College of Arts and Sciences

Intensifying the Focus on Writing

Intensifying the Focus on Writing To achieve the goal of greater focus on writing and rigor in the amount of writing required of students, Xavier faculty will create writing intensive assignments and courses.  These will have an emphasis on writing and devote significant class time to the teaching and practice of writing.  Faculty will read, discuss, and utilize scholarship about the expressive or the transaction model of “Writing across the Curriculum” and receive training in pedagogy that fosters “Writing to Learn” in entry-level courses and writing for their specific discipline in higher level courses.


Schedule of Activities

Upcoming Events

May 14-15, 2018 
(9:00am-3:00pm) - 2-Day Intensive Seminar
LOCATION: Library Resource Center, Mellon Seminar Room, 532B.

Past Events

Mar. 3, 2018 

(10:00am-2:00pm) - Writing in the Disciplines Saturday Seminar.
LOCATION: Library Resource Center, Mellon Seminar Room, 532B.

During this half-day workshop, Xavier faculty will learn about best practices for teaching discipline-specific writing, will explore the diversity of writing tasks expected of students in different disciplines, and will begin to develop/adapt a major writing assignment to help students learn these skills.

Due date for the proposal: Friday, February 9, 2018. View CFP

Jan. 29, 2018 
(3:30pm-4:30pm) - Writing in the Disciplines: From XCOR 1000 to XCOR 3000
LOCATION: Library Resource Center, Mellon Seminar Room, 532B. Register here: 

With the new core beginning in Fall 2018, Xavier will be offering the new XCOR classes. In the fall, all incoming first-year students will take XCOR 1000, a 1-hour course that will introduce them to college life. In the spring, all first-year students will choose to enroll in a section of either XCOR 1011 & 1012, 3-hour courses developed by faculty around engaging topics. During their junior years, students choose to take two XCOR 3XXX classes, 3-hour topical courses that will help them integrate all of their learning. All of the XCOR classes will help our students develop and strengthen their writing skills, but at very different levels.

This hands-on workshop led by Dr. Jason Todd (English) and Dr. Richard Peters (Business) will provide faculty with examples of the kinds of writing assignments that can be designed and incorporated into these different classes.

Oct. 21, 2017 

(10:00am-2:00pm) - Writing to Learn Saturday Seminar.
Library Resource Center, Mellon Seminar Room, 532B. 

Sep. 21, 2017 

(12:15pm-1:05pm) - Teaching Writing Intensive Courses.
LOCATION: Library Resource Center, Mellon Seminar Room, 532B. RSVP to

Writing-intensive courses are one of the 10 high-impact practices promoted by AAC&U through its LEAP initiative, and they are one of the pedagogical approaches being incorporated into the new Xavier Core. According to AAC&U's web site, "These courses emphasize writing at all levels of instruction and across the curriculum, including final-year projects. Students are encouraged to produce and revise various forms of writing for different audiences in different disciplines. The effectiveness of this repeated practice 'across the curriculum' has led to parallel efforts in such areas as quantitative reasoning, oral communication, information literacy, and, on some campuses, ethical inquiry."

When the new core begins next Fall, all XCOR classes will be writing intensive, and we hope to see many of the Explorations classes also adopt this high-impact practice. As faculty begin to revise existing courses or develop new ones, we want to take time to consider what exact a writing-intensive course at Xavier University means -- both for the students who take the class and for the faculty member who teaches it.

This workshop will begin with a panel featuring a number of Xavier faculty who teach writing-intensive courses, who will discuss what W-I means to them, how that translates in terms of the work assigned to their students, and how it translates in terms of the work for them as teachers. Ultimately we will work to discuss what the W-I label should designate here at Xavier.
Led by: Dr. Jason Todd (CAT+FD & ENGL); Dr. Bonnie Noonan (ENGL); Dr. Ronald Dorris (ENGL & AADS); Dr. Tia Smith (MSCM); Dr. Shearon Roberts (MSCM); *Dr. Terry Watt (CHEM)*