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Writing in the Discipline

Bachelor of Social Work

1. Why or in what ways is writing important to your discipline/field/profession?

Writing is an essential skill for social workers. Professional competency depends on one’s ability to effectively communicate to and/or about clients and their needs, communities and their needs, policy priorities that are currently not being met and/or need to be met in different ways, and the ability to promote and advocate for justice.

RIC students writing

2. Which courses are designated as satisfying the WID requirement by your department? Why these courses?

The English Department has three concentrations, each of which has designated its own WID courses:

SWRK 302: Social Work Research Methods 1 In this course students learn how to conduct and write a literature review, an essential skill for producing and/or understanding research.

SWRK 326: Generalist Social Work Practice In this course students learn how to conduct social assessments and produce the accompanying write-up. Additionally, students learn how to take professional notes for client files and work on other forms of professional writing such as referrals and client summaries.

3. What forms or genres of writing will students learn and practice in your department’s WID courses? Why these genres?

The range of genres or forms of writing in which students engage and practice in the English major is too extensive to list in its entirety and depends, to a significant extent, on students’ chosen concentrations within the major. Having said this, we offer a few examples of the writing students do in different concentrations below.

Students practice and hone their writing skills through reflective writing, journal writing, note taking, and academic writing. These genres represent the wide range of writing styles that students will be asked to conduct in professional work settings, as well as giving students the opportunity to critically reflect on their thoughts and emotions related to their work and the field.

4. What kinds of teaching practices will students encounter in your department’s WID courses?

Students will participate in courses with teaching practices that include low stakes and high stakes writing assignments, peer feedback, scaffolded assignments, and opportunities for revision incorporating peer and/or instructor feedback for subsequent drafts.

5. When they’ve satisfied your department’s WID requirement, what should students know and be able to do with writing?

Upon completion of the Social Work program, Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) graduates should be able to do the following:

  • Accurately document professional practice in various practice settings
  • Produce thorough and critical research documents
  • Create and disseminate written and oral presentations to clients, co-workers, and policy makers
  • Engage in critically self-reflective writing for the purpose of professional development

Page last updated: December 08, 2020