General Studies Writing Program
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. To discover what GSW has to offer, please investigate the links to the left or continue below.
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.
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. For more information on the courses offered in GSW, use the "Course Information" link in the navigation bar to the left.
Writing Placement Essay
Prospective students submit an online essay that determines which GSW course—1100, 1110 or 1120—best suits their needs as writers. For more information on GSW's student placement process, use the "Writing Placement" link in the navigation bar to the left.
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. For more information on GSW's portfolio assessment process, use the "Outcomes and Assessment" link in the navigation bar to the left.
- 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. For more information on GSW's assessment practice, use the "Outcomes and Assessment" link in the navigation bar to the left.
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
- Knowledge of Conventions
- Composing in Electronic Environments
- Values Exploration
For more information on GSW's learning outcomes, use the "Outcomes and Assessment" link in the navigation bar to the left.
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 Blackboard 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.
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.