Writing Requirement Objectives

Written assignments that count toward the University of Florida Writing Requirement should contain extended analysis and develop original, sophisticated ideas, not merely present hastily written or cursory thoughts. UF Writing Requirement assignments should include such elements as well-crafted paragraphs, a thesis or hypothesis, a persuasive organizational structure (e.g., introduction, body, conclusion; introduction, methods, results, discussion), well-supported claims, and appropriate and effective stylistic elements.

Procedures for Returning Graded Assignments

  • Assignments must be returned to students with a grade and comments that address the students’ writing skills. Consequently, feedback on all assignments should be provided by the last day of class, or, if provided electronically, by the end of finals.

Criteria for Graded Assignments

  • Bibliographies: Extended annotated bibliographies may contribute to the word count if they evidence critical thinking and in-depth analysis. However, they may not be counted if they are simply bibliographies written for a paper or as an exercise to teach a specific disciplinary style, e.g., APA, MLA.
  • Brochures: Brochures may not be counted if the assignment is mainly a design and layout exercise, using written information verbatim from another assignment or part of a paper. However, if the brochure is an independent assignment requiring separate research and writing, it may count for the Writing Requirement.
  • Drafts: Drafts of papers and essays cannot be counted for the Writing Requirement. In addition, initial ideas expressed in pre-writing exercises, such as topic statements, free-writing, clustering, mind-mapping, outlining, may not count.
  • Extended writing projects: Separate but related documents in an extended writing product (such as proposals, brochures, poster boards, progress reports) may contribute to the word count if they are not merely integrated verbatim into the final writing product.
  • In-class writing assignments, quizzes, class notes, in-class essay examinations: may not be counted.
  • Journals, blogs, and reflection or reaction assignments: May not be counted if they approximate free writing and lack organization, critical thinking focus, and integration of ideas into the disciplinary context.
  • Peer reviews: While peer reviewing is a recognized and valuable editing skill, and instructors may evaluate such activities as part of the final class grade, peer reviews may not count towards the Writing Requirement word count.
  • Poster sessions: Posters may not be counted if the information on the poster is merely copied from another document. However, if the poster presents new information specifically created for the poster, focused on a particular audience, purpose and context, and contains well-crafted sections of writing, then the poster may count for the Writing Requirement.
  • Team writing assignments: Team-written documents may not be counted for credit unless clear individual sections are identified for grading, such that individual students’ writing may be evaluated and graded.