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INTD 105 Writing Seminar Guidelines

The guidelines below reflect Geneseo's view of INTD 105's role in the college's general education curriculum. These guidelines reflect the original design of INTD 105 with modifications approved by the College Senate in 2015. All sections of INTD 105 should follow these guidelines.

Senate-Approved Writing Core Requirement

The requirement is fulfilled by one course (INTD 105) emphasizing analytical writing and textual analysis.  Because the skills involved in close reading require sensitivity to the subtleties of carefully constructed prose and the ability to recognize, construct, and assess arguments in written form, this requirement emphasizes both form and content in the written work.  INTD 105 may be taught by faculty from all areas of the academic curriculum.  Sections of the course will focus on significant, complex works from a variety of disciplines.  This requirement must be met in the freshman year or, for transfer students, during the first year of enrollment.  (Students transferring to Geneseo from another college or university may petition the Office of the Dean of the College for approval of an equivalent or comparable course to meet this requirement.)

All sections of INTD 105 Writing Seminar: (topic) must do the following:

1.   Each section must focus on a topic that requires the close reading of works of sufficient complexity so as to provoke challenging questions that demand well reasoned responses.  If the material of the course is textual, required texts should be complete works by authors who have had a significant impact in scholarly, artistic, or social settings. Textbooks, or discussions of primary sources, are not appropriate as the principal objects of study.  If the focus of the course is not textual--it may be music, artwork, or cinema, for example--then written criticisms of the works under consideration should be included for study.

2.   The principal skill to be acquired in INTD 105 is the ability to produce sustained, coherent, and persuasive arguments on significant issues that arise from the content at hand.  In turn, students will be expected to express themselves clearly according to the conventions of Standard English.  Each section will require students to purchase a writing handbook.

3.   Each section of INTD 105 will require students to write three papers of at least three pages in length, and substantial revision is required of all of them. A fourth paper will require research (see note below), following library instruction. A minimum of 5000 words (approximately twenty double-spaced pages) is expected from each student at the end of the term. 

4.   Since discussion and feedback are important, sections of INTD 105 will have enrollment caps of no more than 25 students each.

5.   Sections may be offered by any faculty member from any department (with, of course, the approval of their departments). 

6.   All courses must be open and accessible to all students in the College, i.e., no section will be reserved for particular majors.

7.   All sections will be scheduled in time slots requiring a minimum of two class meetings per week.

8.  Each section of INTD 105 will require students to be instructed in library research and Information Technology by Geneseo library faculty.

9.   Departments and department chairs will have primary responsibility for ensuring that sections of INTD 105 meet these guidelines.  The Office of the Dean of the College will further assure adherence to the guidelines.


This research requirement is a frequent topic of concern and discussion in instructors' workshops. Per those discussions, instructors should interpret the phrase "paper [requiring] research" broadly. The central goal is to ensure that students use the skills they learn through the library instruction. This will normally not require a classical "research paper," i.e., a long document based on comprehensive reading of some body of scholarly literature. Instead, it may involve a short paper (including one of the revised ones), it may be an in-class writing exercise, or another activity in which students use their research findings. Similarly, most goal-directed use of the library counts as "research." For example, it may involve finding only a single source, it may be heavily scaffolded by the instructor, the source(s) needn't be conventional scholarly works, etc.


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