Political Science majors are required to complete two writing development courses. Every semester some of our courses are designated as writing development courses. The snapshot of the schedule of classes will tell you which courses carry writing development credits. It may also be possible to contract with your professor to receive writing development credits for a course that is not designated as a writing development course. If you would like to do this, speak with your professor and/or your political science advisor. Writing development courses may simultaneously fulfill other distribution requirements.
Writing development classes in political science combine instruction in the subjects of the courses with exercises specifically designed to improve studentsí abilities to do cogent analytic writing. Generally, writing development classes have more writing assignments, or more demanding writing assignments, than regular POSC classes. Final grades in these classes depend more on the writing assignments than in the regular classes. Writing development classes ask students to present clear, well-reasoned arguments about challenging problems or questions. The writing assignments call upon the students not only to describe and summarize, but to organize logically, think rigorously, and explain coherently. Writing development classes strive to foster intellectual independence. Therefore, at least one writing assignment will require students to do independent research, or, in classes concerned with theory, to participate in defining core issues. Writing development classes stress the need for correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation and encourage stylistic elegance. Emphasis is placed on correcting errors that render thought less intelligible, and on mistakes that are repeated so frequently as to distract or annoy readers. Instructors in writing development classes give students constructive criticism and opportunities to improve their writing. Some instructors permit multiple drafts; others look for improvement from one assignment to the next.
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