Writing Center

Writing Intensive Courses at WCSU

Beginning in Fall of 2016, all students at Western Connecticut State University must fulfill the following writing requirements:
WRT 101: Composition I, or equivalent
Writing Intensive Tier II Competency
Writing Intensive Tier III Competency

Definition of Writing Intensive Tier II

Writing is at the core of critical thinking and active learning. To foster the intellectual growth of students, writing must be incorporated beyond the level of Composition I. The second tier writing intensive competency encourages students to learn and think in ways that cannot be attained through other pedagogical patterns. It requires targeted instruction to allow students to learn more about the subject matter through writing and to learn how to improve their writing. The writing intensive competency must also involve research and a process of revision.


Upon completion of the Tier II Writing Intensive competency, students will be able to:

Demonstrate writing as a process that is guided by revision in response to writing instruction and instructor feedback on multiple projects;
Apply formal and informal writing strategies to develop an understanding of course content;
Demonstrate the ability to locate, analyze, synthesize, incorporate, and attribute primary and secondary sources according to rhetorical conventions as appropriate to the discipline;
Produce a minimum of 6,000 words of writing over the semester, of which at least 4,000 words are edited, polished prose according to the conventions of Standard American English; and
Produce several writing projects, including one project of at least 1,500 words that develops and sustains a source-supported argument and requires revision.

Definition of Writing Intensive Tier III

Effective writing skills develop and improve throughout a student’s academic career as they move through three tiers of writing competencies.  Tier 1 (Composition I or its equivalent) focuses on writing as a process and as a method of learning; on understanding and using various rhetorical strategies in writing; and on organization, audience, tone, voice, and the conventions of Standard American English and academic documentation. Tier II continues to support the Tier I outcomes and further emphasizes targeted instruction and strategies for research-based writing and revision. As the culminating writing experience, Tier III focuses on a discipline-specific synthesis of the skills acquired in the earlier tiers.


Upon completion of the Tier III Writing Competency, students will be able to:

Design, propose, sustain, and write a source-supported project on a topic that is appropriate to the discipline;
Incorporate instructor feedback into professional-quality writing in genres that are most relevant to the discipline;
Apply specialized conventions of writing within the discipline, including grammar, mechanics, diction, syntax, format, source attribution, and specific languages.