Muhlenberg College offers a cross-curricular writing program in which faculty from virtually every department participate. In specially designated writing-intensive (W) courses, students attend to writing in context--within particular disciplines--but also with attention to ways in which effective writing shares similar traits across the disciplines. The aim of the program is to equip students to write analytically in a variety of writing situations.
The basic premise of the writing program is that writing is necessary to thinking and learning; it is an essential way of acquiring knowledge and of arriving at ideas about it. Another primary assumption of the program is that the ability to write well is not a skill one can acquire in a semester of grammar study. Instead, students are encouraged to take a number of W-courses throughout their careers at the College.
A writing-intensive (W) course is a regular academic course in which enrollment is limited to twenty students, and students do a minimum of fifteen pages of writing broken into at least three assignments. One of these assignments must be a revision in response to the instructor's written comments. As a requirement for graduation, students are required to take a minimum of three writing-intensive (W) courses--one First-Year Seminar, one W-course selected from anywhere in the curriculum, and one W-course designated by the student's major.
In exceptional cases, students may appeal to the Writing Program Committee to receive special W-credit for a course that is not designated a W. The fact of a student's having done a significant amount of writing in a course is not, of itself, sufficient reason for assigning special W-credit, since a writing-intensive course is a particular kind of collaborative learning experience.
Students, click here to apply for a special "W" designation:
Policy and Application Procedure for Special "W" (Writing Intensive) Designations