All students in DRW courses should leave the class able to write mechanically correct prose. Students should receive classroom instruction to be sure that their completed papers have the following attributes:
• Lean, jargon-free style.
Rhetoric students should be introduced to elements of a more polished and sophisticated style. These additional attributes should be evident in their papers:
• Sensitivity to the connotations of words.
Mechanics and usage features should always be taught with an awareness of their social and conventional nature and with an understanding of their historical development. These features are examined and taught effectively through examples from student prose. Grammar exercises presented alone and out of context rarely improve undergraduate writing.
In addition to the department standards, all lower-division DRW courses should also meet the writing-flag requirements as designated by the University. The DRW has obtained blanket writing flag permission for all rhetoric courses. The requirements are listed here for your information and convenience.
Criterion #1: Require students to write regularly—several times during the semester—and to complete writing projects that are substantial. What substantial writing projects will your students complete during the course?
Criterion #2: Be structured around the principle that good writing requires rewriting. Students must receive meaningful feedback from the instructor (or teaching assistant) so they can improve successive drafts. What kinds of feedback will students receive from the instructor, and what opportunities will they be given to revise their writing?
Criterion #3: Include writing assignments that constitute at least one-third of the final grade in the course. These assignments must be graded on writing quality as well as content. What amount of the final course grade will come from the written work (minimum one-third for a three-hour course)?
Criterion #4: Provide an opportunity for students to read each other’s work in order to offer constructive criticism. What opportunities will students have to read each other’s work and offer constructive criticism?
Further interpretation of these criteria and their application to specific courses can be found at the UGS site.