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Writing Program Overview


Students seeking a degree from UW Oshkosh must complete 6 credits of composition with an average grade of C or better. For most students, this will include WBIS (taken in the first year of studies) and Advanced Composition (taken in the second year or later). Additional 100-level courses are offered for those who are required or qualified to take them: English 100, 101, 110, and 121 (see below). Students should contact the admissions office with questions about course placement.

Program pages:

WBIS (Writing-Based Inquiry Seminar)

Advanced Composition


Writing Based Inquiry Seminar (WBIS 188)

Beginning in the Fall of 2001, every UW Oshkosh student is required to complete a Writing-Based Inquiry Seminar (WBIS) as part of the general education requirements. Each WBIS will be centered on a theme chosen by the instructor, and these themes may vary across different sections of the same course. Themes are announced prior to registration, so that students may register for a course that closely fits their interests. These seminars will be writing-intensive and will be designed to help students develop their analytical writing abilities. The seminars will also utilize student-centered, interactive teaching strategies.

Catalogue Description: In this course, students will develop their writing, critical reading, and critical thinking skills by exploring a single topic in depth.  Students are expected to participate actively in their own learning through class discussions and group activities.  The theme will vary, depending on the instructor.  Students should check with their advisor or the WBIS website to determine the theme for each section.  Successful completion of this course will fulfill the Writing-Based Inquiry Seminar requirement. Students who have earned credit for English 101 (see below) may not take English 188. Students cannot earn credit for both English 101 and WBIS 188.

WBIS Equivalents

Honors Composition (English 110)

Eligible students can take the Honors version of WBIS, English 110.

Catalogue Description: A Writing-Based Inquiry Seminar for eligible students, designed to enhance writing ability, focus on critical and interpretive reading and introduce basic university research procedures. Prerequisite: Score of 29 or higher on the English ACT exam, placement through the Wisconsin English Placement Test (WEPT) if seats are available or enrolled in good standing with the UW Oshkosh Honors program with prior or concurrent enrollment in INTRDSCP 175. Substitutes for English 101.

English Prerequisites: UWEPT score for of 525 or greater or admitted to the UW Oshkosh Honors program with prior or concurrent enrollment in INTRDSCP 175.

College English I (English 101)

Because WBIS is designed for first-year students, students with more than 30 credits must take English 101.

Catalogue Description: A Writing-Based Inquiry Course designed primarily to develop the understanding and skills needed to read and write effectively at the college level. Some attention is given to responsible handling of research materials. Successful completion of English 101 fulfills the first level of the General Education composition requirement. Successful completion will fulfill the writing-based inquiry seminar requirement. Students who have earned credit for WBIS 188 may not take English 101. Students cannot earn credit for both English 101 and WBIS.


Pre-WBIS Classes

Before taking WBIS, students may be placed into one of the following courses:

Foundations of College English (English 100)

Catalogue Description: A course designed to develop competencies in the fundamentals of English grammar, usage, sentence structure, and paragraph writing. Through individualized instruction and tutoring, students placed in English 100 are prepared, upon satisfactory completion, to enter English 101. Units (crs.) earned in English 100 do not apply toward the 42 unit (cr.) general education requirement or toward the minimum 120 units (crs.) required for graduation. Pass/Fail course.

Also see the ENG 100 course outcomes

English for the Non-Native Speaker (English 121)

Catalogue Description: A course for students for whom English is a second language designed to develop advanced communication skills in reading and writing, with emphasis on grammar. Units (crs.) will be granted toward graduation only if the student takes the course as part of his or her first thirty units (crs.) and earns a grade of B or better.


Advanced Composition

Every UW Oshkosh student is required to take a 300-level Advanced Composition course as part of the university’s general education requirements. Advanced Composition serves as a capstone to students’ general education experience by offering writing-intensive contexts to discuss and apply the core skills and values of the liberal arts. The eight Advanced Composition courses at UW Oshkosh are focused on different academic disciplines or sets of disciplines, and students have the opportunity to choose the Advanced Composition course most appropriate to their major course of study. Though each of the eight Advanced Composition courses differs in content from the others, the Advanced Composition program at UW Oshkosh is unified by its emphasis on practicing research methods, argumentation, and a recursive writing process in highly interactive, small class settings. 



Writing-Intensive 200-level Literature Courses

In order to maintain the continuity of writing instruction in English, students' second year experience in general education 200-level literature courses will also be writing-intensive. Students in each section of 200-level literature, regardless of course title, will compose a minimum of 4000 words per semester in a variety of formal and informal assignments; at least half of this word requirement (2000 words) will receive feedback from the instructor. See the Writing-Intensive Literature Courses page for more information.

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by Mueller, Crystal L last modified Dec 27, 2012 01:04 PM