Upper-Division Writing

 

Designing an Upper-Division Writing Course

Upper-Division Writing courses help students become flexible and proficient writers for professional purposes.

A student thinks carefully as she writes in her notebook.

What are the learning objectives for Upper-Division Writing courses?

  1. Use appropriate evidence from multiple sources to illustrate how a chosen topic is relevant to a particular field.
  2. Convey ideas clearly, coherently, and effectively for a particular purpose, occasion, or audience representative as appropriate for the field.

What aspects of course design are necessary to certify a course for Upper-Division Writing?

The course submission must reflect the following information:

Upper-Division 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.

If not clearly incorporated into the course syllabus, a sample assignment (and associated grading criteria) explaining the substantial assignment should be included in an appendix to the syllabus. These materials should illustrate how students will be assessed on their achievement of the Upper-Division Writing student learning objectives.

Note: Upper-Division Writing courses must be offered at a level of 3000 or 4000.

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 Upper-Division Writing requirement and helps you become a flexible and proficient writer for professional purposes.

By the end of this course, students will:

  1. Use appropriate evidence from multiple sources to illustrate how a chosen topic is relevant to a particular field.
  2. Convey ideas clearly, coherently, and effectively for a particular purpose, occasion, or audience representative as appropriate for the field.

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; and
  5. utilizes the conventions of a standard language.

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.

In order to fulfill FSU’s Upper-Division Writing requirement, 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 Upper-Division Writing with any other Liberal Studies areas?

  • Upper-Division Writing courses must be offered at a level of 3000 or 4000.
    • If the course is offered at the 3000-level, Upper-Division Writing can be combined with any General Education designation.
    • 4000-level courses cannot carry any General Education designations.
  • Upper-Division Writing can be combined with any of the University Wide Graduation Requirements except for E-Series/State-Mandated Writing.
    • 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 Upper-Division 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 - Upper-Division Writing

Who should I contact if I have more 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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