Writing Requirements for Arts Students

Students in the Faculty of Arts can take WRDS 150A in order to meet the Writing Requirement in the Faculty of Arts.

Course Overview

WRDS 150A is designed to introduce you to many aspects of research and writing in university, including how to:

  • Conduct research
  • Write about research
  • Recognize, analyze, and employ specific features of discourse in academic writing (i.e. contextualized language use)

WRDS 150A is a foundational research and writing course at UBC where you receive an apprenticeship into academic research and writing while learning fundamental concepts and practices from active and experienced scholars. To illustrate how different types of knowledge about a single issue can be made by research in different disciplines, each section of WRDS 150 has a “research area” chosen by the instructor.

Learning Objectives

WRDS 150A aims to teach students two main objectives: read and work with academic sources in context, and to engage in apprentice scholarly research.

In order to read and work with academic sources, our students will:

  • Read, summarize, compare, and critically evaluate scholarly articles, to retain the key arguments/findings and emphases of the originals.
  • Recognize forms of argumentation and identify the rhetorical practices made by members of specific academic research disciplines, including positioning, definition, attribution, hedging, and presupposition/assertion.
  • Recognize the goals, methods, and citation practices of specific academic research disciplines.

Those who can engage in scholarly research will:

  • Develop a research project that addresses a gap in knowledge within a particular research community, and which implements relevant language and rhetorical practices in a variety of genres, including a research proposal and working bibliography, a presentation (oral or poster), and a final paper.
  • Gather relevant and credible primary and secondary sources, using appropriate tools and methods, including UBC Library resources.
  • Engage responsibly with and within research communities, using appropriate citation practices that meet the expectations of academic integrity and adhering to ethical standards of data collection with research collaborators.
  • Engage in constructive and collaborative practices of knowledge production, including performing peer review and integrating feedback.

WRDS150A for Music

In conjunction with the Department of Music, we offer a specialized section of WRDS 150 to coordinate with first-year Bachelor of Music students’ schedules and address their particular interests. This specialized section of WRDS 150 will explore differences and intersections between scholarly and musical discourses. Most importantly, Bachelor of Music students will engage with and produce knowledge that will strengthen their development as musicians and members of UBC’s scholarly community.

WRDS150A for Bachelor of International Economics (BIE)

In consultation with the Vancouver School of Economics, we have designed a special version of WRDS 150A for students registered in the Bachelor of International Economics (BIE) program. As members of the BIE program, you will begin to participate and produce work within the discipline of economics. Therefore the topics explored in the class relate to economics, development studies, geography, education, sociology, health policy, women’s studies, marketing, media and cultural studies, environmental science, and sociology.


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