What is WAC

Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC)

  • Pedgogical movement from the 1980s to value writing as a method of learning
  • One of the longest educational reform movements in higher education in the US
  • Uses writing to boost critical thinking skills in all academic disciplines
  • Acknowledges the differences in writing conventions across the disciplines (WID)
  • Believes that students can best learn to write in their areas by practicing those discipline-specific writing conventions
  • All students can learn to become more proficient writers

Core Features of WAC

  • writing to learn”: writing should be an integral part of the learning process throughout a student’s education, not merely in required writing courses but across the entire curriculum
  • Discipline-specific writing: writing is highly situated and tied to a field’s discourse and ways of knowing and most effectively guided by those with expertise in that discipline
  • Emphasis on low-stakes writing, scaffolded assignments


WAC/ WID at CUNY began with the 1999 Board Resolution endorsing the centrality of writing to a university education and calling for the integration of writing across the curriculum.

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