Advisor's Guide to WAC and WR

WAC stands for Writing Across the Curriculum

  • Campus-wide program encourages students to use writing in every discipline to synthesize, analyze, and apply course content
  • Administered by a committee of faculty members
  • Found online under W in the A-Z index

WR stands for Writing-Intensive courses

  • All or selected sections of courses, may be designated with a WR
  • Graded writing adds up to 2000 words (about 8 pages, double-spaced) over the whole semester
  • The course must also offer ungraded writing opportunities
  • Graded and ungraded writing assignments vary widely by discipline and instructor

WR Option

  • An educational enrichment opportunity available to students in all programs
  • Requires at least 30 hours of WR courses with at least a B average in the WR coursework
  • A gold seal noting the completion of the Writing-Intensive Option is affixed to the diploma
  • Adds “Writing-Intensive Option Completed” to the student’s transcript

Benefits of WR for the Student

  • Improved writing skill – the qualification most often requested by employers
  • An edge in applying to transfer institutions
  • More in-depth understanding of the course
  • More opportunity for self expression

Benefits of WR for the Teacher

  • FEEDBACK — Enhanced assessment of student comprehension
  • Satisfaction of helping students earn recognition for the writing they do in the course
  • Reduced class size (one less student) per FA Contract
  • Enhanced professional recognition

Common Misconceptions

  • WR courses are for honors students — In fact, WR courses are for all students in all disciplines.
  • WR courses require long papers — In fact, individual assignments vary. Some may be as brief as a paragraph.
  • WR sections are more difficult than other sections – In fact, often sections not labeled with the WR designation may have just as much writing but the instructor has not submitted the course for WR approval.
  • WR instructors are teaching and grading on style and grammar — In fact, WR assignments are evaluated for clarity and completeness of communication according to standards in the particular subject area.
  • WR courses are more work — In fact, course content is different, not necessarily more difficult.


*Writing Intensive

DOs and DON’Ts for Advisors

DO tell students:

  • Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) is a program that promotes writing and improves a student’s ability to communicate clearly through writing.
  • Writing-Intensive courses are designated on the master schedule as WR.
  • WR courses can not only improve a student’s writing but can also help students more fully understand and learn the course content.
  • Writing can improve critical thinking and analytical skills.
  • Students who complete 30 credits of WR credit with a B average will have a “Writing-Intensive Option Completed” statement added to their transcript and/or diploma.
  • WR courses help prepare students for studying at four-year colleges.
  • The WR Option can improve your chances of being accepted to a four-year college.
  • Employers are looking for employees who have good communication skills, especially writing.

DON’T tell students:

  • WR courses require a lot more work.
  • You don’t want to take WR courses, do you?
  • Don’t take WR courses if you don’t like to write.
  • Most students don’t choose WR courses.
  • The grading is stricter in WR courses.
  • WR courses are only for Honors Students.

For more information, contact Amy Burtner, Interim Writing Across the Curriculum Coordinator, at 292-3386 or; or visit the WAC Website at (under “W” in the A-Z Index)