Frequently Asked Questions about Advanced Composition

When should a student enroll in Writing 250?

Students are encouraged to enroll in Writing 250 during their sophomore year. Due to the focus of our curriculum, it is most beneficial for students to complete Writing 250 before enrolling in or completing the majority of their core classes.

What is the class size in Writing 250?

All sections of Writing 250 cap at 23 students and cannot exceed this cap. If a student is unable to enroll in a section when he/she prefers, then he/she is encouraged to continue checking the registration system and to add himself/herself to a wait list during the enrollment period if possible. If the enrollment period ends and the student was unable to enroll in a section then he/she is encouraged to try enrolling again the following semester or during a summer session.

Is there a common textbook required for all Writing 250 classes?

All sections of Writing 250 will use The Craft of Research (3rd edition) starting in Fall 2013. A handbook is also recommended, though not required, and instructors may require supplemental materials that will be noted in their syllabus.

What is the difference between an online section and a face-to-face/traditional section of Writing 250?

Both online and face-to-face Writing 250 sections follow the same sequence of assignments and adhere to the same course policies so that they are equally challenging. The most significant differences between the two are:

  • Unless the instructor requires it then students in an online section will not meet, whereas students 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 be responsible for completing 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 students in both online and face-to-face sections 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.

Are there sections of Writing 250 with themes?

Writing 250 sections do not have themes, but all follow a Writing in the Disciplines approach.

What does Writing in the Disciplines mean?

Writing in the Disciplines means that students gain experience using the language conventions of their field as well as writing the genres that are common to their field (for example, a lab report for biology). In Writing 250 all students write the same genres, but we teach students how to develop research topics and questions specific to their disciplines as well as how to locate scholarship in their disciplines using library resources. Students thus learn the conversations that are occurring in the academic research in their field and how to analyze and synthesize those conversations in their own writing. As a final capstone assignment students also propose a study of their own design focused on an issue in their discipline and conduct a small-scale primary research project.