Writing Across the Curriculum
Formed in 2001, QUWAC is an interdisciplinary faculty committee that promotes practices that lead to better student thinking and stronger student writing. Since its inception, QUWAC has embraced four basic assumptions in its core mission:
- That writing is an active, recursive process that reflects and promotes critical thinking
- That the most effective approach to improving student writing is through improving students' critical thinking skills
- That good writing and critical thinking may take different forms from across different disciplines and tasks
- That some combination of informal writing and formal writing provides the best means to model critical thinking and writing with students
Faculty training and workshops
QUWAC provides training opportunities and workshops throughout the academic year. Themes include designing writing-to-learn exercises that support critical thinking outcomes, understanding the varieties of disciplinary writing and how students navigate them, crafting meaningful reflection assignments, giving students feedback and designing rubrics.
QUWAC provides opportunities for university faculty to engage in scholarly pedagogical research around writing and critical thinking. Proposals help us to develop and refine QUWAC theory and tools, test the effectiveness of writing-based pedagogical practices, and develop resources to support effective pedagogy on campus. Awardees work with members of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning committee to share the progress of their work and explore opportunities to disseminate it to internal and external audiences through presentations, papers and publications.
Individual and group consultations
QUWAC consultants are available to meet with individual faculty, informal groups and whole departments to discuss assignment design, pedagogical practices that link thinking and writing, connecting outcomes across assignments, courses and curriculums, and other issues as needed.
Undergraduate student writing contest
Every year, QUWAC rewards exemplary writing of students in our undergraduate programs with cash prizes, public recognition and publication opportunities. Awards have been given to students working in the arts, business, communications, health sciences, humanities, nursing, social science, and STEM disciplines, and for work in variety of genres, including creative writing and nonfiction, essays, news stories, podcasts, PowerPoint presentations and research projects.