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General Studies Writing

One of the missions of BGSU is to ensure that all students have the ability to communicate effectively. In order to help accomplish this, the University has established and developed the General Studies Writing Program. Designed around a set of nationally-approved learning outcomes, this program consists of a number of important parts which work together to produce a comprehensive, competency-based writing program grounded in current theory and practice.

General Studies Writing

Sometimes referred to as “first-year composition” or “freshman writing,” the General Studies Writing Program (GSW) at BGSU introduces students to academic writing at the college level.

Courses Offered

The GSW Program offers three core courses: 1100, 1110, and 1120. Virtually all students who attend BGSU will take one or more of these courses. Class sizes are small; instructors provide much individual assistance.

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Writing Placement Essay

Prospective students submit an online essay that determines which GSW course—1100, 1110 or 1120—best suits their needs as writers.

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Portfolio Assessment

At the end of the semester, each student’s writing portfolio is assessed by one or more evaluators in addition to the instructor. In this way, students receive feedback from multiple instructors, and the GSW program is able to maintain consistent standards across the many sections of each course.

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Grading Systems

  • Satisfactory/No Credit grading in 1100 and 1110
  • A/B/C/No Credit grading in 1120

Because GSW views writing as a process that takes some students longer than others to master, students are not penalized in traditional ways (with D’s or F’s) if their writing has not reached minimal proficiency by the end of the term.

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Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete their GSW courses will have achieved GSW’s Learning Outcomes, which focus on the following:

  • Rhetorical Knowledge
  • Critical Thinking, Reading, and Writing
  • Processes
  • Knowledge of Conventions
  • Composing in Electronic Environments
  • Values Exploration

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Technology Integration

Students in GSW courses use computer technology as they draft their essays, conduct academic research, and explore methods of inquiry. As well, they work with a class Canvas site, are introduced to the usefulness of visual rhetoric in their writing, and are encouraged to include their GSW papers in an electronic portfolio which they will maintain throughout their college career.

Library Integration

GSW students learn to navigate BGSU’s library system and critically assess the credibility, currency, and relevance of source materials in both traditional and digital formats.