Writing Across the CurriculumWriting at Gustavus: Make Your Words Count

Gustavus has received national recognition for its curricular innovation in writing, which combines a strong Writing Across the Curriculum program—required writing intensive courses coupled with faculty development efforts—and a thriving College Writing Center. This combination of curricular efforts, faculty development, and peer support helps ensure that both students and faculty receive support for their work. Most importantly, the Gustavus writing program embodies the College's commitment to teach effective writing skills throughout all disciplines.

Why WAC?

Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) is a pedagogical movement that gained strength in the 1980's. Responsibility for writing instruction is shared across the campus, and faculty work together to help students learn to express themselves with clarity and precision in every course context. Good writers make successful choices, suiting form, content, and style to different contexts, purposes, and audiences. In developing such rhetorical skills, the WAC program helps Gustavus students prepare to participate in public life and communicate within and across disciplinary and cultural contexts. WAC at Gustavus draws a great deal from "writing to learn" theories (WTL), which suggest that students can use writing to think through challenging material, internalize what they know, and express themselves more effectively and fluently.

The WRIT Requirement

Program Description

The Gustavus Adolphus College writing requirement promotes writing as a creative and critical process and a lifelong skill that enables learning, reflection, and communication. Good writers can accommodate different purposes, contexts, and audiences. Through its Writing Across the Curriculum Program, Gustavus helps students develop this rhetorical competency, as writers learn to make their cases in the most effective ways possible. In short, WAC enables fuller academic and civic participation. In courses that fulfill the Gustavus Writing Requirement (WRIT, WRITL, and WRITD) students use writing to learn unfamiliar concepts and to express themselves; to analyze and evaluate multiple sources of information; to make and support claims; to communicate new knowledge to others; and to reflect on their learning.

Graduation Requirement

Gustavus requires students to complete FOUR designated writing requirement courses from at least two different departments in order to graduate. Generally, one of the courses will be taken in the first year, typically in FTS or Three Crowns, and designated WRIT. Students then complete the writing requirement by taking three additional courses (WRITL and WRITD). At least one writing course must be designated WRITL. 

For further information about the Gustavus Adolphus College Writing Program, contact Nissa Parmar (x6080).