St. Olaf Writing Curriculum

St. Olaf General Education Writing Curriculum (Effective Fall 2021-22)

First-Year Experience: Writing and Rhetoric (OLE Core Requirement)

These ILOs and Guidelines are part of CC Resolution 19/20-17, approved by the faculty on May 7, 2020.

Description:
This course engages students in academic and public discourse (audience, purpose, genre, context) related to a particular topic. Students write in multiple genres and engage in writing as a systematic, interactive process. They understand, evaluate, and use appropriate technologies for different purposes and audiences. Writing and Rhetoric is part of the First-Year Experience, which includes two distinct activities to support college transition: students participate in structured and sustained orientation to support their academic and co-curricular development, and students reflect on this development.

Intended Learning Outcomes:
Students will:

  1. Practice academic and student success skills, learned through sustained, structured first-year student orientation, necessary to navigate the liberal arts college experience.
  2. Develop a research-driven project.
  3. Apply effective strategies to craft an argument.
  4. Engage in writing as a systematic, iterative process.
  5. Reflect on their learning during the course and articulate how they will apply it to their college experience.

Course Guidelines:
Students complete the First-Year Experience through courses that fulfill First-Year Seminar and Writing & Rhetoric.

  1. Practice academic and student success skills, learned through sustained, structured first-year student orientation, necessary to navigate the liberal arts college experience.
    Faculty teaching First-Year Seminar and Writing & Rhetoric will collaborate with staff leaders of sustained orientation to reinforce co-curricular programming. Course proposals must demonstrate integration of sustained, structured orientation programming into courses.
  2. Develop a research-driven project.
    Writing & Rhetoric students will develop a project in which they make a case with guidance from course materials at least in part provided by the instructor. As part of this process, students will consider how the course materials engage with audience, purpose, genre and context. Their writing or other forms of communication will be informed by modeling what outside authors have done within the context of the course.
  3. Apply effective strategies to craft an argument.
    Students will be expected to identify, investigate, or examine evidence from a variety of sources to structure and support claims. Students must also consider the audience and purpose of their writing within the course structure. Writing & Rhetoric students will be learning about and applying rhetorical strategies appropriate for their audience. For example, students will select tone, evidence, language, technology and communication style to engage the intended audience. Though the focus of the course is on written arguments, courses might also address crafting effective oral arguments.
  4. Engage in writing as a systematic, iterative process.
    The process of writing is very similar in all three GE writing courses. Students will follow a writing process that involves generating drafts, responding to and providing feedback, revising, editing and proofreading. The sophistication with which students do this in Writing and Rhetoric will be less than in the other two courses.
  5. Reflect on their learning during the course and articulate how they will apply it to their college experience.
    Students will reflect at the end of each course in the First-Year Experience taken at St. Olaf, typically at the end of First-Year Seminar, Writing & Rhetoric, or Conversations courses in fall and spring. Reflection should focus on three key areas introduced during New Student Orientation, in First-Year Seminar, Writing & Rhetoric, or Conversations courses, and expanded on during their sustained orientation programming: academic development, co-curricular involvement, and living in community. Reflections can be integrated into course assignments and take any number of forms appropriate to course content and aligned with reflection goals.
Writing Across the Curriculum (OLE Core Requirement)

These ILOs and Guidelines are part of CC Resolution 19/20-18, approved by the faculty on May 7, 2020.

Description:
Taught at the 200-level, this course bridges the First-Year Experience foundations of critical reading, writing, inquiry, discussion, and information literacy with deeper learning and transfer as students navigate one or more majors or concentrations, engage in academic and co-curricular experiences that invest in vocation, and develop a sense of their place and role in community.

Intended Learning Outcomes:
Students will:

  1. Analyze a variety of texts using a particular disciplinary or interdisciplinary perspective.
  2. Use communication strategies appropriate for one or more specified audiences.
  3. Engage in writing as a systematic, iterative process.

Course Guidelines:

  1. Analyze a variety of texts using a particular disciplinary or interdisciplinary perspective.
    Students will build on skills introduced and practiced in Writing and Rhetoric by considering disciplinary ways of knowing and evaluating and making choices about purpose and audience. In these courses, “text” is defined broadly to include written texts, visual texts, quantitative information, or performances. Students could be asked to compose formally and/or informally in response to texts and may connect or contrast how different rhetorical choices affect delivery of content in different texts. In some disciplines, students may also continue to develop research skills practiced in Writing and Rhetoric.
  2. Use communication strategies appropriate for one or more specified audiences.
    Students will learn and practice communication strategies for particular audiences and purposes that may address some, but not all, of the following areas: interpersonal, professional, academic, and/or civic contexts. Different genres, such as personal narrative, textual or quantitative analysis, and creative and/or reflective writing can be incorporated. Students can also be asked to write in a variety of media, such as print, digital and/or visual, as appropriate to the writing situation. For example, a course could include writing assignments for the same audience using different media, or for different audiences using the same media.
  3. Engage in writing as a systematic, iterative process.
    Students will practice writing as a process throughout the sequence of Writing and Rhetoric, Writing Across the Curriculum, and Writing in the Major. The writing process includes composition, responding to and giving feedback, refining to fit a given audience, revising, and editing.
Writing in the Major (Graduation Requirement Fulfilled through a Major)

These ILOs and Guidelines are part of CC Resolution 19/20-18, approved by the faculty on May 7, 2020.

Description:
A single course or a set of modules distributed across two or more courses that provide writing instruction and practice relevant to a specific major and build upon knowledge and skills developed in the “First-Year Experience” (especially “Writing and Rhetoric”) and “Writing Across the Curriculum”. As appropriate, this requirement engages students in multimodal writing, including visual and oral communication. At a minimum, half of this requirement must be at the 300-level.

Administrative Guideline: At least half this requirement must be at the 300-level.

Intended Learning Outcomes:
Students will:

  1. Develop a research-driven or creative project.
  2. Create original content or evaluate evidence or arguments.
  3. Implement communication strategies appropriate to the field.
  4. Engage in writing as a systematic, iterative process.

Course Guidelines:

  1. Develop a research-driven or creative project.
    The type of project will vary by discipline, and each department will define what constitutes “research-driven” or “creative” for their major. For example, a studio art major might write museum notes for their senior show, a political science student might write a literature review about research on public opinion toward immigrants, and a science major might write a scientific journal article.
  2. Create original content or evaluate evidence or arguments.
    Students in Writing in the Major courses will either create original content or evaluate evidence or arguments to make a case. These students will be working at a higher level, including more independently, than students in Writing and Rhetoric or Writing Across the Curriculum courses.
  3. Implement communication strategies appropriate to the field.
    Students will consider the audience and purpose of their writing within the course structure, and write for an appropriate audience in a form that is relevant to the field. Writing in the Major students will design and implement communication strategies that are appropriate in the field. For example, students will select tone, evidence, language, technology and communication style to engage the intended audience.
  4. Engage in writing as a systematic, iterative process.
    The process of writing is very similar in all three GE writing courses. Students will follow a writing process that involves generating drafts, responding to and providing feedback, revising, editing and proofreading. The sophistication with which students do this in Writing in the Major courses will be higher than in the other two courses.