Writing Intensive Courses in Biology Departments


This research will explore writing-intensive courses in Biology departments at select institutions. We will investigate the size of writing-intensive courses and how institutions manage and organize these courses. Specifically, we will seek to understand the format and rigor of courses and the parties involved in grading and assessment of students in the courses.

Key observations from our research

1. Three of four profiled institutions use acronym designations (e.g., WI, CI, W) to indicate courses that qualify as writing intensive.

2. All profiled institutions require students take writing intensive courses to graduate, but only three of four profiled institutions require discipline-specific writing intensive courses.

3. Writing intensive courses at two of four profiled institutions require minimum word counts.

4. Institution B writing intensive courses must incorporate oral communication instruction, while professors at other profiled institutions include communication practice and instruction at their discretion.

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