Putting the Pieces Together: An Overview of the WRIT Curriculum

Putting the Pieces Together: Reason and Writing for Success 

Welcome to your new introductory writing textbook! Now, you may be feeling like English classes should be behind you since you graduated from high school, but don’t worry. This is different.

At Fanshawe College, the Reason and Writing curriculum  (or “WRIT” for short) is our level-one writing course for college-level students, and it’s required by most programs to ensure that students are equipped with the necessary skills needed to succeed in college and in life.

We place an importance on making sure students are equipped with the essential principles of reading, writing, and reasoning at the post-secondary level.  So, WRIT is designed to help students succeed in becoming functional, competent communicators in college. WRIT also lays the foundation for success in our advanced- level professional communications (or “COMM” for short) courses, which are also required for most students in programs at the college.

Ask any professional in your field of study , and they’ll set you straight on the enormous importance of practical, clear writing and professional communication in the work they do.

Are There Different Types of Writing Required at College?

Yes. In college, you can expect to learn how to write for academic purposes as well as work-specific purposes.  Theses two types of writing are equally important, and you’ll need to tackle the first type of writing before you can confidently hone your skills at the second type. The kinds of writing you do and the communication skills you use in college are designed to help you achieve a specific purpose: to earn your academic credentials.  One of the major differences between academic writing and workplace writing is reflected in the expectations of those who assign the writing.

In college writing, the emphasis is on writing to think critically, writing to learn confidently , and writing to demonstrate your learning  competently. For example, at work, you may be expected to write an email to employees to explain a procedural change. In a college assignment, you may be expected to argue for or against an idea, or you may have to justify why something should or should not happen, as well as demonstrate reader-centered writing techniques to make sure your thoughts and ideas are understood by others.

Workplace writing, however, is specific to the needs of your job.  You’ll learn all about  work-place specific writing in your communication classes, but before you can master specific workplace communications , you’ll need to make sure understand and master the basics of clear and concise academic writing.  The content, organization , style and mechanics of your writing are the building blocks needed to be successful in any professional field where writing and communication are expected.  So, too, in college, every assignment you are asked to complete will also require this ability. Your instructors will expect you to use standard writing conventions to express yourself clearly and to demonstrate you have mastered the skills needed to be successful in your program.

Another way academic writing can differ from workplace writing is in the level of original ideas that are explored as well as the way personal opinion, individual preference, and unique expression of thought takes shape. Academic writing shows knowledge and understanding of both content and process.  On the other hand, workplace writing often aims to convey information clearly and concisely about a specific issue at hand.  While workplace writing tends to be practical—geared toward completing a work-related task— and college writing enables you to explore new avenues of thought, the two are importantly linked.

Being a practical work-place writer means that you are also able to convey complex thoughts,  arguments, ideas,  and opinions in a way that is understandable to others. If people don’t understand what your trying to say, then your ability to advance in your chosen career may be a challenge, and it’s a challenge that can be easily overcome with a bit of work on your part.

This challenge is something you should think about as you go through WRIT. You may not fully appreciate it yet, but this open text is compiled to help support the vital writing skills you need now in college and in the years ahead as you grow professionally.

So, What is WRIT?

WRIT is a course that introduces students to essential principles of reading, writing, and reasoning at the post-secondary level. Students are required to identify, summarize, analyze, and evaluate multiple short readings and write persuasive response essays to develop their vocabulary, comprehension, grammar, and critical thinking.

WRIT Course Learning Outcomes 

If you are taking this course, it means that your program requires a WRIT credit as part of your diploma, certificate or similar credentials.  In fact, because almost all diploma programs at Fanshawe have a writing component, you can be sure that your class will be similar in content, structure, and approach; in short, all students will have a common or shared experience in WRIT regardless of their program.

Although each school offers a variation of WRIT and assigns a different course code, they’re all consistent in their approach to introductory writing. At Fanshawe, the following schools have programs, which require WRIT:

  • Lawrence Kinlin School of Business (WRIT 1032)
  • Donald J. Smith School of Building Technology (WRIT 1039)
  • School of Applied Science and Technology (WRIT 1039)
  • School of Community Studies (WRIT 1094)
  • School of Contemporary Media (WRIT 1032)
  • School of Design (WRIT 1036)
  • School of Digital and Performing Arts (WRIT 1037)
  • School of Health Sciences (WRIT 1048)
  • School of Information Technology (WRIT 1043)
  • School of Language and Liberal Studies (WRIT 1030)
  • School of Nursing (WRIT 1048)
  • School of Public Safety (WRIT 1089)
  • School of Tourism, Hospitality and Culinary Arts (WRIT 1042)
  • School of Transportation Technology and Apprenticeship (WRIT 1039)
  • All schools have an English for Academic Purposes (EAP) option (WRIT 1034)

Because all WRIT courses are equivalent credits, the courses listed above also share identical course learning outcomes, which are sometimes referred to as CLOs and appear on your course outline. CLOs provide you with a set of measurable goals to achieve success in your WRIT course.  This open textbook is designed to support the learning outcomes of the reason and writing curriculum.

As such, this textbook refers to the following common learning outcomes, and they appear at the beginning of each chapter and section:

  1. IDENTIFY author, source title, and thesis in written prompts;
  2. INTERPRET audience, purpose, and tone in written prompts;
  3. DEVELOP reliable critical thinking and critical reading strategies;
  4. SUMMARIZE the arguments of written prompts;
  5. EVALUATE supporting evidence for arguments;
  6. COMPOSE complete sentences and paragraphs using effective vocabulary;
  7. EXPRESS a clear written argument;
  8. PROVIDE evidence in support of arguments;
  9. APPLY basic principles of quotation and/or paraphrase integration, and
  10. REFLECT on how prompt topics increase one’s awareness of the society and culture in which one lives and works.

What You Need to Succeed

This resource is suited best to students who use:

  • Microsoft Word (MS Word) as their word processor program, which is available to most Fanshawe College students via the Fanshawe Connected website or contact IT Services for additional assistance.
  • The Google Chrome browser for internet activity
  • A laptop or desktop computer with the Windows operating system, though some considerations are made for Mac users.


This textbook is divided into five major units designed to guide first-year college students who have a high school education or equivalency as well as support for non- native English speakers through the steps towards proficiency in English writing for Canadian college success.

Unit 1:  Putting the Pieces together:  Writing Content
Unit 2: Putting the Pieces together:  Writing Organization
Unit 3: Putting the Pieces together:  Writing Style
Unit 4: Putting the Pieces together:  Writing Mechanics
Unit 5: Putting the Pieces together:  Writing Supports for EAP

From the above units, you can further explore the full range of topics in the textbook’s chapters, sections, and subsections.


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Putting the Pieces Together Copyright © 2020 by Andrew Stracuzzi and André Cormier is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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