Writing and Critical Inquiry
*Attention Academic Departments*
As of Fall 2014, Departments are responsible for incorporating into their majors certain academic competencies, including Advanced Writing. Please see the Resources for Faculty/Competencies in the Major section on this site for assistance in developing your proposals and the learning objectives for Advanced Writing: http://www.albany.edu/generaleducation/implementation-timetable.php
Writing and Critical Inquiry Program
In November 2012, The University Senate approved a plan that current General Education policies be revised to establish a required first-year writing seminar, Writing and Critical Inquiry (WCI). This seminar, U UNI 110, replaces the current lower-division Writing Intensive requirement for students matriculating in Fall 2013 and thereafter.
Students are expected to complete satisfactorily, with a grade of C or higher or S, Writing and Critical Inquiry by the end of their second semester at the University at Albany. In addition, students must meet advanced writing requirements as established by the department or program within which they are enrolled as a major.
Approved WCI and WCI- equivalent courses have characteristics so that students will:
- Gain an understanding of writing as a vehicle for inquiry and a rhetorical act
- Produce a variety of texts in common college-level forms and demonstrate the ability to revise and improve those texts
- Understand and learn to apply the conventions of academic writing
- Practice all aspects of writing as a process, including invention, revision, editing, and peer review
- Read and analyze a variety of texts
Writing and Critical Inquiry is a general education requirement that meets SUNY criteria in the areas of Basic Communication, Critical Thinking, and Information Management. Students will:
- research a topic, develop an argument, and organize supporting details
- develop proficiency in oral discourse
- evaluate an oral presentation according to established criteria
- identify, analyze, and evaluate arguments as they occur in their own or others' work
- perform the basic operations of personal computer use
- understand and use basic research techniques
- locate, evaluate,and synthesize information from a variety of sources
Any appropriate lower-division undergraduate course, including Honors College courses, may qualify as the equivalent of Writing and Critical Inquiry, provided that the course is approved as such by the General Education Committee and the Undergraduate Academic Council. Such courses must be similar in intent to Writing and Critical Inquiry and therefore must emphasize writing as an essential part of academic inquiry and provide students with opportunities for regular and sustained practice in writing in a variety of appropriate forms in different media, for appropriate purposes and audiences.
For additional information on the Writing and Critical Inquiry Program, visit: http://www.albany.edu/wci.
For students who matriculated prior to Fall 2013, students must satisfactorily complete with a grade of C or higher or S a Writing Intensive course. Writing Intensive courses use writing as an important tool in the discipline studied and are not designed primarily to teach the technical aspects of writing. The emphasis is on using writing as a means of sharpening critical thinking in and increasing understanding of the subject of the course.
Approved courses must meet each of the following four criteria:
- A Substantial Body of Finished Work: This is generally expected to be a total of 20+ double-spaced pages in at least two, preferably more, submissions. It may be in a variety of forms—journal, reports, essays, research papers, etc.—not all of which need to be graded;
- Opportunity for Students to Receive Assistance in Progress: Such assistance may take several forms, from visits to the Writing Center (HU 140) to conferences with the instructor;
- Opportunity to Revise Some Pieces: As revision is an essential characteristic of good writing, students should be able to revise some portion of their work;
- Response to Student Writing: Such response may take several forms—from extended comments from the instructor to peer evaluation in student groups. It is expected, however, that the instructor will respond in detail to some extended work of the student.
Note: Transfer students who enter the University with credit for an “English Composition” course or a two-semester combined literature and writing course will be considered to have completed the writing intensive requirement at this University.
Learning Objectives for Writing Intensive Courses
- produce coherent texts within common college-level written forms;
- demonstrate the ability to revise and improve such texts;
- research a topic, develop an argument, and organize supporting details.