The Upper Division Writing Requirement
Effective in the fall of 2007, NDSU began to require incoming and transfer students to take upper division writing courses to complete the Category C, Communications, General Education credits. These courses are open to all students, however, regardless of when they entered or transferred into NDSU.
Students must have junior standing (at least 60 cumulative credits) to take a 300-level writing class. The reasons for this requirement include:
- students benefit from having writing classes staggered over their university career, rather than taking them too early in their academic career.
- 300 level writing courses assume disciplinary knowledge on the part of the students, and will require discipline specific research and writing.
- 300 level classes prepare students for the workplace and / or graduate school, and therefore are more relevant to students who are further along in their studies.
For additional information on the requirement, please visit the University Senate page. No exceptions to the junior-level requirement will be made.
Each course in the upper-division writing curriculum is different, but they all emphasize the same two General Education Outcomes:
- G.E. Outcome 1: Students will learn to communicate effectively in various genres for different audiences, purposes, and situations.
- G.E. Outcome 6: Students will learn to integrate knowledge and ideas in a coherent and meaningful manner.
Each course will also emphasize the following English department goal:
- Students will learn to manage sophisticated writing and research projects, planning, documenting, completing, and assessing work on time and within the constraints of the project.
All students in upper-division writing courses will be asked to produce a portfolio of work by the end of the semester, with at least 3 distinct genres, a reflective cover letter, and approximately 18 pages of finished text (allowances made for design features).
Courses approved for general education requirements
The following upper-division writing courses will be available to fulfill general education requirements. Sample syllabi are also available below.
- English 320: Business and Professional Communication.
Intensive practice employing the conventions of professional genres to write for business and professional contexts and audiences. Prereq: ENGL 120, Junior standing.
Sample syllabus for ENGL 320
- English 321: Writing in the Technical Professions
Intensive practice employing the conventions of professional genres to write about technology development and use for expert, business, and more general audiences. Prereq: ENGL 120, Junior standing.
Sample syllabus for ENGL 321
- English 322: Creative Writing I
Imaginative writing with an emphasis on exploring
multiple genres, developing critical awareness, and
becoming acquainted with the literary fine arts. Prereq:
ENGL 120, Junior standing.
Sample syllabus for ENGL 322
- English 323: Creative Writing II
Imaginative writing with a concentration in one or two genres. Emphasis on developing critical awareness, and becoming acquainted with the literary fine arts. Prereq: ENGL 120, Junior standing.
Sample syllabus for ENGL 323
- English 324: Writing in the Sciences
The study and practice in written conventions of the
sciences for academic, scientific, and public audiences.
Prereq: ENGL 120, Junior standing.
Sample syllabus for ENGL 324
- English 325: Writing in the Health Professions
Study of and practice in language use and written conventions of the health professions for academic, professional, and public audiences. Prereq: Engl 120, Junior standing.
Sample syllabus for ENGL 325
- English 326: Writing in the Design Professions
English 326 is a three-credit course that provides intensive practice employing the conventions of those professional genres needed to write for professional contexts and audiences in design fields.
Sample syllabus for Engl 326
- English 357: Visual Culture and Language
This course will cover the rise of visual culture and the
impact this historical shift has made on print culture
and writing. Students will produce information
graphics, photo essays, videos, and other genres. Prereq:
ENGL 120, Junior standing.
Sample syllabus for ENGL 357
- English 358: Writing in the Humanities and Social Sciences
Theory and practice for writing multiple genres in the
humanities and social sciences. Prereq: ENGL 120,
Sample syllabus for ENGL 358
- English 459: Researching and Writing Grants and Proposals
A rhetorical approach to researching and writing
academic grants, business proposals, and related
professional documents. Students develop a portfolio
of professionally designed and edited documents as well
as the vocabulary of grants writing and research. Prereq: Engl 120,
Sample syllabus for ENGL 459
The Center for Writers and the English department will assist other departments that wish to create their own upper division writing course. Such discipline-specific courses will qualify for upper division writing credit in Communication Category C if they are approved for general education credit and open to all students.
For more information about upper division writing courses, contact the Director of Upper Division Writing, Dr. Andrew Mara (Tel: 701-231-7146). Faculty members who would like help to create writing assignments for their classes may contact Mrs. Mary Pull (M.A.), Center for Writers Director (Tel: 701-231-7927).