E-Series/State-Mandated Writing ("W")

 

Designing an E-Series/State-Mandated Writing Course

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.

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What are the learning objectives of E-Series/State-Mandated Writing courses?

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

What aspects of course design are necessary to certify a course for E-Series/State-Mandated Writing?

The course submission must reflect the following information:

E-Series/State-Mandated Writing courses help students become clear, creative, and convincing communicators. The course objectives, course materials, activities, and grading criteria should reflect how students will achieve this outcome.

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” may be used as a point of reference.

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.

What language must be included in the syllabus?

There are two components of required syllabus language:

  1. Statements approved by the Faculty Senate, and
  2. Statements for each Liberal Studies designation the course is certified for

 

Faculty Senate required syllabus language:
All syllabi are required to include the syllabus language statements approved by the FSU Faculty Senate, available at https://facsenate.fsu.edu/Curriculum-Resources/syllabus-language.

Liberal Studies required syllabus language:

The following statement can either be 1) adapted specifically to the course content, or 2) pasted verbatim into the syllabus. In either case, the meaning of the language should be clearly communicated to students.

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.

Can I combine E-Series/State-Mandated Writing with any other Liberal Studies areas?

  • E-Series/State-Mandated Writing can be combined with any other General Education designation.
  • E-Series/State-Mandated Writing can be combined with any of the University Wide Graduation Requirements.
    • If you choose to add a Diversity designation to your course proposal, note that courses cannot carry both Diversity designations.
      • A course may be Cross-Cultural (X) or Diversity in Western Experience (Y), but not both.
    • Note that a course can only fulfill one type of Writing requirement.
      • A course may be E-Series/State-Mandated Writing “W” or Upper-Division Writing.
    • If you are considering a capstone experience for your course proposal, note that a course can carry either the Scholarship in Practice (SIP) or Formative Experience designation, but not both.

Is there a syllabus template I can use to develop an E-Series/State Mandated Writing course?

Yes. While there is no strictly required format for syllabi, our office has created the following document that you may use to facilitate the process of creating a Liberal Studies syllabus:  Syllabus Guide - E-Series/W

Who should I contact if I have any questions or concerns?

  • For general questions about Liberal Studies requirements as well as questions about the Curricular Request Application (CRA), contact Kestrel Strickland.
  • For other questions, contact Lynn Hogan.
  • You may also browse the FAQ for commonly asked questions and answers.

 

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