Writing Intensive Course Proposals

The Writing Intensive Committee recognizes that one of the strengths of the WI Program is that the requirement can be satisfied with courses in various disciplines, offering students a variety of written communication opportunities and challenges. WI-related assignments include essays, laboratory reports, translations, creative writing, letters, as well as other assignments that support the nature of the course material.

Writing Intensive Course Requirements

A course designated as Writing Intensive should include at least twelve (12) pages of clear prose in formats appropriate to the discipline involved.

This requirement must be broken into a minimum of three (3) assignments, reasonably spaced throughout the course, each of which should be marked and returned promptly with constructive comments.

Note: Though one essay test may be counted as one of these assignments, the final examination may not be since it cannot be returned during the semester.

See also the Writing Intensive Learning Outcomes, which should be listed on syllabi for all WI courses.


Informal Writing

Besides this minimum requirement for graded writing, a WI course may and perhaps should require opportunities for informal, ungraded writing designed to further enhance students’ understanding of and appreciation for course material and to prepare them for the course’s formal writing. Please list those assignments as well.


Submission Materials

The CIM proposal form will ask proposers to identify for each of the formal writing assignments, reasonably spaced throughout the course, 

  • Assignment Name
  • Page Length
  • Assignment Type: Academic Summary; Position Paper; Critical Analysis Argument; Research Report; Research Synthesis; Exploratory Essay; Creative Writing; Blog Posts (Graded); Other: [specify]
  • How Students will receive feedback: Rubric; Written comments; Small group or individual conferences; Other: [specify]
  • Opportunities to show improvement: Required revision; Sequenced repetition of similar assignment; Other:
  • Additional formal writing assignments or details
  • Additional informal writing assignments (ungraded), with
    • estimated amount in words/pages/posts and
    • the assignment type (In-class exploratory writing; Blog posts (ungraded); Journal (ungraded); Homework exploratory writing Drafts; Personal reflections; Other [specify])

The proposal should include attached file(s) containing

  • a syllabus, which should show
  • any other supplementary materials that illustrate the ways your course meets WI Program expectations (instructional handouts, grading rubrics, assignment sheets, etc.).


Writing Intensive Approval Levels: Individual Instructors or All Instructors

Courses may be be proposed and approved as Writing Intensive either

  • for individual instructors or
  • for all course instructors.

If a proposal seeks Writing Intensive approval for all instructors within the department, the proposal will be directed after the initial submission to the department chair, who will be asked:

  • How will the department help prepare new instructors to teach this course as WI?

Once the department chair completes that response and approves the submission, the proposal will be directed to the Writing Intensive committee.


Proposal Process

To propose a course as writing intensive, please submit a Writing Intensive New Course Proposal using the UMW Curriculum Inventory Management (CIM) system through the Add a Designation process and provide the information requested. Once the proposal is submitted, the CIM directs the proposal to the department chair for approval.

Once the proposal is approved by the department chair, the proposal will be directed to the WI committee and reviewed at the next WI committee meeting date.

If the proposal is approved, the committee will ask the University Faculty Counsel to endorse that decision at its next meeting.

Due Dates for Academic Year 2021-2022 for New WI course designations:

  • Spring 2022 courses: proposals should be received by September 8, 2021
  • Summer 2022 courses: proposals should be received by November 5, 2021
  • Fall 2022 courses: proposals should be received by January 28, 2022

E-mail questions to the 2021-2022 Chair of the Writing Intensive Committee, Brenta Blevins.


Sample Completed Proposals