Criteria for a WI Course

  • Informal “writing-to-learn” activities should take place as often as possible but at least once a week throughout the These activities include journals, dictations, summary writing of a point made in class or in the homework, definitions of key terms, micro-themes, solving problems, asking questions and other informal, low-stakes writing activities.
  • Students in all WI course at all levels will write a minimum of 10-12 pages of formal writing, which incorporate opportunities for feedback and revision and which can be satisfied by a variety of writing assignments, such as personal-response essays, summary essays, critiques, research papers, proposals, reports, reviews, and other multi-genre writing forms specific to a discipline.
  • Instructors are encouraged to use a series of short assignments, a minimum of three to four, rather than one long one, e., writing should be integrated into the course throughout the semester. For example, this might consist of three papers of 2-3 pages and one research paper, lab report or other longer piece of formal writing of 6 to 8 pages. It is suggested that at least one writing assignment be begun or drafted in class.
  • Research papers (if assigned) should be completed in stages so that students profit from instructional mediation and feedback.
  • Course grades in WI courses should be based in substantial part on assessment of students’ written In all forms of assessment the instructor uses throughout this course, writing must be a substantial part of the grade. While this does not preclude short answer/multiple-choice testing, it does intend that students’ writing on other assignments be part of their grade.
  • Faculty teaching WI courses should be involved in WAC faculty development This may take the form of attendance and participation in WAC faculty development workshops sponsored through CUNY or Hostos and through close collaboration with a CUNY Writing Fellow. This is to ensure faculty familiarity with WAC principles and practices including incorporating “writing-to-learn” strategies, creating assignments and responding to and evaluating student writing.
  • Ideally, class size should be limited to 20 in WI.


For more information about WAC at Hostos Community College, please contact either Linda Hirsch ( or Sean Gerrity (, or send us a message using the form below.


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