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Liberal Studies

for the 21st Century

E-Series and "W" (State-Mandated Writing) Liberal Studies Course Design

Skill in writing is not something that can be cultivated in a single pair of courses. Recognizing this, the State of Florida mandates that all undergraduates complete an additional six credit hours of coursework that emphasize college-level English language writing skills. Florida State University addresses this need through the E-Series courses and the “W” (State-Mandated Writing) courses.

STUDENT REQUIREMENTS

To satisfy the State writing mandates, students must complete 6 credit hours of E-Series or "W" (State-Mandated Writing) coursework. To fulfill the college-level writing requirement, students must earn a grade of at least a “C–” in the course, and also earn at least a “C–” average on the required writing assignments. If a student does not earn a “C–” average or higher on the required writing assignments, the student will not earn an overall grade of “C–” or higher in the course, no matter how well the student performs in the remaining portion of the course.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

These courses are designed to help students become creative, and convincing communicators. By the end of the course, students will:

  1. Compose for a specific purpose, occasion, and audience.
  2. Convey ideas in clear, coherent prose that utilizes the conventions of a standard language.

The definition of “college-level writing” that should guide the design and evaluation of writing assignments, as well as the assessment of the writing competencies, is writing that:

  1. presents a clearly defined central idea or thesis;
  2. provides adequate support for that idea;
  3. is organized clearly and logically;
  4. is presented in a format appropriate to the purpose, occasion, and audience; and
  5. utilizes standard conventions appropriate for study in English.

The writing process cultivated by the course, the descriptions of the writing assignments as they are presented in the syllabus, and the grading criteria for evaluating student writing assignments, should all reflect this understanding.

Writing courses must provide students with the following:

  1. Two or more substantial writing assignments or the equivalent.
  2. A set of criteria for assessing student performance on writing.
  3. Feedback on student writing. (Feedback may be from various reviewers, but must include instructor response.)
  4. Opportunities for revision.

“Substantial” in requirement 1 should be interpreted as “intellectually substantial as appropriate for the level of the course.” The previous UPC expectation of “[together] totaling approximately 3000 words” (double that for English Composition courses) may be used as a point of reference.

This course has been approved to meet FSU’s Liberal Studies “W” (State-Mandated Writing) requirement and helps you become a clear, creative, and convincing communicator.

By the end of this course, students will:

  1. Compose for a specific purpose, occasion, and audience.
  2. Convey ideas in clear, coherent prose that utilizes the conventions of a standard language.

In this course, you will compose as a process, including drafts, revision, and editing. The writing cultivated by this process conforms to FSU’s definition of “college-level writing”, which is writing that:

  1. presents a clearly defined central idea or thesis;
  2. provides adequate support for that idea;
  3. is organized clearly and logically;
  4. is presented in a format appropriate to the purpose, occasion, and audience;
  5. utilizes standard conventions appropriate for study in English.

As such, this course requires the completion of two or more substantial writing assignments or the equivalent. Instructors will provide criteria for evaluating your performance on writing, feedback on your writing (including instructor response), and opportunities for revision.

To demonstrate college-level writing competency as required by the State of Florida, the student must earn a “C–” or higher in the course, and earn at least a “C–” average on the required writing assignments. If the student does not earn a “C–” average or better on the required writing assignments, the student will not earn an overall grade of “C–” or better in the course, no matter how well the student performs in the remaining portion of the course.

These items may be included in an appendix to the syllabus if they are not clearly incorporated into the course syllabus.

  • A sample writing assignment or two.
  • A description of how the course will incorporate mechanisms for providing feedback and opportunities for revision.
  • A grading rubric or set of criteria for assessing student performance on writing.

Note: All syllabi are also required to include the syllabus language statements approved by the FSU Faculty Senate, available at http://facsenate.fsu.edu/Curriculum/Syllabus-Language


Liberal Studies for the 21st Century is located in room A3500 on the third floor of University Center A in the stadium

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