Writing Program


The University Writing Program, which serves most students at the University of Tulsa, is part of and housed in the English Department. Designed to position writing as central within the university curriculum, the current program emphasizes rigorous courses that introduce students to the conventions of academic writing and then assists them in moving into writing-intensive courses taught by faculty members from a variety of departments and colleges.

The Tulsa Curriculum, TU’s liberal arts core for all majors, requires that each student complete at least 6 hours of writing courses, though 9 may be necessary for some students. The sequence of courses that students follow depends upon their placement at admission, which is determined in part by their score on the verbal section of the ACT or SAT (see Placement below), but it can be summarized in the following flow chart:

Students in Arts and Sciences

 ENGL 1004  (if required)     ENGL 1033     FS 1973

Students in Business of Engineering/Natural Sciences

 ENGL 1004  (if required)     ENGL 1033     ENGL 3003

Students who need developmental work in the fundamentals of writing (as evidenced by their test scores and performance on a diagnostic writing test) enroll in English 1004, “Introduction to College Writing,” a course designed to provide review and practice in basic skills. In addition, while all writing courses seek to address the needs of all English Language Learners (ELL), a few sections of English 1004 and English 1033, “Exposition and Argumentation,” are designated specifically for non-native speaking students.

The majority of first-semester students enroll in English 1033, “Exposition and Argumentation,” a course in the process, conventions, and production of academic writing. Students in this course learn to refine and develop arguments, while gaining knowledge of the fundamentals of library research and online resources. Following 1033, students in the College of Arts and Sciences enroll in a First Seminar taught by a faculty member from a diverse group of departments and designed to engage small groups of students in close study of a focused topic. A major aspect of the course is the completion of several writing assignments in which careful and thorough revision is required. Course topics from past semesters include “Exploring the  "Neanderthals,”  “20th Century Jazz Masters,” “Reading and Writing Spiritual Autobiography,” “Mark Twain’s America,” and “Creativity in the Arts.”

Students in the College of Business and the College of Engineering and Natural Sciences follow English 1033, two years later, with English 3003, “Writing for the Professions,” a course designed to assist students in developing skills in written and oral communication for business and engineering professions. Note that there are two separate, standarized versions of the course, one for students of the College of Business and one for students of the College of Engineering and Natural Sciences. Course offerings are designated as either "ENS" or "BUS."

All students at the University are invited to use the Helen N. Wallace Writing Center located in McFarlin Library on the 3rd floor(Tel. 918-631-3131). Staffed by Teaching Assistants in English, the center offers consultations in individual or group sessions to help students develop and improve writing skills.

The University Writing Program serves as a center for writing-across-the-curriculum activities at the University. The staff of the Writing Program is available to consult with faculty members in all departments about integrating manageable and effective writing assignments in their courses.

Official Course Descriptions

Below are the official course descriptions found in the University undergraduate bulletin. For more detailed descriptions of the courses, including objectives, requirements, and unique consideration of each, please see Part IV.

English 1004, “Introduction to College Writing.” This course provides students with review and practice in the fundamentals of college writing, including organization, paragraph development, basic research skills, logic, and mechanics. Class meets three hours per week; lab meets one hour per week. Some sections designated for non-native speakers of English. Staffing: Teaching Assistants and faculty in English. Enrollment: 15

English 1033, “Exposition and Argumentation.” This course emphasizes the process, conventions, and production of academic writing; refining and developing an argument; and library research and documentation of sources. Thorough and frequent revision is integral to the preparation of all written work. Some sections designated for non-native speakers of English. Pre-requisite: English 1004 or satisfactory placement and diagnostic test scores; required for all students, regardless of College. Staffing: Teaching Assistants and faculty in English. Enrollment: 18

First Seminar 1973, Writing Intensive Seminar. Designed by individual faculty members and coordinated by the Writing Program Director, the seminars are discipline-centered courses that stress writing as the primary way in which students demonstrate their learning of the material. Students enrolled in the course are expected to produce 20-25 pages of revised writing during the course of the semester in a variety of written assignments. Pre-requisite: English 1033, advanced placement credit, or equivalent; required for students in Arts and Sciences. Staffing: Arts & Sciences faculty sometimes with assistance from Teaching Assistants in English. Enrollment: 17

English 3003, “Writing for the Professions.” This course adapts principles of effective writing to situations encountered in business and engineering professions (including nursing and biology). Letters, resumes, and a full investigative report in the student’s discipline are required. Pre-requisites: Junior standing and English 1033; required for students in the College of Business and the College of Engineering and Natural Sciences, depending on program. Staffing: Teaching Assistants and faculty in English. Enrollment: 15.

Placement in English 1004 and 1033

Test scores are used for preliminary placement into writing courses. Students who score 20 and below on the verbal sections of the ACT or 490 and below on the SAT I will be enrolled in English 1004. International students without ACT or equivalent test scores may be placed in non-native sections of English 1004, on the basis of interviews with their advisors. Students with ACT verbal scores of 21 and above and SAT I equivalents of 500 and above will be placed in English 1033.

 SAT/ACT verbal   <490/20  >500/21
       
 Placement  English 1004  English 1033

In all cases, placement is not finally determined in any course until the evaluation of a diagnostic essay, which is administered during the first week of class meetings of English 1004 and 1033. Students are advised by their instructors and the Director of the Writing Program if the initial placement seems inappropriate. Any student or advisor who has a question about placement in a writing course should consult the Director of the Writing Program.

Advanced Placement Credit

Students who score a 4 on the English-Language and Composition Exam may receive three hours credit and be excused from enrolling in English 1033, and those who score a 4 on the English-Literature and Composition Exam may receive three hours credit for a Block I course, English 1053, “The Narrative Imagination.”

International Baccalaureate Examination Credit

Students who score a 5 on the English HL Exam may receive six hours credit and be excused from enrolling in English 1033 and Block I English 1093, “Reading Narrative: The World in the Book.” Students who score a 5 on the English SL Exam may receive three hours credit for English 1053.

Transfer of Credits

In general, the transcripts of students who transfer from accredited institutions are evaluated by advisors in the Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business, and Engineering according to the following guidelines:

  • Students who transfer three hours of basic or developmental writing from an accredited institution and earn a grade of C or above will receive a credit for English 1004.
  • Students who transfer six hours of freshman composition (excluding basic or developmental writing) or the second course (of three hours credit) of a two-course freshman composition sequence from an accredited institution and earn a grade of C or above will receive credit for English 1033.
  • According to the University Bulletin, transfer students who do not meet the above guidelines but who may have extensive writing experience or other extenuating circumstances may take a proficiency exam designed and administered by a faculty member, namely, the Writing Program Director. The student must first register and pay a fee at the Office of Registration and Records.

Summary of University Writing Requirements

  • Students in Arts and Sciences: English 1004 (if required), English 1033, FS 1973.
  • Students in Business and Engineering: English 1004 (if required), English 1033, English 3003.
  • Implementation practices may vary according to degree programs in individual Colleges, especially in the Colleges of Business and Engineering. Students should consult advisors in their specific colleges. Generally, students transferring into the College of Arts and Sciences will be advised to enroll in FS 1973, while students in the Colleges of Business and Engineering will be advised to enroll in English 3003 when they have reached junior standing.

Students in the College of Business Administration seeking either a B.S.B.A. or a B.S.I.B.L. degree must earn a grade of C or above to pass English 1033 and English 3003. All other students may earn a grade of D or above to pass these courses.