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University Studies Writing Outcomes

Writing instruction in University Studies courses helps forward the UNST goals of Inquiry and Critical Thinking, Communication, Ethical and Social Responsibility, and The Diversity of Human Experience. It forms the basis for students’ understanding of writing’s centrality to their education, and furthers Portland State’s commitment to writing across the curriculum.

The following writing outcomes are programmatic and form the basis for writing instruction in Freshman Inquiry (FRINQ) and Sophomore Inquiry (SINQ) courses. Faculty should work with their teams and clusters to determine how their assignments and activities best align with these outcomes. The outcomes, which help prepare students for future tasks, reflect the interdisciplinary nature of the University Studies program. Instruction in Junior Cluster and Senior Capstone courses, as well as in all departments and programs across campus, should continue to build on this preparation. The outcomes draw on those developed by the Writing Program Administrators and align with the localized goals of University Studies as well as PSU’s campus-wide learning outcomes.

During their University Studies courses, students will practice

  • Communicating to a variety of audiences, demonstrating an awareness of the structure, genre, and conventions for different rhetorical situations.
  • Making use of the writing process, including brainstorming, drafting, workshopping, revising, editing, and proofreading work.
  • Revising texts to make appropriate choices about clarity, purpose, audience, voice, style, usage, and mechanics.
  • Finding, evaluating, synthesizing, and analyzing a variety of primary and secondary sources, and using appropriate means of documentation for those sources.
  • Composing pieces that integrate the author’s own thoughts with those of others.
  • Participating in an academic community and committing to the principles of academic integrity.
  • Demonstrating awareness of strengths and weaknesses as writers, as well as an ability to provide and incorporate feedback from others.
  • Using writing and evidence as a means to deepen understanding of an issue, solve problems, discover new ideas, develop perspective on a topic, and/or effectively convey a point of view to others.
  • Applying knowledge of writing and rhetoric to multiple formats, including presentations, websites, and portfolios.