Writing Across the Curriculum


Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC)

Our mission is to promote effective academic writing and critical reading in all areas of the curriculum, while respecting the individual conventions for each field of study. Through topical workshops and special sessions, this program fosters faculty development in the teaching and learning of written expression. Also, Writing Across the Curriculum sponsors an annual multidisciplinary writing contest that provides financial recognition for excellence in writing.  

Our Committee members envision a four-year plan designed to scaffold the writing process here at Sacred Heart. Focused on conversation, critical inquiry, problem solving, and research, WAC aims to incorporate writing and communication into various stages of the undergraduate curriculum.

Writing as Process

Writing as Conversation
Through the first-year seminar and other foundational courses, students will focus on finding their voice. They will begin to establish their position on topics, situate themselves in critical conversations, develop thesis statements, and articulate arguments in writing. Furthermore, students will start to understand steps of the writing process such as clustering, drafting, revising and editing. Suggested assignments: descriptive, expository, and narrative pieces. 

Writing as Critical Inquiry
As second-year students engage in core questions, a focus on writing as critical inquiry seems fitting here. Second-year students will focus on assessing themselves, evaluating their ideas, and incorporating sources into their written arguments. As they work to refine syntax, punctuation, mechanics, and citation, students will also enhance their understanding of ethos, pathos, audience, and tone. Suggested assignments: persuasive essays.

Writing as Problem Solving
During this third year, students will become more engaged in their major and integrated thinking. As they formulate ideas about interdisciplinary topics, third-year students will compare, evaluate, and synthesize arguments across fields of study. They will also research and write about topics in the context of their major, as well as engage with source material through paraphrase and analysis. Suggested Assignments: thesis-driven research papers and position pieces.

Writing in the Discipline
Through dedication to their capstone projects, students will master undergraduate writing within their discipline. Through a final project, seniors will culminate their college career with a dedicated research and writing project that they present and/or publish.  

If you have questions, contact:
Cara Erdheim Kilgallen, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, English
Director, Writing across the Curriculum