Teaching a Write 2 Course

WRITE 2 classes are generally seminars with enrollment of 16 or lower, taught by faculty, that fulfill the WR 2 part of Stanford University's Writing and Rhetoric General Education requirement. (WR 2 courses taught in the Program in Writing and Rhetoric are called PWR 2.)  WRITE 2 courses have a dual character: they explore a subject based in the faculty member’s interests; in relation to the WR 2 requirement, they provide students with a range of writing and oral presentation assignments and formal instruction and feedback in writing and speaking.

Getting your course certified

Prerequisite for faculty: the course must be approved as a WRITE 2 by the WRR Governance Board.  WRITE 2 proposals should be submitted in the fall or early winter the academic year before the course will be taught.  The PWR faculty director and administrative director are available for consultation on the preparation of the writing and speaking components of the course proposals and can advise faculty on the expectations of the Governance Board.  Faculty may choose to attend the Governance Board meeting at which their proposal will be reviewed in order to answer questions and receive feedback from the Board.

WRITE 2 courses:

  • carry at least 3 units of credit
  • are generally seminar courses
  • provide writing, research, and oral presentation assignments and include opportunities for students to present the results of scholarly inquiry in varying forms (e.g. in print, on the web, before a live audience)
  • offer students consistent opportunities for practice and revision of major written assignments and oral presentations, with feedback provided by faculty
  • provide instruction in writing and oral communication keyed to standards appropriate to university-level work, including attention to integrating the writing and oral communication instruction with the content of the course
  • require that students produce 18-25 pages of writing and 15-20 minutes of speaking

Further, it is recommended that WRITE 2 courses:

  • incorporate peer review into the students' process of preparing and revising written assignments and oral presentations
  • give students opportunities to work collaboratively on presentations
  • supplement feedback from faculty with support or coaching from other sources, which could include videotaping and/or tutoring support from the Hume Center for Writing and Speaking and the Oral Communication Program

Notes to faculty preparing WRITE 2 course proposals

WRITE 2 classes are often also Introductory Seminars; students apply via the usual Introductory Seminar process — they submit an application which includes a statement of interest, and faculty read the applications and select the students for the class.

In the proposal form (available for download at this hyperlink) the faculty member should provide for the Governance Board with full descriptions of the writing and speaking assignments, their placement in the syllabus and relationship to each other, the instruction and feedback elements built into the assignments, and the way assignments grow out of course materials.  The syllabus (for a new course, this may be a syllabus draft) need not have as much detail as the proposal form but should make clear to students the ways in which the course assignments fulfill the WR 2 requirement. The Board also recommends that the syllabus include a description of the support for writing and speaking available through the Hume Center.

WRITE 2 courses will be re-submitted to the WRR Board every three years; the Board will review the current syllabus to ensure that the key writing and oral presentation elements of the course are still in place. The Board will periodically review course evaluations to assess students' experiences in WRITE 2 and check in with faculty about their experiences teaching WRITE 2 courses.


  • Fall—development of WRITE 2 proposals, including optional consultation with PWR directors.  Proposals should be submitted for Governance Board review by the end of fall quarter (preferably) but no later than the end of the second week of winter quarter.
  • Winter—Governance Board review of WRITE 2 proposals, including (optional) faculty presence at Board meeting; the Board will approve the proposal or request specific revisions or clarifications related to the WR 2 components of the course.

Propose a WRITE 2 course now