What is Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC)?

Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) is a teaching approach that helps university students develop strong writing skills for both their studies and their professional life. WAC programs exist at many universities across North America.

The basic idea is that writing varies greatly from one discipline to another. Students best develop their writing skills when the writing they do is closely connected to their program of study. In a WAC program, students don't just study writing skills in writing courses. Instead, writing instruction and practice is integrated with their courses in their program.

As future artists and designers, curators and critics, writing skills will be key to communicating in your profession. Most OCAD U students, including very confident writers, find that the writing they have done in high school does not prepare them for the specific kinds of writing that are required of artists and designers.  

OCAD U's WAC Initiative will support you in practicing and strengthening university-level and professional writing skills throughout your years at OCAD U and across multiple courses. You will discover that: 

  • writing can be a powerful tool for developing your creative ideas
  • writing is a lot like making--it requires reflection, multiple stages and attempts, feedback and revision
  • writing is a valuable professional skill, e.g. enabling you to communicate successfully in grant/residency applications or creative briefs

What is a WID Course?

At each year level of each program, one required course is designated as a Writing in the Disciplines (WID) course.  In WID courses, you will practice the specific kinds of writing, research, critical thinking and presentation skills that are most relevant to your program and your future professional practice.  For example, you may:

  • use free writing and mind mapping to develop a visual concept
  • learn art/design-specific vocabulary to use in critique
  • keep a sketchbook/journal documenting your explorations and sources of inspiration

(2015-16 WID course list coming soon.)