F.A.Q.

Here are common questions students have about WRI 1000 and 1100.  If you have a question that’s not answered here or on this website, please contact the Director of Campus Writing, Peter Wayne Moe.

The course catalogue lists so many sections of WRI 1000 and WRI 1100.  How different are the requirements for each course?

All sections of 1000 and 1100 have the same standards.  By the end of the quarter, students will have written 16-20 pages of final draft prose, with much revision along the way.  That said, each section will look different; an instructor might choose to have students write three four-page papers with a six-page final paper.  Or an instructor might require five three-page papers with an extra one-page somewhere along the way, or a ten-pager with two shorter papers.  Look over the sample syllabi to get a sense of how each instructor runs the course, talk to other students, or email the professor directly.  Many would be happy to share a syllabus with you.

How do I choose which section of WRI 1000 or 1100 to take?

Look over the course offerings for both 1000 and 1100.  These will be updated each quarter before registration.  Some students choose a course based on the subject matter or the instructor.  All courses will do the same amount of reading and writing, though the assignments and readings themselves will vary from section to section of 1000 and 1100.

I don’t like to write.  Can I get out of taking this course?

The short answer is no.  Writing is the foundation of education, and these courses teach you the skills necessary to succeed in all your other coursework at Seattle Pacific University.  You’ll not only learn to read and write complex texts, you’ll learn to inquire critically into the political, social, cultural, and rhetorical contexts that shape all communication.

Are sections with titles that emphasize film, or gender, or the environment, or science, or reconciliation intended for students who plan to major in those areas?

No.  You can take whatever section, on whatever subject, taught by whatever professor you like.  All sections of 1000 and 1100 work from the same outcomes and standards, so while subject matter differs from section to section, the course itself is consistent.  That said, if you are interested in a particular subject or major, by all means take that section course.

What courses are 1000 and 1100 prerequisites for?

WRI 1000 is a prerequisite for 1100.  After that, WRI 1100 is a prerequisite for many other upper-division courses.  Talk with your advisor for specifics concerning your major.

Who teaches these courses?

WRI 1000 and 1100 are taught primarily by tenure-track professors at SPU.  We believe it’s important for first-year students in particular to have close interaction in a seminar-style classroom with our faculty.  The faculty teaching in The Writing Program are all experts in their respective fields, publishing in those fields and beyond.

What will I be reading in these courses?

All sections of 1000 and 1100 will use Greene and Lidinsky’s From Inquiry to Argument: A Practical Guide, 3rd edition.  Instructors are free to supplement with whatever readings they prefer.  See the sample syllabi for 1000 and 1100 to get a sense of what various sections have read and are reading.

How much will I have to write, and how much will I have to read?

All sections of 1000 and 1100 write 16-20 pages of final draft prose, and they all read a maximum of 75 pages assigned reading.  See the course standards for more information.

What are the grading standards for these courses?

The Writing Program sets a higher standards for writing than you’ve probably experienced before.  It’s not uncommon for papers that might have earned an A in high school to be considered no better than a C in college.  Here’s how the Writing Program defines each grade level:

A = superior attainment
B = meritorious attainment
C = adequate attainment
D = minimal attainment
E = insufficient attainment, no credit

Note that “meritorious” means commendable or praiseworthy:  a B, in other words, reflects a well-written paper, not an average result.  You must earn a D to receive credit for 1000, and you must earn a C to advance to 1100.  Those who earn a C will have substantially progressed toward fulfilling the course outcomes, and your writing will be assessed against those outcomes.

Why do these courses put so much emphasis on revision?

Writers learn most through revision.  Revision is an opportunity to step back and assess the work that’s been done, to add, subtract, and rearrange, to figure out what this project really is about.  There is a unique higher-level thinking that happens when a writer revises, and good writing (and good thinking) take time to develop, to mature, to ripen.  And so, in 1000 and 1100, you’ll be asked to revise your work regularly.  Revision isn’t a punishment, nor is it a sign that the writing is bad.  Rather, it’s the space where writing instruction takes place.  The most important questions we ask in The Writing Program all work toward revision: What this writer’s project, does it work, and what is the next step?

What on-campus resources are available to help me in these courses?

The Writing Center offers help at any stage of the writing process, whether you are just beginning your project, have a draft together, or are putting on the final touches.  For focused attention to your research, see the disciplinary librarians at Ames.  And for study strategies and other academic support, see the Center for Learning.

What provisions can be made for a student with a disability?

SPU provides a variety of services for eligible students with disabilities.  Any student with a documented physical, medical, psychological, or learning disability can schedule an interview with a staff member at Disability Support Services to determine the level of accommodation needed.  Contact Disability Support Services, in Lower Moyer Hall, for more information. 206-281-2272 or TTY: 206-281-2224.