Writing in the Disciplines

The Gen Ed Task Force Report offered general guidelines for Writing Across the Curriculum at third year and capstone levels (sometimes referred to as WID, or Writing in the Disciplines):

-Courses to address goals and outcomes of General Education (see http://generaleducation.appstate.edu

Rachel Forrester Vid Pic-Departments to choose from those goals and outcomes which reflect their concerns for writing in their majors

-Maximum enrollment of 22 students

-Guidelines and standards to be developed by departments for their majors




Role of WAC-WID Title

The WAC Program offers assistance to faculty in all programs who are designing and teaching writing courses in the major with a series of workshops and conversations.  Topics for these workshops and conversations include course design, managing the paper load, managing large class sizes, low and high stakes assignments, revision, reflective writing, portfolio assessment, collaborative writing, and connecting third year and capstone writing to the vertical writing model. If you are interested in working with WAC, please email Director Georgia Rhoades at rhoadesgd@appstate.edu.

Anna W. PicSince 2008 we have worked with these programs:
Appalachian Studies
Communication Sciences and Disorders

Computer Science
Criminal Justice

Curriculum and Instruction
Engineering and Technology

Family and Consumer Sciences

First Year Seminar
Foreign Language
Geography and Planning
Global Studies

Government and Justice Studies
Health, Leisure and Exercise Science


Human Development and Psychological Counseling

Language, Reading, and Exceptionalities 
Philosophy and Religion
Political Science

Physics and Astronomy
Professional Writing
Recreation Management and Physical Education

Sustainable Development

Theatre and Dance
Watauga Global Communities

 Wcourses-WID Title

The old Core Curriculum model required “W” courses in the major. Courses contained “substantial writing that [was] evaluated not only on the basis of content, but also on clarity, effectiveness, and mechanical correctness.”  The intent of the new Gen Ed requirements for writing in the major locates these courses in a vertical writing model, which provides extensive writing in each year of a student's program:

  • First year composition (English 1000) with a link to an Information LiteracySarah G Pic program/module and possible links to First Year Seminar

  • Second year composition and rhetoric with Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) focus in the Composition Program (English 2001) and a link to an Information Literacy program/module and possible links to Perspectives courses

  • Third year Writing in the Discipline (WID) course in the major, guidelines and standards for writing in the major determined by the major field. This writing course in the major builds on earlier writing experience and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Literacy

  • Fourth year Capstone experience that contains intensive writing in the student's discipline.

Guidelines-WID Title

WAC Committee Recommendations for Writing Course Development in the Majors

Based on the recommendations of the Gen Ed Task Force, the WAC Program and the WAC Coordinating Committee suggest these guidelines for departments creating third-year and capstone courses or adapting current “W” courses for the new Gen Ed Curriculum:

  • Course materials should represent an introduction to writing in the field:
    • Landmark texts which students analyze as a step toward their own writing
    • Texts and formats representing the scope of writing in the field
    • A variety of writing assignments representing the writing formats of the field
    • Introduction to research methods and documentation in the field
  • Teaching strategies should include an awareness of process writing:
    • Low and high stakes writing
    • Revision opportunities for high stakes writing (portfolio assessment is recommended)
    • Reflective writing
    • Collaborative writing and peer revision and editing opportunities
  • Connections to Vertical Writing Model through WAC and department conversations with faculty teaching sophomore and capstone writing
  • Writing assessment plan within major
  • Class size:  the Gen Ed Task Force Report suggested a 22-student maximum for writing courses at the junior level.  This requirement might be met through teaching modules and writing sections for large classes where necessary.
  • Options:  some departments and programs may offer multiple courses to satisfy the requirements for writing courses

Please click here to view more information about WAC writing assessment. 

Vertical Writing Model

Vertical Writing Model

WAC Video: A Guide for Student Writing at ASU

WAC Video Link      

Nancy Sommers Video: Beyond the Red Ink

Sommers Video Icon

Web Resources

Contact Us

For information about the Writing Across the Curriculum Program please contact Director Georgia Rhoades at (828) 262-2075 or e-mail at rhoadesgd@appstate.edu

Writing Across the Curriculum Program
Appalachian State University
1107 Anne Belk Hall
ASU Box 32033
Boone, NC 28608-2033

(828) 262-2075 (office)
(828) 262-2032 (fax)

For more information about WAC

QEP Global Learning