College: Agriculture and Life Sciences
Department: Agricultural Economics
REPORT ON RECERTIFICATION OF W COURSE: AGEC 429
CERTIFICATION PERIOD: 1/1/22 to 1/1/26
We recommend that AGEC 429 Agricultural Policy be certified as a writing (W) course. We have reviewed a representative syllabus and have determined that the course meets or exceeds the following criteria: (1) 35% of the final grade is based on writing quality; (2) the total number of words is 2500; (3) the instructor to student ratio is 1:13; and (4) the assigned writing is appropriate to the major.
Students in this course have access to undergraduate writing tutors trained and supported within the department writing center. Students write two papers, one on a policy interest group, one on agricultural or food policy analysis, and a text of at least 500 words each to accompany and discuss two problem sets. The policy papers and problem set texts get written comments from graduate graders and instructors on first drafts. A rubric for grading is provided for writing assignments and discussed in detail throughout the semester. Students are assigned “General Writing Guidelines for AGEC Undergraduate Students,” and common errors in content, format, and writing found in policy papers and problem sets are reviewed the day the graded initial submissions are handed back to students. One portion of several lecture periods is used to discuss key writing topics such as plagiarism, works cited and in-text citations, and writing conclusions.