Requirements Overview

The Advanced Writing requirement is part of the Miami Global PlanDepartments can request input and assistance for courses they would like to be designated as ADVW. They can also advise their majors to take approved Advanced Writing courses taught by other departments.

What Is an Advanced Writing Course?

As Miami Global Plan courses, Advanced Writing courses help students develop transferable skills in Four Pillars that embody the values and mission of a Miami education:

  • Civic-Mindedness and Social Engagement
  • Critical and Integrative Thinking
  • Communication and Expression
  • Collaboration and Innovation

Proposed Advanced Writing courses must demonstrate how they meet these Four Pillars.

Proposed Advanced Writing courses must also demonstrate how they meet the following six student learning outcomes. By the end of the Advanced Writing course (or course sequence), students should:

  • Be able to read academic and/or professional or technical texts and understand how disciplinary conventions and goals shape the texts they read.
  • Understand and use writing as a means of learning and thinking.
  • Compose texts that respond to the needs of appropriate audiences, using suitable discourse conventions to shape those texts. Use academic conventions of format and structure when appropriate.
  • Locate, evaluate, organize, and use appropriate primary and secondary research material.
  • Compose texts that integrate the writer’s ideas with those from academic sources and other documents.
  • Engage in extended drafting and revision of extended and formal texts using appropriate technologies and modalities

In addition to meeting the above student learning outcomes and meeting the Four Pillars of the Miami Global Plan, Advanced Writing courses must also:

  1. provide students with frequent opportunities to write and revise based on feedback and 
  2. include writing and writing instruction as a central component of the course content 

Provide students frequent opportunities to write and revise based on feedback.

Revision, planning, and drafting are intrinsic parts of the writing (and learning) process. Students should practice revision and drafting in conjunction with varied types of feedback (oral and/or written) as appropriate to the task and context.

Both formal and informal writing offer opportunities for feedback on content/ideas, structure, style, conventions, etc. Opportunities for feedback include:

  • Whole class discussion about drafts, conventions, and writing expectations.
  • Instructor guidance and feedback during research, analysis, presentation, and/or drafting.
  • Instructor or TA feedback on outlines, brainstorming, and oral or written drafts.
  • Use of written instructor-guided criteria to help peers provide feedback to one another.

In an Advanced Writing course, there is an expectation that feedback on work (including work in progress) will not only come from peers but also from the instructor or trained TA. Of course, both peer and instructor feedback is desirable.

The forms writing takes in Advanced Writing Courses will differ greatly across disciplines and contexts. Writing should be in the service of learning. When considering what kinds of writing to assign, faculty should think first about their desired outcomes and disciplinary conventions and expectations and then determine the genres, texts, and assignment types that will help students meet those outcomes.

Writing can be both formal and informal. Informal writing might include lab notebooks, whiteboard notes and problem-solving, written homework, field notes, diagrams, annotated readings, peer response, outlines, problem sets, free writes, blogs, discussion posts on Canvas, one-minute papers, or informal reflections.

Remember that writing is multimodal, and proposers are encouraged to consider the role of multimodal texts in their disciplinary texts.

  • Multimodal writing may include graphs, charts, maps, 3D representations, oral presentations, and combinations of alphabetic and visual text.
  • Students benefit from balancing multimodal with alphabetic texts that explain and contextualize.

There is an expectation that at least some extended, revised, and formal pages of writing will be produced. Examples of formal writing might include grant proposals, lab reports, white papers, funding proposals, R&D write ups, formal reflections, literature reviews and syntheses, problem statements, letters to the editor, conference proposals, or scripts for formal presentations.

Include student writing and direct writing instruction as a central component.

Class time should be regularly devoted to student writing, as well as writing instruction, understood as: talking, thinking about, and using writing in the service of learning. “Writing” should be understood broadly, to include all activities involving inscription and composing and the “invention” or preparation and brainstorming processes that lead up to actually putting words on a page.

  • Writing researchers recognize that “written texts” in different fields take many different forms and includes pictures, maps, equations, code, field notes, students engaging in whiteboard problem-solving, proofs, and annotating and discussing annotations of readings, among many other possibilities.
  • “Writing instruction” includes practicing, demonstrating, and analyzing aspects of disciplinary writing and engaging with knowledge-making, as well as reading and discussing readings about writing. Thus, “class time devoted to writing” can include writing for the purposes of learning the disciplinary material and describing or analyzing written texts and conventions of writing in that discipline/classroom (for example, looking at a variety of types of lab reports or field notebooks in order to identify what is common across them). 

Students should write consistently across time during the course.

  • Even if there is one large culminating written assignment for the course, students should draft, outline, revise, and/or think about it across time.
  • Drafting happens in many forms and in some disciplines, specifically in the sciences, drafting may include thinking together on whiteboards, collecting data in notebooks, formulating an argument/thesis, and talking with peers and the instructor about written work.
  • Regular deliberation of ideas through writing is key to learning and improvement.

Writing should significantly inform the grade in the course.

  • Students tend to see value in activities to which grades are assigned.
  • Not all writing needs to be graded, but writing for which students expend significant time and energy should be clearly valued.

A Checklist for ADVW Submission

Do the submitted materials demonstrate how the course:

  • Provides students with frequent opportunities to write and revise based on feedback and 
  • Includes writing and writing instruction as a central component of the course content 

Engages students in:

  • Civic-mindedness and social engagement
  • Critical and integrative thinking
  • Communication and expression
  • Collaboration and innovation

Helps students meet the SLOs:

  • Are able to read academic and/or professional or technical texts and understand how disciplinary conventions and goals shape the texts they read.
  • Understand and use writing as a means of learning and thinking.
  • Compose texts that respond to the needs of appropriate audiences, using suitable discourse conventions to shape those texts. Use academic conventions of format and structure when appropriate.
  • Can locate, evaluate, organize, and use appropriate primary and secondary research material.
  • Can compose texts that integrate the writer’s ideas with those from academic sources and other documents.
  • Have engaged in extended drafting and revision of extended and formal texts using appropriate technologies and modalities