In my opinion, the way writing is taught in college is completely backwards.  Why are we teaching Biologists how to write a response paper on a poem?  What does a mathematics major have to take a writing course that isn’t focused on their major?  I agree that there should be breadth requirements for all majors, its important for all citizens to have a body of knowledge to draw on throughout their life.  But writing is not one of those breadth requirements, it is a skill needed for all professions and the way it is taught does not reflect that.  Both writing courses should be directed toward specific majors.  The idea of one broad and encompassing writing course is ridiculous.  The less a class is geared towards a students interest, the less important it becomes to that student.

The way I look at it, each major should have a writing class (or two) that are required for the major and focus specifically on how to write on that subject.  So, for example, if I am a biology major, I should have to take a first writing course that focusses on how to write a lab report, how to read and respond to primary research articles in the field of Biology, and of course how to write a paper on biology.  This first class would be the basics of writing in your field.  Then a second writing course should be required but the students should be allowed to select an even more specific writing course geared toward their interests, so for example, if I’m a pre-med biology major then I would take a second writing course on writing in the medical field.


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