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Writing 250: Advanced Composition

Catalog Listing

Why take Writing 250?

Writing 250 helps prepare students for coursework in their majors by strengthening their research and writing skills. Specifically, students choose topics pertaining to their disciplines to study, reading and writing about scholarship published in their fields. By engaging in this work, students are introduced to issues they may explore further in their major coursework and/or encounter in their professional careers, as well as build writing skills that transfer to their other classes and beyond.

In addition to the secondary research students complete throughout the semester, the final written assignment also introduces students to primary research, as they design and conduct their own small-scale studies. This is an excellent opportunity for students to network with faculty, practitioners, and others to gather information that goes beyond what the printed sources they have read throughout the semester provide. Further, by personally engaging in the process of data collection and analysis, students develop stronger critical thinking skills and are better equipped to analyze studies’ findings.

The curriculum in WRIT 250 is specifically designed, then, to engage students in the kinds of processes researchers go through as they transition from novices to experts in their fields. Our goal is to enable students to exit the course more knowledgeable of their disciplines and more confident in their abilities to locate, comprehend, analyze, and synthesize sources.

Should I take Writing 250 even if it isn’t required for my major?

Yes! The research skills and writing skills (e.g., summary, analysis, and synthesis) our curriculum emphasizes apply to projects you will be asked to do in other classes, regardless of major, and every semester students whose programs do not require WRIT 250 elect to take the course. Further, many of our students also pursue graduate study after completing their undergraduate degrees, and they report that WRIT 250 provided them a solid foundation for transitioning into their more advanced coursework.

What are the assignments in Writing 250?

The WRIT 250 curriculum features four major written assignments (an exploratory/analysis essay, annotated bibliography, literature review, and research prospectus), process work assignments throughout the semester, and a presentation.

When can I take Writing 250?

We recommend enrolling in WRIT 250 during your sophomore year, although students can take the course at any time after they have completed the prerequisites (WRIT 100/101 and WRIT 102/LIBA 102, or equivalents). WRIT 250 is offered in fall and spring semesters as well as during full summer session. The course is not offered during intersessions.

Can I take Writing 250 online?

Yes, online sections are offered in fall and spring semesters, and all sections offered during the full summer session are online.

What’s the difference between face to face and online sections of Writing 250?

All sections of WRIT 250 follow the same sequence of assignments and adhere to the same course policies so that they are equally rigorous. The most significant differences between face to face and online sections are the following:

  • Unless the instructor requires it, then students enrolled in an online section will not meet whereas students enrolled in a face-to-face section meet consistently throughout the semester. Students in an online section may be expected to participate in a synchronous chat with their teachers and classmates during the semester, though, and/or to engage in other activities designed to build community with the class.
  • In an online section students will complete their work at their own pace while meeting stated deadlines, whereas in a face-to-face section students must complete daily/homework assignments regularly for each class session. Although all students enrolled in WRIT 250 should have excellent time management skills, those enrolled in online sections especially need to be responsible about completing their work in a timely fashion since they do not meet with their instructor regularly.
  • Students enrolled in an online section will complete all work online, whereas students enrolled in a face-to-face section may submit assignments online and/or in print according to instructor policies.

What is the required textbook for Writing 250?

All sections of WRIT 250 use an OER textbook written by members of the WRIT 250 Curriculum Committee. The textbook is customized to the course and freely available to students.