Academic Information

Writing Effectiveness Requirement

In order to graduate from Ithaca College, all students in the School of Humanities and Sciences must be deemed “writing effective.”

Please note the School of Humanities and Sciences' policy as stated in the Undergraduate Catalog:

Writing Effectiveness
Effective writing is defined as writing that is clear, focused and adequately developed in response to an assignment. Such writing is well organized and reasonably correct according to conventional standards of grammar, punctuation and usage. Students satisfy the writing effectiveness requirement first by completing WRTG 10600 (or equivalent). At the end of this course, the instructor applies the criteria established for effective writing to determine whether the student meets the writing requirement. Students may verify that the requirement has been met by checking their degree evaluation on HomerConnect.

Please note that it is possible to receive a passing grade in the listed writing courses and NOT be deemed writing effective.

Students failing to satisfy the requirement after earning credit for WRTG 10600 (or equivalent) may then meet the requirement either by enrolling in WRTG 11100 and deemed writing effective (if credit has not already been earned for this course) or by completing a writing portfolio under the direction of a writing department.

Students failing to meet the writing effectiveness requirement after completing the portfolio process must satisfy it by meeting guidelines established by their major department and the student's academic advisor. Guidelines for departmental portfolio processes are available from each academic department in H&S.

Portfolio Process for the Department of Theatre Arts

If, by the senior year, a theatre arts student has completed the steps outlines in the Undergraduate Catalog and failed to meet the writing effectiveness requirement, the student must submit a writing portfolio to the Department of Theatre Arts curriculum committee for review no later than October 1st of the fall semester prior to graduation. Applications are available in the Forms section of the Current Student Resources section of the Department of Theatre Arts website and in the main office. Portfolios must consist of at least twenty pages of academic writing from no fewer than three assignments. The committee will review the portfolio and provide a decision by the Monday following Fall Break. Seniors failing to meet the writing effectiveness requirement at this point must consult with the curriculum committee to establish a plan to meet the graduation requirement, which may include tutoring or coursework.

WRITING EFFECTIVE = C or ABOVE

An A paper will demonstrate the following characteristics:

  1. The paper achieves, states and maintains a clear and consistent focus throughout.
  2. The paper provides more than adequate support for all main points.
  3. This support is properly documented in accord with MLA standards.
  4. The paper does not contain a pattern of serious grammatical errors; on the contrary, it displays evidence of sound syntactic structure and variety.
  5. In addition to clear focus, support and sound writing techniques, an A paper also exhibits an exceptional level of perception and the ability to think creatively about the subject matter.

B paper will demonstrate the following characteristics:

All of  the above characteristics except #5. This paper is clearly focused, well supported and well-written. It makes and supports valid points. It exhibits an advanced level of perception and the ability to think creatively.

C paper will demonstrate the following characteristics:

  1. The paper has a focus, but may not consistently address this focus throughout.
  2. The paper provides adequate support for its main point.
  3. The documentation for this support is basically correct.
  4. The paper may contain several serious grammatical errors. There is a decided lack of syntactic variety.
  5. The essay, while addressing the topic, exhibits an average level of perception or engagement with the subject matter.

D paper will demonstrate the following characteristics:

  1. This paper lacks a clear controlling idea, wandering from point to point without any visible strategy.
  2. This paper fails to provide adequate support.
  3. Proper documentation is attempted but not standard.
  4. The paper contains a pattern of serious grammatical errors.
  5. The essay exhibits a lower-than-average level of perception and little to no engagement with the subject matter.

An F paper will demonstrate the following characteristics:

This paper has some or all of the problems listed under the D paper but in a more severe form: no focus, no support, no attempt at documentation procedures, serious grammatical and syntactic flaws and virtually no coherent message or opinions concerning the subject matter.

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