The Writing Center

The WAC Requirements

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Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) Requirements

  1. Require students to write between 3,000 and 5,000 words (10-20 pages, double-spaced, in 12-point font, with 1” margins) in writing assignments (which may include drafts).1
  2. Final versions of at least one assignment should total at least 2,000 words (eight pages).2
  3. Teach students writing-to-learn strategies that foster students’ experiences in learning and writing-to-communicate strategies that foster students’ respect of readers’ experiences.3  Whenever possible, planning assignments (e.g. reading logs, pre-writing strategies) and peer reviews should be included.
  4. Assign writing complex enough to require substantive revision for most students.  The instructor should give feedback to assist students in preparing subsequent papers or drafts of papers.  This feedback should not consist entirely of mechanical correction of punctuation and grammar.   
  5. Provide instruction in discipline-appropriate forms of texts, arguments, evidence, style, audience, and citation.
  6. Assign writing throughout the semester. 
  7. Where appropriate, address the needs of students regarding library competency.
  8. Assign writing in English unless the course is specifically geared to improving writing at the 300-level in another language. 
  9. In order to receive a C or better in the course, students must write at a satisfactory skill level (C or better).  If the student’s writing is weak, but shows understanding of the course material, the student may be assigned a D, in which case WAC credit will not be received for the course.
  10.  Maximum enrollment for this course is 35 or 45 with a graduate assistant.


1The word count may only include one preliminary draft for each final draft.

2Exceptions to this criterion may be granted in disciplines or courses where students do a substantial amount of writing, but the course structure and/or content does not create opportunities for an assignment of this length.

3Writing-to-learn helps students use writing to explore many aspects of the course as well as their own reflections; these activities should foster learning at deeper levels than memorization or recitation.  Writing-to-communicate emphasizes aspects of writing (style, grammatical correctness, coherence, focus) that allow a reader to navigate the writing as he or she wishes.

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