The Writing Program at Muhlenberg

The Writing Program at Muhlenberg has evolved since 1989, when the faculty voted to implement a writing across the curriculum program. Typically, upwards of forty writing-intensive courses are offered each semester across the humanities, sciences, and social sciences. The College is committed to writing as an essential skill in a liberal arts education and to the conviction that writing instruction is the shared responsibility of faculty in all disciplines and not the province of any single department.

Students at Muhlenberg are required to take three writing-intensive (W) courses for graduation. The first of these is a first-year seminar. (The faculty voted to substitute first-year seminars for freshman composition in 1992.) Students select the second W from anywhere in the curriculum, including their major. The third W must be a course offered or designated by the student’s major department. Double majors must take a writing-intensive course for each major.

Writing-intensive courses share basic requirements and a philosophy.

  • The courses are small, encouraging discussion and collaboration.
  • They offer frequent opportunities to produce analytical writing.
  • They use writing as a means of enriching students’ understanding of course content.
  • They embrace writing not only as a means of presenting finished pieces of thinking but also as a form of learning.

Thus, W courses involve more than just a significant amount of writing. They present a particular kind of learning experience for students—one in which overt attention is devoted to both the writing process and the written product.

Writing Program Committee Annual Report 2019-20