Welcome to the Baccalaureate Core Writing World at OSU!

For further information contact Kristy Kelly, Director of Writing.

Our Writing I and Writing II courses are designed to orient students to the multiple literacies of writing (in various forms and genres), reading (on the printed page as well as the digital screen) critical thinking, argumentation, style, and research required for success in college-level written communication and in the workplace.  Writing is a process of development; growth in writing often takes place by leaps and digressions rather than in one-time performances.  Accordingly, our writing “world” is designed to open doors to success a step at a time, with a two-part writing requirement (WR I and WR II).  Ideally, students should plan to take WR I within the first 45-hours of OSU coursework and WR II courses within the first 90-hours.

We are especially proud of these features of our WR I and II programs:

  • A close working relationship with the Valley Library. WR 121's strong tie to the Library benefits students through a carefully crafted and continuously updated Information Literacy curriculum component, as well as a live session with a librarian who introduces students to OSU's research materials.
  • In-house textbooks: one authored by one of our faculty members and another compiled and updated by our instructors.
  • A close working relationship with international programs on campus.
  • A commitment to extending WR 121 curriculum and experiences into the community, as per our service learning project, which is adopted each year by select instructors: 

WRITING I AND WRITING II and Baccalaureate Core Requirements at OSU.

WR 121 (or its equivalent for transfer students) is required for ALL OSU students; recommendations for fulfilling the WR II courses (to be selected from the list below)  will vary as per your major field or professional college For questions about which Writing II course is appropriate to your major/college, please contact an advisor in your home/college department.  An advisor in your college or major is the best person to advise on WR I, II,  and related  Bac Core Requirements.

Writing I Information


WR 121: English Composition is a graduation requirement at OSU. This course provides an essential introduction to academic writing, critical thinking, and information literacy. It meets the Writing I requirement of the Baccalaureate Core and is a prerequisite for many courses. Entering students who have not otherwise completed WR 121 or its equivalent are required to take it in their first year at OSU. 

The WR 121 requirement can be met by:

  • WR 121 at OSU;
  • WR 121 at another college or university in the Oregon University System or through Oregon's College Now program;
  • an equivalent approved first-year composition course at another college or university;
  • a score of 3 or better on the AP Language & Composition exam;
  • a score of 5 or better on standard and higher level IB (International Baccalaureate) exams;
  • the WR 121 waiver exam at OSU. Students whose transfer equivalencies are not approved are welcome to take the WR 121 waiver exam.


Passing Grades in WR 121

  • The minimum passing grade in WR 121 is a C-. If you do not earn at least a C- in the class, you will need to retake the course.
  • In order to transfer WR 121 credits from another institution, you must have earned a C- or better in the class. 


All sections of WR 121 use a standard attendance policy. Missing more than one (1) week of class (i.e. 3 days on a MWF schedule, 2 days on a TR schedule) lowers the final grade for the term by one full letter grade. Each additional day missed will further lower the grade by 1/3 (for example, from B+ to B). Because conferences, peer editing, and the library session are so essential to our course, missing those days may also lower the grade on that paper. In addition, three (3) tardies equal one absence. If you think you may miss too many classes due to illness or personal issues, you should consider withdrawing and retaking WR 121 in another term because there is no option for “Incomplete” in WR 121. 

Absences due to participation in official OSU events such as athletic teams, marching band, etc may be excused IF the student makes an appointment with the instructor by the start of second week of term, brings official documentation from OSU athletic department, makes arrangements for how and when work is to be submitted in advance of the due date, and how missed class time will be made up, and meets the deadlines.

Registration for WR  121

Baccalaureate Core requirements ask students to take WR 121 during their first year at OSU.   Registration for the course is organized by alphabetical sections based on students’ last names: A-G, fall term; H-N, winter term; O-Z spring term.

Please note:

  •  Sections are capped at 23 students, no exceptions.
  •  Spaces frequently open up during the first week of a term, so students should keep trying to register on the web.
  •  Students may not attend a section for which they are not registered.
  •  Waiting lists are not maintained for closed sections.


All sections of WR 121 are “Alpha” (by last name) with the exception of sections beginning at 0800 and 1600 which are non alpha.  (Fall term A-G; Winter term H-N and Spring term O-Z)

Students attempting to register out of Alphabetical sequence can obtain an “alpha override” as follows:

  1. On the first day of the term, locate a section of WR 121 that is open (from the web registration page).
  2. Complete the “Registration Override Request Form”, available in the School of Writing, Literature, and Film Office, Moreland 238.  Submit the form to the office staff for the override.  This override is valid for that particular section only.
  3. Go online and register for that section.

Sorry, no Second Week adds are permitted for WR 121 courses.


OSU Baccalaureate Core WR I Outcomes.  After this course, students will:

  • Be able to use multiple writing strategies in order to explore, clarify, and effectively communicate ideas to appropriate audiences.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of language, form, and style.
  • Incorporate critical thinking at all steps in their writing process.

Specific WR 121 OutcomesSuccessful students will demonstrate their ability in Academic Writing in the following areas:

Rhetorical Knowledge

  • Respond to different rhetorical situations and audiences – especially academic audiences – using appropriate format  and  structure; claims, support, evidence, and appeals; and voice, tone, and level of formality.

Critical Thinking, Reading, and Writing for Information Literacy

  • Use writing and critical reading for inquiry, learning, thinking, and communicating
  • Locate, read, evaluate, analyze, and synthesize appropriate print and online primary and secondary sources
  • Integrate personal ideas (“I say”) with those of others (“they say”) ethically and effectively


  • Use multiple informal and formal drafts to create, re-think, revise and complete a successful text
  • Develop flexible strategies for generating, revising, editing, and proof-reading
  • Collaborate in the writing process and critique personal and peers’ works

Knowledge of and Skill Using Conventions

  • Use appropriate academic page formats and genre conventions
  • Document sources correctly within the essay and on the works cited page with MLA
  • Use correct syntax, grammar, word choice, punctuation, and spelling, etc.
Writing II Information

Once a student has completed WR 121, s/he is required to take an elective course from among the offerings in the Writing II category. The required Writing II course is part of a student’s Bacc Core experience. These courses are designed to deepen students’ awareness of and capacity with writing tools and expectations in a core area (e.g. academic writing, professional writing, technical writing, etc). In all cases, Writing II courses engage students in the process of critical thinking, audience analysis, document planning, and revision. 

Writing II Outcomes

All Writing II courses share a common set of course outcomes:

  1. Apply multiple theories, concepts, and techniques for creating and evaluating written communication.
  2. Write effectively for diverse audiences within a specific area or discipline using appropriate standards and conventions.
  3. Apply critical thinking to writing and writing process, including revision.

WR II Courses

Writing Courses in this category: H 199 (University Honors College Only); WR 201 Writing for Media; WR 222 English Composition; WR 327 Technical Writing; WR 214 Business Writing; WR 323 English Composition; WR 240 Introduction to Nonfiction; WR 241 Intro to Poetry Writing; WR 341 Poetry Writing (pre-req WR 241); WR 224 Intro to Fiction Writing; WR 303 Writing for the Web; WR 324 Short Story Writing (pre-req WR 224); WR 330 Understanding Grammar; WR 362 Science Writing.

Some programs of study require students to take a specific Writing II course (e.g. WR 222: English Composition or WR 327: Technical Writing). Please consult your major department for regulations related to Writing II course selection.

The following courses are frequently recommended for WR II:

WR 327 TECHNICAL WRITING  (3 credits) – Course Description  (common to all courses)

Technical Writing (WR 327) will prepare you to produce instructive, informative, and persuasive documents aimed at well-defined and achievable outcomes. Technical documents are precise, concise, logically organized, and based on factual information. The purpose and target audience of each document determine the style that an author chooses, including document layout, vocabulary, sentence and paragraph structure, and visuals. To this end, this course will teach processes for analyzing “writing contexts” and producing effective, clean, and reader-centered documents in an efficient manner. You can expect to gather, read, and present the technical content of your field to various audiences in attractive, error-free copy, as well as to learn strategies for presenting that content orally.

WR 327 Outcomes

Successful students in WR 327 demonstrate their ability in technical writing in the following areas:

Rhetorical Knowledge: Awareness of the importance of audience and purpose to the production of effective documents, as demonstrated by reading, analyzing, and composing written and visual texts.

Conventions: Understanding of technical and workplace conventions, as demonstrated through the clean and clear design, style, and layout of written and oral materials.

Information Literacy: Ability to gather and apply researched information that is appropriate to your field, as demonstrated by using technological tools to find information, reading and analyzing documents, and citing sources correctly.



Online catalog: Continued practice in expository writing with an emphasis on argumentation and research. (Bacc Core Course)

WR 222 Course Description - sample

While continuing the concerns of WR 121, WR 222 emphasizes the development of argumentation skills and the control of style to suit a variety of writing situations. Students explore the rhetorical contexts of academic and public argument by considering a variety of argumentative texts, while they learn and practice how to research, write, and revise their own arguments on controversial issues. Both in our writing and reading, this course encourages close analysis of claims, warrants, supporting materials and logical organization. During the course, students will write assignments that involve summarizing, synthesizing, evaluating, and crafting arguments. This classroom is a learning community, so we will show respect for the ideas of all individuals.

See a Full Menu of WR II Courses



Because WR 121 serves as the prerequisite for Writing II courses, a student will not be able to register for a Writing II class until s/he has completed WR 121.

Second Week Add

During the second week of a term,  students may try to register for sections of WR that still have space. In order to do so, please follow the steps below.

  1. Obtain a "2nd Week Add" form from the School of Writing, Literature, and Film Office, Moreland 238.
  2. Go online and locate a section that is still open.  
  3. Locate the instructor in order to ask permission to add the course. If the instructor grants you permission, s/he will sign the form.
  4. Deliver the signed form  to the School of Writing, Literature, and Film office for approval.
  5. Go online and register for that section.

Students who transfer WR 121 credits from another Oregon university will be able to register for Writing II courses once their WR 121 credits have been officially processed by the Admissions and Registrar’s offices. Students who transfer other equivalent first-year writing courses from other universities should likewise be able to register for Writing II courses once their transfer credits are evaluated and processed. For questions related to transfer equivalencies, please contact Kristy Kelly, Director of Writing.