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ENGL 415 Studies in a Major Author

Claude Gibson

NOTE: Cross listed with AFST 325 for Fall 2011


We recommend that ENGL 415 Studies in a Major Author be certified as a writing (W) course for the next four academic years (1/09 to 9/13).  We have reviewed the syllabus and have determined that the course meets or exceeds the following criteria:

1. Percentage of final grade based on writing quality (35%)
2. Course content appropriate to the major
3. Total number of words (3000-4000)
4. Instructor to student ratio for one section: 1:24

Because ENGL 415 is a special topics course taught by many different faculty members, the department Undergraduate Studies Committee monitors compliance with W requirements. Each fall faculty formally submit proposals for the following year.  The Committee approves each and checks for appropriateness for the W designation. All faculty with approved proposals are given copy of the W course checklist when their actual 415 assignment is made as a reminder of expectations. Nine different professors have taught a 415 since its initial approval. Professors mentor every step of the process, with checks and/or exercises on topic selection, annotating bibliographies, outlines or a prospectus, and rough drafts. In addition to lectures, prompts, and models, a third use in-class workshops as well as peer reviews. Writing assignments over the term increase in complexity from such assignments as response and close reading journals to reviews of scholarly articles to critical analyses to the term paper. All professors use lecture, discussion, and scholarly and peer modeling. All require rough draft checks. A third use peer review. A third use collaborative writing activities to teach particular elements such as proposal writing/research topic development, annotating, etc.

No significant changes have been made since original certification was granted.