Shared Expectations


In each discipline, writing works a little differently. However, there is enough overlap to share some core goals. In the spring of 2022, the faculty voted to adopt the Student Writing Outcomes. These articulate what Moody graduates should learn to do as writers. They begin working toward these benchmarks in their first semester, and they continue growing toward advanced mastery until graduation. 

The Student Writing Outcomes are explained with the acronym POINT. These outcomes are meant to provide shared expectations for how students need to continually grow as writers throughout their Moody careers. All of the Student Writing Outcomes are introduced, to some degree, in Research Writing. However, students may need help reinforcing what they learned and--even more important--help adapting to new types of writing. 

The following pages explain the Student Writing Outcomes. Then, they provide two sets of year-by-year benchmarks for growth. Keep in mind that these are outcomes, not standards. While students should be working toward these benchmarks, their growth may not perfectly follow the trajectory outlined. Instead, it may be most helpful to think of these benchmarks as teaching tools. They show what students may have already practiced and how more advanced projects may challenge students in new ways. These benchmarks also demonstrate how much thinking, hard work, and growth go into each finished paper. If students are struggling with a writing project or might benefit from thinking more critically about their work, these benchmarks can help faculty diagnose writing issues they would like to further address. If they feel less confident or too time-pressed to address these in class, faculty can partner with Writing Across the Curriculum, the Writing Center, or the Library to find creative ways to support their students. 

Outcomes in an age of generative AI

AI can now produce many passable essays. It is reasonably good at formulaic organization, common topics, and surface correctness (grammar, punctuation, and basic formatting). Essentially, the more generic the writing task, the more capably AI can complete it. 

As a result, it may be most strategic to focus on what humans do better than AI

AI is often better than less experienced writers at gathering information and presenting it in a confident tone, with few grammatical errors. 

Humans are usually much better at going beyond surface-level analysis. With some help, students can outperform AI in many areas: including critically evaluating information, performing in-depth analysis, or connecting course learning to real-world situations. Students can also write in far more thoughtful, creative voices than most AI tools, so encouraging the development of strong voices may better help graduates distinguish themselves.