Use the links to the left to discover what this campus resource makes available to faculty and students in an effort to improve writing on campus.
Departments and faculty members are encouraged to include some version of the following statement on public documents to reinforce the University's emphasis on the value of writing.
A Statement on the Value of Writing at the University of Maryland
The University recognizes that good writing is essential to acquiring and advancing knowledge in all disciplines. It enables clear and effective communication and is one of the chief means by which college students participate actively in the institution’s intellectual work. Given that students learn to write in a variety of campus contexts, the University has focused its resources on these contexts in several ways: The University Senate approved a General Education Plan requiring all undergraduates to fulfill a two-level writing requirement of Academic Writing (English 101) during their first year of matriculation and Professional Writing after accumulating sixty credits. The College of Arts and Humanities has created a Campus Writing Board, a committee of faculty members from across the University, charged to develop and support a variety of discipline-related writing activities. The University also encourages students to save examples of their best writing each year. These examples will demonstrate their abilities to future colleagues and employers.
Writing is thinking on paper. William Zinsser
What is the Campus Writing Board?
Recognizing the value of writing to learning and to the advancement of knowledge at the University, the College of Arts and Humanities has created a Campus Writing Board composed of representatives from selected University schools and colleges. The Directors of the Writing Programs, First-Year Writing, Professional Writing, and the Writing Center, as well as a representative from the office of the Dean for Undergraduate Studies serve as ex officio members of the Board. The Board meets at least two times per semester.
The Board was given the following charge:
- To exchange information about the writing required in the various disciplines and in the two Fundamental Studies writing courses.
- To discuss the discipline-related genres and technologies of writing in the fields represented on the board;
- To discuss the curriculum of English 101 and 39X and the tutorial services of the Writing Center.
- To propose faculty workshops on developing a writing-enriched curriculum and on methods for assessing writing in all disciplines.
- To recommend disciplinary topics for undergraduate student writers to pursue.
- To explore ways to support graduate student writing.
- To provide disciplinary guidance on achieving writing-related CORE Fundamental Studies learning outcomes goals, summarized as follows:
- Demonstrate understanding of writing as a series of tasks, including finding, evaluating, analyzing, and synthesizing appropriate sources, and as a process that involves composing, editing, and revising;
- Demonstrate critical reading and analytical skills, including understanding an argument's major assertions and assumptions and how to evaluate its supporting evidence;
- Demonstrate facility with the fundamentals of persuasion as these are adapted to a variety of special situations and audiences in academic and professional writing;
- Demonstrate research skills, integrate their own ideas with those of others, and apply the conventions of attribution and citation correctly in order to establish authority and credibility;
- Use Standard Written English and edit and revise their own writing for appropriateness.
- To develop activities to highlight the importance of writing at the University of Maryland.
- Establish a University of Maryland Writing Award sponsored by the Campus Writing Board and to determine a procedure for soliciting, gathering, and evaluating submissions, and recognizing the winners;
- Draft a UMCP Writing Policy on the importance of writing at the University for inclusion in the Undergraduate Catalog and other publications;
- Address other Campus writing-related matters the Board may choose to attend to as it develops its own agenda.