Interdisciplinary Writing Minor

 Introduction | Learning Objectives | Program Requirements | Program Structure | Contact


Students in the interdisciplinary Writing Minor will develop their academic, critical, and rhetorical writing skills in ways that enhance their major courses of study. By moving beyond the competencies introduced in the first-year writing seminar, the Writing Minor will provide students with opportunities to practice, refine, and extend their skills as academic, professional, and creative writers. The curriculum, composed of new and existing courses in rhetoric and writing, as well as writing-enhanced courses across the disciplines, prepares students to participate in various writing situations both inside and outside the academy. Because writing enhances reflection, reinforces learning, and improves critical thinking, the Writing Minor will provide students with the skills they need to excel in their majors, their professions, and their lives as engaged citizens.


Learning Objectives

Students who complete the interdisciplinary Writing Minor will demonstrate the ability to:

  • Produce complex and well-supported arguments that matter in their contexts.
  • Use flexible strategies for organizing, revising, and proofreading writing of varying lengths and genres.
  • Identify and implement rhetorical choices responsive to the demands of specific genres, audiences, and rhetorical situations, both academic and non-academic.
  • Compose in a variety of modes, including a range of new media.
  • Identify the expectations that characterize writing in their major field of study, and use this knowledge to write effectively in a range of genres in that discipline.
  • Use meta-language regarding writing processes, rhetorical choices, genre expectations, and disciplinary discourse to discuss writing-in-progress and writing development over time.
  • Collaborate with other writers to improve writing-in-progress.

Students will be encouraged to find opportunities to practice these skills inside and outside  the classroom, through their academic work, internships, service learning, and public engagement.

Program Requirements

All students who enroll in the Writing Minor will be required to create an eportfolio that documents their process and progress as writers throughout their undergraduate careers. Click here to check out our recent minors’ eportfolios. This eportfolio project will be initiated during the gateway course and students will contribute writing from all of their subsequent coursework in both WRI and other courses before finalizing the portfolio as part of the senior capstone course. Writing minors will take one of two gateway courses that will expose them to theoretical frameworks for writing and rhetoric. They will continue with two courses selected from the upper-level WRI courses and two elective courses from the categories listed below. Finally, they will complete a senior capstone course that requires the curation, revision, and presentation of their portfolio. Students pursuing the minor are encouraged to take the gateway course in their freshman or sophomore year, two or three courses in their sophomore or junior year, and complete the remaining hours, including the capstone course, in their senior year. All minors will be advised by faculty in the Writing Program.

Role of the Adviser

The minor adviser encourages interested students to meet individually before they formally declare the Interdisciplinary Writing Minor. The adviser will discuss the student’s career interests and how the minor can be used to further the student’s professional goals. Students can seek out the adviser to consult on course selection. The adviser will also approve any English literature courses that a student wishes to count toward the minor, as well as any writing-enhanced courses across disciplines that are not on the pre-approved list.

Program Structure

At least 18 credits of coursework divided as follows:

Introduction to the Minor: 3 credits from one of these two courses

WRI 210 Academic Research and Writing*
WRI 212 The Art of the Essay*
*The course not taken as the introduction to the minor may be taken in the second category.

Upper Level Writing Courses: minimum of 6 credits

WRI 210: Academic Research and Writing OR WRI 212: The Art of the Essay
WRI 306: Specials topics in Rhetoric and Writing*
WRI 310: Introduction to Written Discourse Studies
WRI 320: Writing In and About Science: Scientists as Writers and Writers as Scientists
WRI 340: Practice in Rhetoric and Writing* (formerly WRI 399)
WRI 341: Writing Center Pedagogy
ENG 307: Contemporary Theory of Rhetoric and Writing
ENG 309: Modern English Grammar
ENG 390: The Structure of English

*May be repeated once for credit towards the minor

Writing Electives: Any Wake Forest upper level writing courses or writing-enriched courses across the disciplines that do not satisfy the gateway course or the 6 credits toward the minor may be used as electives.

The Writing Minor is intended to complement a student’s major, and we discourage “double dipping.” No more than one course may count toward another program of study. A strength of the writing minor is its interdisciplinary nature. Those courses that are not designated as WRI/CRW/JOU will come from a list of courses that have been mutually approved by departmental chairs or program directors and the director of the Writing Program. These courses may be cross-listed or published on an approved list of courses on file with the director of the Writing Program. Writing enhanced courses, designed and taught by full-time Wake Forest faculty who have gone through the Writing Associates Program, will be considered as electives.

Appropriate 300 level Wake Forest English literature courses may also count as electives (these courses must be approved by the minor adviser). All courses approved as electives must emphasize the writing process and include critical reflection on writing and revision.

Students who wish to take non-Wake Forest courses  for credit for the minor must submit a syllabus to the minor adviser.  Approval depends upon the ways that writing is integrated into the course.

Approved writing enhanced course electives include*:
CHM 341L: Physical Chemistry I Lab, Professor Scott Geyer
EDU 388/688: Writing Pedagogy, Professor Joan Mitchell
ENG 301: Oscar Wilde: The Critic as Artist, Professor Melissa Jenkins
ENV 201: Intro to Environmental Issues, Professor Eric Stottlemyer
HST 268: African History to 1870, Professor Nathan Plageman
HST 324: Fashion in the Age of Atlantic Revolution, Professor Stephanie Koscak
PHI 362: Social and Political Philosophy, Professor Adam Kadlac
PHI 360: Ethics, Professor Adam Kadlac
PHI 232: Ancient Greek Philosophy, Professor Emily Austin
PSY 338: Emotion, Professor Christian Waugh
SOC 384: Special Topics: The Sociology of Guns, Professor David Yamane
SOC 390: Sociology of Food, Professor Amanda M. Gengler
WGS 326: Telling Women’s Lives, Professor Anna Rubino
* these courses may not be offered every semester and will only count once toward the minor

Senior Capstone: 3 credits

WRI 350: Interdisciplinary Writing Minor Senior Seminar

The Senior Capstone is a research-based course that offers students the opportunity to assemble a cumulative, self-reflective portfolio. Click here to check out our recent minors’ eportfolios. Students in the capstone will revise works in their portfolio, compose a new writing project, and write a reflective essay on the genres and writing practices specific to their majors and professional goals.

Minor Checklist

For more information on the Writing Minor, please contact Erin Branch, Writing Program Administrator.