Writing is essential to thinking and learning. Clear, concise writing is a key strength for an academic career. Students who write well can lead expressive lives and create powerful communications about their ideas and opinions.
To improve the range and proficiency of undergraduate writing skills, the College created a two-tier writing requirement in 2000. To satisfy this requirement students must complete a composition course (Writing I) and then take a more advanced Writing II course, which introduces them to the ways different disciplines use writing to discover, evaluate, and disseminate new knowledge. In the years following 2000, all other academic units at UCLA that offer undergraduate programs--the Schools of Theater, Film, and Television; Arts and Architecture; Engineering; and Nursing -- now require their students to complete a College approved Writing II course.
In Writing I, students learn about the basic writing concepts needed for an undergraduate education. In Writing II, students prepare increasingly complex writing projects as they learn how to comprehensively revise and rewrite their prose. Students are taught how to develop written arguments, analyze evidence, describe research, and evaluate differences in theories, ideologies, and perspectives. Through ongoing revision and evaluation, students create written discussions that are progressively more ambitious, logical and persuasive.
Writing II courses are offered in several formats, including lecture classes with multiple sections as well as single-class courses. Students prepare 3-4 analytical papers for each course, totaling 15 to 20 pages of revised prose. As they create drafts and revisions, they receive extensive evaluation from instructors, as well as guidance and comments from fellow students in class.
Through the continual process of writing, revision and discussion, students in Writing II learn how to become better writers by assessing the effectiveness of their written work, and evaluating its focus, organization, content, and expression.