Writing Emphasis Certification Process

Once an instructor is approved by the following procedure, he or she may elect to teach any course in a writing emphasis mode without further approval.

  1. Contact Writing Programs Coordinator. Indicate your interest in writing emphasis certification in an email message to Bryan Kopp.
  2. Attend a consultation or workshop. After reviewing basic information about writing emphasis courses, instructors are required to complete a session on designing, using, and evaluating writing assignments in the classroom. (Instructors who have background in college-level writing instruction may be exempted from this requirement.)
  3. Complete an approval form. Send a completed approval form to the Writing Programs Coordinator for review by members of the Writing Programs Advisory Board or other approved Writing Emphasis instructors. Instructors may need to revise and resubmit approval forms before proceeding.
  4. Gain final approval. The Writing Programs Coordinator submits recommendations to the General Education Committee for final endorsement. GEC endorses certifications in batches, typically once or twice a year.

Review Criteria for Approval Forms

Reviewers will use this survey [preview] to submit comments on writing emphasis approval forms.

I. Integration of Informal Writing (Writing to Learn)

"Writing to Learn" refers to brief assignments or activities, in or out of class, in which students use writing as a learning tool to improve their understanding of course materials, concepts, or topics. Such informal writing is often completed in the moment, with little or no revision or editing.

Agree Disagree Not Sure

Teacher describes specific types.
Students write at least 40 pages.
Assignments linked with course goals.
Students practice regularly.
Teacher manages workload.
Teacher clarifies guidelines for evaluating student work.

Comments about the integration of informal writing:

II. Integration of Formal Writing

These assignments require students to work through a composing process, including drafting and revising, to produce a text that follows discipline-appropriate conventions related to format, style, documentation, etc. Students typically receive feedback and guidance related to explicit criteria.

Agree Disagree Not Sure

Teacher describes specific types.
Students write 10 or more pages.
Teacher indicates audience(s) to be addressed.
Teacher specifies stylistic conventions to be followed.
Students are provided with models or examples.
Students receive feedback.
Teacher clarifies guidelines for evaluating student work.

Comments about the integration of formal writing:

III. Sample Course Materials

Agree Disagree Not Sure

Teacher includes portions of a syllabus or handouts related to the writing component of the course.
Teacher provides guidelines for a sample formal writing assignment.

Overall Recommendation

Recommend for Approval by GEC

Revise and Resubmit

Please explain your overall recommendation:

Recommended Submission Dates

Approval forms should be submitted at least one semester prior to teaching writing emphasis courses. To ensure adequate time for review and revision, approval forms should be ideally submitted near the beginning of the preceding semester and no later than mid-term.


Bryan Kopp
Writing Programs Coordinator and
Assistant Professor of English

426G Carl Wimberly Hall