Skip to content Skip to main navigation Report an accessibility issue

For Students

Writing at UTK

“The faculty of all colleges expect students to communicate effectively in standard written English in laboratory reports, examinations, essays, and other written assignments.” 

UTK Undergraduate Catalog

All UTK faculty expect good quality writing from students in every course.  This includes not only formal out-of-class papers, but also in-class writing assignments and essay exams.

Writing is expected in many other courses besides first-year composition—there are writing requirements in all colleges and all majors.

“Communicating Through Writing” (“WC”) Courses

To complete General Education requirements, all UTK students must take three “Communicating Through Writing” courses (labeled with the abbreviation “WC” in catalog course descriptions) in order to graduate.  Two of those are satisfied by the first-year composition (FYC) sequence.  The third may be taken anytime after completing FYC.  Over 65 courses are designated as WC courses. Courses that satisfy the “Communicating through Writing” General Education requirement are designated “WC” in the Undergraduate Catalog.  Click here for the current (2020-21) list.  WC courses are offered in a wide variety of disciplines.

At least 5,000 words of formal and informal writing are assigned in WC classes.  Students receive feedback on work-in-progress and revise with that in mind.  Students are encouraged to visit the Writing Center for additional feedback when they are enrolled in WC courses.

“Writing Emphasis” Courses

The purpose of “Writing Emphasis” courses is to help students learn course material through writing, develop critical thinking skills, demonstrate the ability to sustain an argument, and strengthen existing writing skills.  “Writing Emphasis” courses require at least 2,000 words of written work.

The lists of requirements for each major identify whether students must take a “Writing Emphasis” course.  Catalog course descriptions identify which are “Writing Emphasis” courses, which may be found across the curriculum in all colleges.