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Reading and Writing Enhanced courses (RWEs) are an important part of the Curry curriculum. These courses are meant to capitalize on the skills learned in the First-Year Writing sequence (Reading, Writing, Research I and II) and provide students with opportunities to practice composing in new contexts. Because reading and writing are inextricably linked and are essential components to the learning process, we encourage instructors to develop RWEs within their major courses so that students are exposed to disciplinary-specific reading and writing practices. RWE courses incorporate frequent reading and writing assignments in ways that help students learn both the subject matter of the courses and discipline-specific ways of thinking and writing. These courses will create a writing environment that is fostered by pre-writing, multiple drafts, feedback, revision, and reflection.

Getting a course approved as an RWE is a straightforward process:

  1. The new course must first be approved by your department and the UCC. If it is an existing course that is being enhanced, the department must agree to the enhancement.
  2. The course must be approved by the RWE Coordinator.
  3. The course then gets approved by the GECC.
  4. Finally, the course goes to the Faculty Meeting.

It is key, however, that you let the Coordinator know as soon as you begin thinking about enhancing a course. Involve them from the beginning, as meeting the requirements effects the course structure and assignments. The process is far smoother if there is an open dialogue from the very beginning.

Fall RWE proposals must include a completed checklist proposal form, a syllabus (that clearly identifies RWE Learning Outcomes), and at least one writing assignment.

Upon successful completion of an RWE course, students will be able to:

  • Develop and complete an inquiry-based project within the disciplines through multiple drafts and revisions
  • Critically read a variety of texts in order to analyze rhetorical situations within the discipline, including audience expectations and genre conventions
  • Use writing as a form of thinking and problem-solving within the disciplines
  • Demonstrate the appropriate use of resources in the field (including incorporation of ideas and documentation)
  • Identify and demonstrate written conventions within the discipline (structure, mechanics, punctuation)
  • Respond to feedback through revision

To be designated as reading and writing enhanced, a course must fulfill the following minimum requirements. Exceptions to some of these requirements may be made for faculty who present compelling pedagogical reasons to adjust these requirements.

  1. Faculty will devote significant time to instruction on writing in the course and on how to complete assignments successfully. Writing assignments must be an integral, ongoing part of the course, and the writing assignments must constitute a substantial and clearly understood component of the final course grade. Assignments must be structured and sequenced in such a way as to help students improve their writing. Instructors in RWE courses should not just assign writing; they should help students succeed with and learn from that writing. The writing assigned in class should be a combination of low stakes writing and high stakes writing. Learn more about the writing requirements here.
  2. Students will read multiple texts incorporating a variety of reading strategies. Reading activities of this type may include the following: having students read their own writing and the writing of their peers, pre-reading and identifying print apparatus, evaluating texts as models, responding to questions about a text, locating the main idea or central argument of a text, general discussion of text, determining patterns across a variety of text, putting texts in conversation with each other, reading in class and out of class, reading responses, or teaching reading annotation.
  3. Graded writing assignments represent at least a third of the grade for the course. Graded writing assignments might include: short papers, take home exams, journals, longer papers, informative reports, response papers, lab reports, summaries, case studies, editorial writing, blog posts, annotated bibliographies.
  4. Students should produce a minimum of 15 double-spaced pages of writing. The total number should come from multiple writing assignments. The instructor can choose to divide pages across different assignments

Use this worksheet to ensure that your course design meets all of the requirements.

The following is a list of the courses currently approved as RWEs. Course availability varies by semester:

Arts RWE

AC 2050 The Art of Creating Online Content
ENG 2300 Creative Writing I
ENG 2310 Creative Writing II
ENG 2350 Writing Poetry

Humanities RWE

AH 2910 History of Visual Arts from Paleolithic to Gothic
COM 2498 Film Criticism
ENG 2010 Major British Writers 1
ENG 3700 Shakespeare
MUS 2000 Western Classical Music
MUS 2450 American Music
PRS 2120 The Meaning of Life
PRS 2150 Eastern Religion & Philosophy
PRS 2160 Intro to Buddhism
PRS 2170 Introduction to Chinese Philosophy
PRS 2210 Ethics
PRS 2230 Philosophy in Pop Culture
P&H 1030 European History I
P&H 1040 European History II

Social Science RWE

P&H 2001 Current Economic Problems
SOC 2050 Social Problems

Global RWE

AH 2910 History of Art from Paleolithic to Gothic
Diversity RWE
WRIT 2250 Black Voices Matter

In Disciplines

SOC 2130 Sociological Theory
COM 2390 Writing About Sports


BIOL 2015 Microbiology Lab – RWE
COM 2476 Scriptwriting – RWE: Arts Breadth
AE 1050 Read Around the World – Global and RWE
BUS 2550 Business Operations – RWE
PRS 2510 The New Testament – Humanities Breadth, RWE
P&H 2XXX The Stories We Tell: US History as Biography – Humanities Breadth, RWE
WRIT 2200 Working With Writers – Diversity and RWE
WRIT 2280 Professional and Technical Writing – RWE
WRIT 2260 Contemporary Queer Narratives – Diversity and RWE

If you are interested in developing or enhancing a course for RWE designation, please contact the RWE Coordinator, Heather Falconer, at or 617-333-2191.