Writing 2-3 Guidelines for Students

Writing 2-3 is a writing and research course in which students are expected to read critically, research thoroughly, write effectively, and participate enthusiastically.

Writing 2 Expectations

In Writing 2, students will commit to the following:

  • They will practice writing as discovery
  • They will work on crafting an effective thesis
  • They will learn to create a sound argumentative structure
  • They will engage in peer critique
  • They will develop the habit of substantive revision

Writing 2 requires at least three argumentative essays, with revision and pre-writing exercises attached. These assignments increase in complexity as students move from working with single texts, to working with multiple texts.

Writing 3 Expectations

In Writing 3, students will commit to the following:

  • They will engage in research
  • They will learn citation protocol
  • They will practice the elements of style
  • They will polish the skills they acquired in Writing 2
  • They will attempt alternative, more sophisticated rhetorical strategies

Writing 3 requires at least three essays, one of which is a research paper, produced in phases (annotated bibliography, tentative abstract, thesis and outline, first draft, second draft, and so on).

General Guidelines

To achieve the aims of the course, students will want to attend to the following general guidelines:

  1. Students will read texts carefully and closely, with the aim of formulating questions and assumptions that will yield good academic papers.
  2. Students will undergo a multiple-draft process of every paper. They will regularly revise their work in response to comments from their instructor, TA, and classmates.
  3. Students will be active members of class discussions and will participate actively in peer critiques.
  4. Students will undertake a research project of their own design. They will familiarize themselves with the Dartmouth library system and its resources. They will also learn proper citation protocols. (See Sources.)
  5. Students in Writing 2-3 with Teaching Assistant Support will meet with the course TA once a week.
  6. Students will attend conferences and will observe deadlines and other policies as required by their instructors.
  7. Students will familiarize themselves with the Dartmouth Honor Code.

Attendance Policy

Presence in class is essential to learning. It's also essential to the success of the class. Accordingly, Writing 2-3 instructors agree that attendance is mandatory.

Instructors understand that illness or other obligations do arise. For this reason, students are granted up to three unexcused absences each term. If a student is seriously ill and needs to miss more than a few classes, the student will need to ask a doctor to notify the First-Year Office. The dean will contact the instructor, who will then excuse the student from class.

Please note: absences to play sports are considered unexcused and are limited to three per term.

Instructors withhold the right to fail any student who has more than three unexcused absences in a term. Instructors sometimes exercise this right, or they may choose instead to detract from the final grade on the grounds of absence.

Instructors should be notified when an absence is unavoidable. Email is an easy way to announce this absence and to indicate commitment to the class. Students who have a personal crisis that is interfering with their academic work will find that the instructors and the first-year deans can be very supportive.

Grading Policy

Writing 2-3 is a two-term course. At the end of Writing 2, if the work is C- or better, a student will be awarded an "ON" (ONGOING) for fall term. The student will also receive written evaluations from the instructor (and the TA for students in  Writing 2-3 with Teaching Assistant Support) that will help the student assess strengths and weaknesses in his or her writing. Early in the winter term, the instructor will call each student in for a conference to discuss this evaluation and to help the student make a plan for improvement in Writing 3. At the end of Writing 3, the student will receive a grade that will be applied retroactively to Writing 2. The student will receive credit for both terms UNLESS A GRADE OF E IS ASSIGNED.

While this is the most common scenario for Writing 2-3 students, it's important to note the following special cases:

  • If a student fails to do at least C- work in Writing 2, the student will receive the appropriate grade of D or lower, which will appear permanently on the student's transcript in place of the "ON." If the student fails Writing 2, the student will not be able to enroll in Writing 3 in the next term and must either enroll in Writing 5 or take Writing 2 the following year.
  • If a student receives a D or E in Writing 3, the instructor will assign a final grade for Writing 2 that is no lower than a C-; the D or E will be applied to Writing 3. If a student fails Writing 3, s/he will be allowed to retake Writing 3 if the instructor is willing; otherwise, s/he must take Writing 5.
  • Though in most cases students will receive the same grade for both terms, in very special instances a student could be awarded different grades for the two terms. An "ON" for Writing 2 guarantees a student at least a C- for that term.

Students will want to keep in mind that they should work hard throughout the two terms. All work done in Writing 2 - un-graded or not - counts towards the final grade in Writing 3.

Because this course is about the writing process as well as the written product, instructors consider a student's commitment to the writing process and to the class in general when they are determining the final grade.

For students in Writing 2-3 with Teaching Assistant Support, the quality of the time spent with the TA also factors in to the final grade. Indeed, the TA confers with the instructor about grades. Students should consider the TA as participating in a teaching partnership with the instructor, and behave accordingly.