UWP 102A

Writing in the Disciplines: Special Topics

  1. Catalog Description

    UWP 102A. Writing in the Disciplines: Special Topics (4) Lecture/discussion-3 hours; extensive writing. Prerequisite: c ourse 1 or English 3 or the equivalent and upper division standing; concurrent enrollment in a specified course in a subject-matter discipline, acceptance into a specified major, or consent of instructor. Advanced instruction in the elements of expository writing, with special emphasis on their application to writing projects in a specified academic discipline. May be repeated one time for credit if taken in conjunction with a different subject-matter course. GE credit: Wrt (cannot be used to satisfy a college or university composition requirement and GE writing experience simultaneously). -I, II, III (I, II, III.)

  2. Course Goals
  • To introduce students to the forms of discourse within the discipline
  • To teach students to present their ideas persuasively, using the kinds of sources, forms of evidence and types of analysis appropriate to the discipline
  • To teach students the conventions of writing within that discipline
  • To give students practice in reading critically the literature of that discipline
  • To teach students to assess the writing situation, and plan an appropriate response
  • To strengthen students' ability to organize, draft, revise, and edit their own work
  1. Entry Level

    Students should have completed UWP 1 or ENL 3 or the equivalent and have upper division standing. They should be familiar with the general principles of good writing, including organization, developments, sentence structure, grammar, and punctuation.

  2. Topical Outline
  • Understanding the writing process
    • Prewriting, drafting, revising, editing for grammar and correctness
  • Analyzing typical rhetorical situations within the discipline
    • Determining the writing purpose
    • Analyzing the needs, interests, and abilities of the audience
    • Adapting one's writing to the audience
  • The forms of discourse appropriate to that discipline
    • Analyzing purpose, organization, and style
    • Reading critically the literature of that discipline
  • Conventions of writing within the discipline of the major or that of the companion course
    • The nature of evidence
    • The kinds of sources
    • Logic and reasoning within the discipline
    • Forms of documentation
    • Organization and style
  • Developing an effective academic and professional writing style within the contest of the discipline
    • Being clear and specific
    • Using verbs effectively
    • Maintaining objectivity
    • Using specialized jargon appropriately
    • Writing clear and focused sentences


  1. Grading Criteria
  1. The course will be graded by a letter grade.
  2. Grades will be based on the students' performance on in- and out-of-class writing assignments and on a final exam. Students will write a minimum of 6000 words; the number of assignments and the weight of each assignment will vary according to the instructor. Instructors may choose assignments from among the following types of assignments: oral report, summary report, literature review, proposal, research report, lab report, abstract, an article on a scientific subject directed toward a lay audience, or similar project related to scientific research.
  1. Reading

    Texts for each section will vary, depending upon the nature of writing in the companion course. Typically, instructors will use A Short Guide to Writing about -Literature, Art ; The Writer's Guide: Political Science, Life Sciences, Psychology ; or a similar cross-curricular series. Sections paired with engineering courses assign Designing Technical Reports , by J. C. Mathes and Dwight W. Stevenson.

  2. Explanation of Potential Course Overlap

    UWP 102A does not overlap with any other courses. UWP 102A is distinguished from other advanced writing courses by its focus on writing within a specific discipline or related disciplines; it is distinguished from the companion course by its emphasis on instruction in writing rather than on the subject matter of the companion course.

  3. Justification of Units

    UWP 102A is a four-unit course. Three hours per week is lecture/discussion. As with all upper division writing courses, an additional unit of credit is justified by the significant amount of work that students must do outside of class time to plan, draft, and revise that 6000 or more words of required writing. In addition to this substantial written requirement, students will meet individually with the instructor for discussion and evaluation of their work. The estimated time of preparation of the writing assignments (research, consultation, drafting, revision) is thirty hours, an amount consistent with Carnegie Rule guidelines.