W courses focus on the process of writing in addition to the written product by requiring multiple assignments and opportunities for revision. W courses are offered in every division and introduce you to the writing conventions particular to a discipline such as those governing a lab report for biology or curriculum project for educational studies. In the process, writing courses provide you with experiences to strengthen core writing principles that are useful in any discipline. Many of the W courses utilize the Writing Associates Program to have trained peers serve as educated readers for your writing. In addition, feedback from professors, sometimes through conferences, focuses on the clarity of your writing: clarity of your thinking, argument, logic, and sentence structure.
Most W courses use writing to teach students the content of the course while improving their writing abilities. A course is designated as a W course after a professor's proposal is approved by the college curriculum committee. Courses designated as "W" must meet the following criteria. It is important to remember that a course is not a writing course because of the amount of writing, but rather because explicit attention is paid to the writing process in addition to the written product.
In addition to the W Courses, Swarthmore offers several Writing and Rhetoric Courses, which are focused on the craft of writing in both course content and course assignments.