Guilford College Writing Manual

This is the official Guilford College Writing Manual. A collaboration between the English Department and the Hege Library.

Required Writing Courses

What supports the writing enterprise at Guilford is a four-tiered program of required writing courses. The four are:

1.College Reading and Writing: Many Voices

  • intentional focus on writing skills, with special attention to invention, arrangement, diction, syntax, rhythm, metaphor, sentence variety, revising (e.g., for wordiness), editing. Both this course and Historical Perspectives will attend to proper citing of external sources and avoiding plagiarism.
  • intentional focus on reading skills
  • use of diversity readings, which will be chosen to celebrate a range of diverse populations that collectively define the American landscape, groups including Americans of African, Asian, Jewish, or Arab descent, Latinos, indigenous peoples. We expect these courses to explore diversity within these groups as well, for example along lines of gender, sexual orientation, and religious belief.
  • readings chosen are written by members of these groups, not works written by others about them; both expository and imaginative readings.
  • a goal: to listen carefully to what the diverse voices are saying, to immerse in the literal so as to enable the breaking down of communication barriers
  • minimum of 20 pages of revised prose, sequenced throughout the course

2. Historical Perspectives (NOTE: College Reading and Writing and Historical Perspectives form a two-semester sequence which students normally take in the first year; the following criteria and the course's name are still subject to change as of the date of this version of Writing at Guilford).

  • Focused examination of how specific people, places, ideas, artifacts, or natural objects change over time.
  • Exploration of how individuals and groups initiate change or respond to social, economic, political, cultural, or natural forces.
  • Analysis of events from the point of view of the participants' time and culture, using primary sources when possible and appropriate as well as a range of secondary sources, and acknowledging the biases of author or eyewitness.
  • An explicit focus on reading skills, including use of class time for working closely with texts, emphasizing interpretation of primary sources and critical analysis of secondary sources.
  • Evaluation of multiple perspectives and differentiation among fact, opinion, and historical interpretation.
  • Writing component to include special attention to organization, focus, voice, basic techniques of secondary research, proper citing of external sources, avoiding plagiarism, and effective revision.
  • Instruction in responsible use of the Internet for research
  • 15-20 pages of revised writing, including a thesis-driven research paper.

3. A discipline-specific writing and research course (or its alternative; normally taken during the sophomore or junior year as part of the major)

  • Writing is an intentional focus of instruction.
  • Use of a writing text that is especially pertinent to the discipline.
  • Writing treated as a process (sample stages: planning, composing, revising, editing).
  • Students conduct research using discipline-specific resources including the Internet.
  • Drafts of formal papers are responded to by either the teacher or peer-edit groups.
  • At least 15 pages of revised prose, sequenced through the semester.

4. IDS 401 (interdisciplinary capstone course taken during the senior year)

  • Emphasizes writing for non-specialist audiences in an interdisciplinary context.
  • Use of an appropriate writing text
  • Writing treated as a process.
  • At least 15 pages of revised prose, sequenced through the semester.
  • Drafts of formal papers responded to by either the teacher or peer-edit groups.