Resources for the Advanced Writing Requirement in the New General Education Curriculum

The expected learning outcomes (ELOs) and the curricular requirements for Advanced Writing in Ohio State’s new General Education curriculum are designed to reflect the best current practices developed by our peers in writing intensive curricula across the United States, and supported by research that scholars in the field have conducted, particularly research on the transfer of learning about writing that has been done over the past fifteen years.

For an overview of the core habits of mind scholars of writing studies feel writers need to develop, as well as the practices that support that development, see the Framework for Success in Post-Secondary Writing, a document published by the Council of Writing Program Administrators, the National Writing Project, and the National Council of Teachers of English.

The Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) program at the Center for the Study and Teaching of Writing (CSTW) is currently building an online resource, Writing@Ohio State, to build on UITL’s Teaching@Ohio State and provide a common starting point for the Ohio State community to consider how writing can enhance our teaching and learning in the GE curriculum and beyond. It will feature best practices shared by Ohio State faculty from departments across the university teaching in a wide range of contexts.

In the meantime, below we share some helpful resources to help faculty begin to develop their course plans for Advanced Writing in the GE.

WAC would be happy to consult with faculty and provide support to those who are developing curriculum to meet the requirements for the Advanced Writing in the new GE curriculum. Contact us and we can work with you!

Furthermore, if any OSU instructors wish to share resources that they’ve found helpful to address these requirements, WAC would gratefully consider sharing them. We’ll continue to update these resources going forward.

Curricular Requirements

We’ll share the language from the GE requirements below with a lightly annotated list of references. All of these resources can be accessed online publicly, or electronically by those who have access to the University Libraries’ website (OSU community members looking to access these materials off campus may need to log in on the Libraries’ website for access).

"Students should have assignments that vary in one or more key rhetorical components, such as audience, genre or modality (e.g., visual, oral, written) (Beaufort, 2007). Key rhetorical components can be specified for each assignment and explored by students. For instance, students might compose a particular kind of article or a podcast for a more public venue relevant to the course. "

Beaufort, A. (2007). College writing and beyond: A new framework for university writing instruction. Logan, UT: Utah State University Press. University Libraries link:

In this book , Beaufort uses case studies from a wider longitudinal study of students writing throughout their college career into their first years as professionals to build an argument for promoting transfer of learning in teaching writing. Appendix A to the book offers a number of suggestions for how to “teach for transfer” and develop genre awareness across varied composing assignments.

Beaufort, A. (2012). College writing and beyond: Five years later. Composition Forum 26 (Fall).

Beaufort follows up from her book with some revised insights about clarifications or changes she would make or alternatives she would offer to the framework she suggests in the appendix linked above, based on further research that had been done in the field. 

Bean, J. (2011). Engaging ideas: The professor’s guide to integrating writing, critical thinking, and active learning in the classroom. San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bass. University Libraries link

Chapters three and four of Bean’s book offers advice about how to help writers develop their thinking across a range of rhetorical contexts.

Johnson, N. & Johnson, G. (2020). Teaching critical analysis in times of peril: A rhetorical model of social change. Peithos: Journal of the Coalition of Feminist Scholars in the History of Rhetoric and Composition.

This article maps out an approach to teaching rhetorical analysis that helps students examine how social movements develop over time: how they are engendered, how they develop and are negotiated, how they are institutionalized, and, in turn, how they might be challenged or changed. Ultimately, the approach seeks not just to help students analyse the historical development of rhetorical strategies, but to gain agency in their own goals to promote social change.


"Students should have course descriptions and assignments that articulate the purpose of the assignments, how they engage students in core skills and knowledge, and specify how assignments will be valuable to students beyond the course."

Winklemes, M. TILT Higher Ed: Transparency in learning and teaching.

On this site, Mary-Ann Winklemes shares research on the kinds of information about educational tasks that students need to succeed and become better engaged in their learning. She also shares helpful resources to develop assignments and activities that promote transparency.

"Students should have opportunities to practice their composing or build toward more formal projects from staged, more informal activities (Bean, 2011). This might include opportunities to draft and revise work, or break down a larger project into smaller steps, such as the parts of a scientific report. "

WAC at CSTW. (2016). Writing to learn: Critical thinking activities for any classroom.

This website includes a link to a booklet of short, low stakes writing activities that can be adapted to develop students’ critical thinking, scaffold larger projects, engage them with other writers and readers, and help faculty assess their learning.

Bean, J. (2011). Engaging ideas: The professor’s guide to integrating writing, critical thinking, and active learning in the classroom. San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bass. University Libraries link

Chapters 6, 7, and 13 of Bean’s book offers advice about how to design and scaffold writing assignments and research, including developing informal writing activities to develop students’ critical thinking.

"Students benefit from collaborative opportunities such as from feedback to inform and guide their composing process. They should obtain feedback from multiple sources, and themselves read, evaluate, and provide feedback for the work of other writers (Bean, 2011). Feedback might also come from sources outside the course, such as sponsors from a partnered organization, or from the students of another course or institution."

Reid, E. S. Shelley's (quick) guides for writing teachers: Full-circle peer review. Resources for writing teachers. George Mason University.

Writing scholar Shelley Reid provides a thorough, helpful framework with practical examples for thinking about developing peer review of writing in courses that can help instructors carefully plan peer review in a way that successfully integrates it into wider teaching goals and facilitates how it can inform not just students’ learning but teachers’ reflection.

Bean, J. (2011). Engaging ideas: The professor’s guide to integrating writing, critical thinking, and active learning in the classroom. San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bass. University Libraries link

The last two chapters in Bean’s book (chapters 15 and 16) explain how faculty can effectively--and efficiently--coach students’ writing process (including facilitating peer review) and provide feedback on student writing.

Haswell, R. (1983). Minimal marking. College English 45.6: 600-604. University Libraries link.

This short, early article examines how students respond to an approach to offering feedback that focuses on helping students identify and respond to in-text marking. While subsequent research suggests that this approach doesn’t work similarly for all students (such as English language learners), it’s an efficient approach to feedback that centers students’ development as autonomous writers.

Hattie, J. A. C.., & Yates, G. C. R. (2014). Using feedback to promote learning. In V. A. Benassi, C. E. Overson, & C. M. Hakala (Eds.). Applying the science of learning in education: Infusing psychological science into the curriculum. Retrieved from the Society for the Teaching of Psychology web site: (pp. 45-58 in the document)

This article gives a helpful overview of recommendations from psychological research about how and when feedback can promote student learning. While it’s not specifically oriented to writing, the recommendations are very much applicable.

"Students are more likely to successfully transfer their knowledge about writing when they articulate how they apply their knowledge of writing or how strategies they have learned apply toward their goals and aspirations (Yancey, 2016). Reflective assignments might involve engaging in an end of course reflection, or an informal journal that has students set goals and evaluate their progress toward a final product. "

Sweetland Center for Writing, University of Michigan. Cultivating reflection and metacognition.

This resource gives a nice overview of how to frame reflection using writing in the context of a disciplinary course, including a range of strategies to support different kinds of reflection.

Ambrose, S. A., Bridges, M. W., DiPietro, M., Lovett, M. C., & Norman, M.K. How learning works: 7 Research-based principles for smart teaching. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. University Libraries Link.

Chapter 7 of this book addresses how students can be self-directed learners, and surveys research on metacognition, that is, how learners evaluate, plan, and monitor their learning. A number of the suggestions the authors put forward are very much applicable to the writing process.

Bean, J. (2011). Engaging ideas: The professor’s guide to integrating writing, critical thinking, and active learning in the classroom. San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bass. University Libraries link

Chapter 14 of Bean’s book gives a thorough overview of a range of ways to develop and use different kinds of rubrics to assess student writing, and, most importantly, how to engage students with criteria and rubrics in ways that help them develop as writers.

Walvoord, B. & Anderson V. (2010). Effective grading: A tool for learning and assessment in college. 2nd Ed. San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bass. University Libraries link.

This whole book offers a thorough overview of how to think about how to frame teaching and learning with a productive eye toward assessment: from developing learning goals, designing assignments, establishing criteria, engaging and motivating students, and assessing programmatic outcomes to inform curricular development.

Inoue, A. (2019). Labor-based grading contracts: Building equity and inclusion in the compassionate writing classroom. Perspectives on Writing. The WAC Clearinghouse; University Press of Colorado.

Inoue presents an approach toward assessment that seeks to counter inequities that arise when students are evaluated by predominantly white standards for academic discourse. While this approach does rigorously engage students in examining how writing can be evaluated in a range of contexts, it asks them to reflect on and critique the inequities that can arise in the process of evaluating writing, and to consider how they might develop agency and promote justice for themselves and others as writers. Ultimately, he proposes that students be evaluated through grading contracts, that is, a set of agreed-upon practices that students can meet and engage with to receive a particular grade.

Stommel, J. (2018). How to ungrade.

Stommel advocates for a refocusing of assessment on practices that ask both teachers and students to reflect on and communicate their learning in a range of ways that don’t involve grades, or at least resituate grading in a way that orients students and teachers toward reflecting on teaching and learning. In the process, Stommel shares a number of practices he calls “ungrading.”