Communication Studies Advanced W

What is it?

As a requirement for graduation, students must present a portfolio of three samples of their writing for review. This portfolio must consist of at least 20 pages of material demonstrating the student's writing proficiency.

What is the Big Deal?

Students are often surprised when they do not pass the advanced W on their first try, even though their portfolio consists of coursework for which they have gotten very good grades. The basic reason this happens is because the purpose of a writing review is somewhat different from that of a class assignment. On any given paper for a class you might make routine grammatical errors that do not affect your grade very much because the professor is reading for content. But in the context of a writing review, a few slipped commas may cause your work to be held up for a rewrite. So the best way to make sure you will pass the advanced W on the first run is simply to do a careful reread of your work before including it in the portfolio. Then, of course, there are those students who throw away all their old assignments....

What goes in it?

The portfolio should be a total of 20 double spaced, numbered pages and consist of:

Category A:  One paper from any of the following courses

  • COMM 200
  • COMM 210
  • COMM 307
  • COMM 330
  • COMM 350

Category B:  One paper from any of the following courses

  • COMM 302
  • COMM 308
  • COMM 312
  • COMM 369

Category C:  One paper from any elective COMM course.

If the three papers selected do not total 20 pages, an additional Category C paper should be included.  Pages should be double spaced, numbered, with one inch margins, and in Times New Roman font.  All sources should be cited in either APA or MLA style.  Each sample should include a title page with the student's name, course in which the paper was assigned, and the Advanced W category ("Category A", "Category B", "Category C").  Portfolios must meet all of these format requirements to satisfactorily complete the Advanced W.


Note: Portfolios that do not meet the format requirements described above will be returned unread.


When is it due?

Students turn in their writing portfolios about a month into the spring semester of their senior year. It usually takes the faculty a month to work through the portfolios, and notices to students go out about midway through the semester. As a general rule, faculty will not read revisions of the Advanced W submitted after April 15th, so all corrections and changes must be completed by that time if the student expects to graduate in the spring.

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