Writing and Critical Inquiry Program

Robert P. Yagelski, Ph.D., Director

The program in Writing and Critical Inquiry (WCI) is intended to introduce new students to intellectual inquiry at the university with a focus on academic writing. The seminar U UNI 110, required for students matriculating Fall 2013 and thereafter, is devoted to rigorous practice in writing as a discipline itself and as an essential form of inquiry in postsecondary education. This requirement reflects the importance of writing as a vehicle for learning and a means of expression. The course also emphasizes the essential role of writing in students’ lives as citizens, workers, and productive members of their communities.

Based on established principles of rhetorical theory, Writing and Critical Inquiry provides students opportunities for sustained practice in writing so that students develop their ability to negotiate varied writing and reading tasks in different academic and non-academic contexts. Through rigorous assignments that emphasize analysis and argument, students learn to engage in writing as an integral part of critical inquiry in college-level study, become familiar with the conventions of academic discourse, and sharpen their skills as researchers, while improving their command of the mechanics of prose composition. Writing and Critical Inquiry also helps students develop competence in the uses of digital technologies as an essential 21st century skill for inquiry and communication.

Writing and Critical Inquiry seminars are limited to 19 students, which enables students and their instructors to work together closely as they explore the nature, uses, and practice of writing. The small size of the seminars also provides opportunities for students to explore the rich diversity of thought and the varied perspectives that are an integral part of the university experience. Through shared experiences as writers, students will learn to think critically and carefully about the complex questions that are the focus of inquiry across the many different academic disciplines that make up the university curriculum.

Writing and Critical Inquiry provides a foundation for students to continue to develop their abilities to think critically about the world around them, to communicate effectively in written and oral discourse in a variety of settings, and to engage in sophisticated inquiry as a way to address the questions they will confront in their classes and in their lives outside the university.

For additional information visit: www.albany.edu/wci/.

U UNI 110 Writing and Critical Inquiry (3)
Introduction to college-level critical inquiry with a focus on the practice of writing. Based on principles of rhetorical theory, the course emphasizes intensive practice in academic writing as well as writing in other contexts. Students complete various projects in order to deepen their understanding of writing as a vehicle for inquiry and enhance their ability to produce clear and effective prose for different audiences and purposes and in different media. Only one of T UNI 110, U UNI 110, or A ENG 110 may be taken for credit. Must be completed with a grade of C or better or S to meet the Writing and Critical Inquiry requirement.

T UNI 110 Honors Writing and Critical Inquiry (3)
T UNI 110 is the Honors College version of U UNI 110; only one of T UNI 110, U UNI 110, or A ENG 110 may be taken for credit. Must be completed with a grade of C or better or S to meet the Writing and Critical Inquiry requirement. Prerequisite(s): first-year student in the Honors College.

U UNI 297 Independent Study in Writing (3)
Independent study course with an emphasis on research-based writing to provide students the opportunity to explore a subject beyond the introductory or survey level. The experience will commonly grow out of the student's work in U UNI 110. Contingent on the consent of instructor willing to supervise the project. Prerequisite(s): U UNI 110 and permission from the Writing and Critical Inquiry Program.

Approved Writing and Critical Inquiry Equivalent:

A ENG 110 Writing and Critical Inquiry in the Humanities (3)
Introduction to the practice and study of writing as the vehicle for academic inquiry in the Humanities at the college level. Students will learn the skills necessary for clear, effective communication of ideas through careful attention to the writing process and the examination of a variety of rhetorical and critical practices. Only one of T UNI 110, U UNI 110, or A ENG 110 may be taken for credit. Must be completed with a grade of C or better or S to meet the Writing and Critical Inquiry requirement.