First-year Writing Course Proposals

The faculty handbook stipulates that all proposals for the First-year Writing courses be reviewed by the Writing Program Committee. There are two ways to meet this requirement. Faculty who wish to propose a First-Year Writing Course may submit their course proposal form directly to the Chair of the Writing Program Committee by the end of block four. The proposal form is in a similar format to the questionnaire for changes in courses for majors/minors currently used by the Subcommittee on Academic Programs. A previously-approved First-year Writing Course proposal is attached to the form to help guide faculty through the process. In lieu of the written form, faculty may choose to meet with the Writing Program Committee in person in order to discuss the questions addressed on the proposal form.

Application for teaching a First-year Writing course involves a discussion of the Learning Outcomes approved by the faculty in 2004. These goals and outcomes may be divided into three distinct sections. The first addresses the type of assignments that students should discover and practice in Cornell's First-year Writing courses. The second section, under the subheading "Know," includes the categories of the conventions of academic writing, writing as a process, and academic honesty. These directly addresses the goals that faculty cover in their assignments. The final section outlines the basic student outcomes expected from these First-year courses.

No particular style manual is required for a First-year Writing course; however, faculty members are encouraged to introduce students to the resources listed by the Writing Studio. These resources include Diana Hacker's "Research and Documentation Online." If an instructor does not a preference for a particular style manual, the best choice may well be Hacker's "A Pocket Style Manual" that complements the material listed on the Writing Studio website.

Faculty who are interested in teaching First-Year Writing courses are encouraged to investigate advice offered to students and faculty at the Writing Studio in the Center for Teaching and Learning [link]. Sample syllabi and assignments are available at the studio. Finally, The Writing Program Committee Chair or members of the Writing Program Committee would be happy to brainstorm with interested faculty prior to the proposal stage.