Writing in the Disciplines

The University Writing Program supports students in developing a robust writing practice throughout their academic careers. GW’s writing requirement is built on the principle that intensive writing instruction carried out over multiple terms enhances learning and builds writing skills and practices for the long term. Therefore, after completing UW1020, students complete at least two Writing in the Disciplines (WID) courses, in separate semesters, preferably in the second and third years--many GW students, in fact, take more than the two required WID courses. While  styles, formats, and lengths of writing will vary, all WID course will:

  • teach students to write in modes characteristic of the discipline or interdisciplinary field, attending to the discipline's genres, purposes, and audiences.
  • stage writing assignments that build upon each other throughout the course, providing scaffolding support as needed.
  • ask students to draft and revise in response to substantive feedback from faculty and peers; each student should gain practice in providing meaningful peer response.
  • value such disciplinary work by assigning graded writing (excluding timed exams) as at least 40 percent of the course grade.

WIDs may be taken in any department (including your major) and can fulfill more than one requirement simultaneously (e.g., WID, GPAC, and/or major requirements). Since research shows that writing instruction works best cumulatively over time, your two required WID courses must be taken in separate semesters. Note: Summer Sessions One and Two are considered the same semester. See also: WID Policies and For Faculty and Departments.