All undergraduate students at Temple must take two designated “writing-intensive” courses as a requirement of graduation. The goal of the w-course program is to help students to become more proficient and capable writers.
There are two important features of Temple’s w-course program:
First, the program is designed around a “writing-in-the-disciplines” model. This means that the texts that students produce in their w-courses reflect the genres and writing processes that characterize specific disciplines. Students majoring in math will take w-courses, taught by faculty members in math, that introduce them to the kinds of writing that are practiced and valued by mathematicians; students majoring in fine arts will take w-courses taught by fine-arts faculty that teach them about writing in the arts, etc. Among the w-courses taught at Temple are:
- A Media Studies course in which teams of students write and produce segments for a television news broadcast.
- A Public Health course in which students develop a grant proposal for a public health program they have conceived, researched and designed.
- An Early Childhood Education course in which students work with a classroom teacher to produce a portfolio that documents a child's reading development.
- An Anthropology course in which students conduct an original ethnographic fieldwork and draft a scholarly research article based on their findings.
Students can find names and descriptions of the specific w-courses that they will be required to take for their majors by reviewing the Undergraduate Bulletin.
Second, the program is designed to provide students with substantial and effective instruction in writing. In other words, the goal of the program is not only to require students to write, but also to ensure that they receive guidance, instruction and formative feedback while they are writing. This instruction is typically embedded in an iterative process in which students write drafts of their work; get feedback from their instructor; and then revise their drafts based on that feedback. This opportunity to get feedback on and then revise drafts is essential to the development of excellence in writing, and it is a feature of every w-course at Temple.