Undergraduate Academic Programs / Departments / Courses

95 University Writing Minor

Wendy Shilton, English

The University Writing Minor is a cross-disciplinary program designed to give special emphasis to writing throughout a student’s education. In this age of information and knowledge based economies, the Writing Minor will help prepare students to be effective communicators and active participants in civic and cultural life. The Minor has four primary goals: first, to enhance learning through writing across the disciplines; second, to ensure continuous development of student writing throughout the educational experience; third, to promote awareness of the rhetorical function of language across the disciplines; fourth, to provide students with a means of indicating a writing emphasis in their education for purposes of graduate school and/or future employment.


A Minor in University writing consists of twenty-one semester hours of credit taken from the list of approved Writing Intensive (WI) courses.* Nine semester hours (three WI courses) are compulsory for the Minor: English 2860, English 3810 and the core course, Writing 4040. The remaining twelve semester hours are fulfilled by taking four WI elective courses after the prerequisite courses, One of UPEI 1010, UPEI 1020, or UPEI 1030 and one writing intensive course as specified in Academic Regulation 1(g), have been taken.

A maximum of 3 semester hours from the major subject may be credited towards the Minor, but only if at least three semester hours of credit in the major subject additional to those required for the Major are taken.

WI elective courses are designated by the Coordinating Committee and published before the registration period begins for each semester. Students are strongly encouraged to consult the Coordinator before registering.

Electives must be in at least two disciplines.


English 2860 Linguistics II: The Grammar and Vocabulary of English
English 3810 Professional Writing
Writing 4040 Communication and Rhetoric in Context


Course offerings are determined on a semester-by-semester basis. For current offerings, consult the UPEI web pages, or communicate directly with the Coordinator.

* Writing Intensive Courses

Writing-intensive (WI) courses at UPEI use writing as a major means of developing thinking and learning in the disciplines. Such courses integrate a significant amount of writing (and opportunities for revision) into the work of the course, providing a variety of formal and informal occasions for students to write and learn the goals, assumptions and key concepts of a course. Formal writing opportunities allow students to learn the formats characteristic of a discipline, such as a research report, a critical essay, an essay examination, or a laboratory report. Formal writing is used primarily as a means for demonstrating learning outcomes.

Informal writing opportunities allow students to use writing as an instrument of learning through write-to-learn strategies, such as journals, letters, logs, lists, questions, short in-class responses to readings, lectures, and discussion. Informal writing enhances the quality and depth of the learning process.

Although no definitive quantity of writing can be stipulated for a WI course because of disciplinary differences, writing opportunities, both formal and informal, should account for a minimum of 50% of the grade weight. In addition, apart from informal writing and examinations, at least 10-15 pages of writing should be assigned (e.g., reports and essays); and, on at least one occasion, students should be allowed opportunities for revision, with critical comments on drafts, before a final grade is awarded.

This course examines rhetorical effects in language in a variety of contexts. It offers a comprehensive examination of the history of rhetoric, how words are used to talk about other words, questions about truth, and the connections between persuasion and power. The goal of the course is to explore a rhetorical understanding of language and other communicative practices in context.
PREREQUISITE(S): English 1010 and a writing intensive course
Three hours a week

* List of Writing Intensive Courses


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