What is Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC)?

Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) is an approach to writing instruction. It is grounded in an understanding of writing as context-specific and process-based. According to WAC research, writing skills are best learned:

  • within the context of a student's discipline
  • when writing is integrated with teaching to support student learning and mastery of course content

When students write, they become better at processing knowledge, especially when writing tasks are integrated with reading and speaking.  After first grappling with fundamental skills and strategies in their first-year writing course, students need opportunities to develop and apply them in their disciplinary courses. Sustained writing practice also benefits English language learners (ELLs) and other students with diverse learning needs.

Writing in Art and Design Education

A writing curriculum based on WAC principles in an art and design educational context emphasizes the relationship between writing and creative practice. Like art making, the writing process is iterative and requires reflection, making in stages, critical feedback and revision. 

OCAD U's Framework for Undergraduate Writing Competency has been crafted in consideration of the variety of purposes writing serves in an art and design context and the particular needs of studio education and practice.