What is WCI?

The video featured at the top of this page was created by Daniela Rodriguez, a sophomore majoring in geography and urban planning with a minor in film studies. Daniela, who completed WCI in spring 2018, created the video during fall 2018 under the supervision of Dr. Sarah Giragosian, a faculty member in the WCI Program. In her statement about her project, Daniela wrote that “writing and critical thinking are used in every facet of our lives.” As a result, she says, “I wanted to make a video that would make the course and its programs easier to understand.” Her video is one student’s way of explaining how WCI can enrich the educational experience of every student who attends the UAlbany.

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 UUNI 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. It reflects the importance of writing as a vehicle for learning and a means of expression. It 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 gain a deeper understanding of writing as a mode of inquiry and 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.

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.

T UNI 110 Honors Writing and Critical Inquiry (3)
T UNI 110 is the Honors College version of U UNI 110; only one version may be taken for credit. Prerequisite(s): first-year student in the Honors College.