prior to FA15, this requirement was called “CWP in the Major”).
4th Year: Students may take a studio to support their capstone or thesis projects.

After completing their 1st and 2nd year writing requirements (WRT 181 + a WEC course in any discipline), students should be able to read and analyze complex texts, synthesize information from a variety of sources, conduct research with discernment, and think critically. Additional learning outcomes include a demonstrated understanding of rhetorical situations, audience, genre, and writing processes. View a complete list of student learning outcomes (SLOs) for WRT 181 and WEC courses.

Students will apply for College Writing Proficiency (CWP), a graduation requirement, after they have completed these 1st and 2nd year writing requirements. During the call for applications (the dates will be announced and posted at the beginning of each semester), students will submit a portfolio of their writing that includes approximately 10 pages of academic writing. The portfolios will be reviewed by Writing Program and WEC faculty twice/year - January and June.

College Writing Proficiency (CWP) Criteria Instructions

College Writing Proficiency (CWP) at Goucher College (Revised October 4, 2018)

CWP is a requirement for graduation from Goucher. We expect students to be able to write at the college level in multiple disciplines, for multiple purposes. Students may apply for CWP after completing WRT 181 and a Writing Enriched Curriculum (WEC) course in any discipline.  

Portfolios submitted for College Writing Proficiency (CWP) should include a minimum of two (2) writing samples for a total of ten (10) or more pages of writing. (The papers should be typed, double-spaced, with standard margins.) Your submissions must show your ability to use sources to take part in an academic conversation. No poetry or fiction should be submitted.

Submissions can come from across the curriculum and should present what you consider your best and/or most successful academic writing completed at Goucher. We want to see quality, not quantity. Your submissions, when examined as a whole, should demonstrate the CWP criteria listed below.

Crucially, your submissions should demonstrate your ability to find, evaluate, incorporate and document sources and should be thesis-driven and/or argumentative.

Please include a cover letter that introduces each submission, describing the assignment and discussing each piece's audience, genre, and purpose and how those factors affected your rhetorical choices in crafting the text.

Please label your digital portfolio folder with your full name and ID number and include the identifying information about both your WEC course and your WRT 181 course.

Submit your portfolio

Proficient Portfolios will demonstrate:

  • A clear thesis, focus and/or purpose that argues, synthesizes, speculates or evaluates, and does not merely summarize.
  • Effective organizational strategies and strong transitional signposts
  • Effective development, discussion of and elaboration on the evidence and examples provided
  • The use, incorporation and documentation of creditable, appropriate sources for the given purpose, including primary and secondary sources, and scholarly and/or academic sources
  • Appropriate register and discourse community style
  • Language appropriate to the audience, purpose and context