Writing well is a powerful life skill, and Carthage is committed to teaching its students to write well in all disciplines. Writing Across the Curriculum, or WAC, distributes the teaching of writing throughout the curriculum. Under WAC, writing is taught at all levels and by all departments. WAC affirms that writing well is an essential skill, one that needs to be cultivated continually.

Need some help?
The Brainard Writing Center offers free writing assistance to all members of the Carthage community.

What is required?

All students must successfully complete four Writing Intensive courses (four credit hours each). The first of these courses is COR 1200 Intellectual Foundations. Of the remaining three courses, one must be in the academic major of the student’s choice, while the other two courses may be any WI course in the curriculum. If students are completing more than one major, they only need one WI course in one of the majors that they are completing. Writing Intensive courses are designated “WI” in the course catalog.

What makes a course Writing Intensive?

Writing Intensive courses vary according to the discipline in which they are taught, but they all share the following criteria:

  • Writing as a learning tool: Formal and informal writing are used to help students learn the content of the course.
  • Focus on improvement: Students and professors work together to improve student writing. For example, professors may review and provide advice on theses, writing plans, and drafts as the students write them. Professors may assign several short papers and suggest methods for revision in between. Professors may confer with students between papers. Professors may model writing and monitor students’ subsequent experiments with similar writing
  • Significant to grade: Writing contributes significantly to each student’s course grade.
  • Substantial amount: The course requires students to do a substantial amount of writing. This may include formal or informal writing. Depending on the course content, students may write analytic essays, critical reviews, journals, literature reviews, lab reports, research reports, reaction papers, or other similar assignments.

WAC Director

For more information about Writing Across the Curriculum, please contact Professor Shannon Brennan. Prof. Brennan is the director of writing development and an assistant professor of English.