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Muir College

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Muir College, Provost
2126 Humanities and Social Sciences Building

The Writing Program

Muir College, 2346 Humanities and Social Sciences Building
(858) 534-2522

All courses, faculty listings, and curricular and degree requirements described herein are subject to change or deletion without notice.

The Muir College Writing Program is a sequence of courses in critical thinking and writing during which students must advance beyond the basic competency expected at entrance to understand and write discourse acceptable at the university level. Even when faced with challenging topics, students must demonstrate the ability to comprehend textual arguments at more than a superficial level; their writing must exhibit an understanding of academic arguments including focused theses, systematic methods of analysis and argumentation, awareness of audience, strong organization and development, clear presentation of ideas, appropriate syntax and diction, and—needless to say—correct grammar and usage.

To achieve these ends, the courses focus on principles of analysis and reasoned argumentation. Students will learn to identify underlying assumptions and values in arguments from such fields as the sciences, social and behavioral sciences, and the humanities. They will then write reasoned arguments of their own. In MCWP 50 and 125, students will also write annotated bibliographies, paper proposals, and research papers as appropriate. In addition, students learn to monitor and adapt their own writing processes. Since the ability to evaluate one’s own writing and carry out appropriate revision strategies is crucial to effective writing and argument, all students are required to revise their papers several times. Attention is devoted to developing skill in evaluation and revision in classes and in individual conferences with instructors. Sections of MCWP 50 vary in theme and content, giving students the opportunity to write in areas that interest them or that may be relevant to their major fields. (Descriptions of the MCWP 50 sections are available each quarter in the Muir Writing Program office during pre-enrollment.)

Students are required to complete both MCWP 40 and MCWP 50 for a letter grade in their first six quarters of residence. The Entry Level Writing Requirement (ELWR) must be satisfied in order to take MCWP 40, and MCWP 40 is a prerequisite for MCWP 50. Completion of the sequence allows students to meet the Muir College writing requirement.

IGETC certified transfer students have three quarters to complete either MCWP 50 or MCWP 125.