SWS Credit for Student Scholars Program (SSP) Projects

Students participating in the OURS Student Scholars Programs (S3, MS3, Library Scholars, Reach Scholars) have the opportunity to request SWS credit for their summer project and/ or manuscript. To make this request, scholars need to submit a proposal prior to the beginning of the program. This proposal will be reviewed by the CUSE Director and the SWS Director. Students and their faculty mentors will be notified of their program status within 10 business days.

Proposal Directions for Seeking SWS Credit for Summer Scholar’s Project

In order to receive SWS credit for a Student Summer Scholars project, scholars will need to detail how their project or manuscript will meet the basic requirements for SWS credit. These basic requirements are as follows:

  • Write at least 3000 words of polished writing (this can be multiple polished drafts of the same paper or different writing projects);
  • Write and receive feedback on more than one draft of the major text(s) written for the project;
  • Receive at least 4 hours (or the equivalent) of direct instruction on writing for the discipline, field, or specific audience of the project.

Because of the variation in disciplinary projects, the scholar is responsible for explaining how this project specifically meets these expectations. The proposal ensures that the project/ manuscript meets basic SWS requirements and that earning SWS credit is an intentional part of the summer scholarly process. In preparing the proposal, please be as specific as possible. Faculty mentors will need to be part of the proposal development process. Additionally, faculty endorsement of the completed proposal is required.

Elements of the proposal are noted below.

Polished Writing

Students must write at least 3000 words of polished writing. This can be a single, extended piece of writing or a series of pieces of writing; it can also include polished writing done as part of the process of producing a final product. For example, if the scholar is creating a poster presentation that does not quite meet the 3000-word requirement, texts written as part of developing that project--e.g., a research design/plan; an annotated bibliography; a lab report; etc, --can be counted as part of the 3000-word minimum so long as they are turned in for assessment by a faculty mentor or are polished for a specific audience. The point of SWS instruction is to help students learn the conventions of writing for a specific discipline or profession and so the 3000-word count needs to involve writing for audiences in that discipline/profession, whether the faculty mentor or external readers/viewers.

Substantive Feedback

This requirement means that the scholar should write initial drafts of major projects and not simply submit one final draft. Writing is a process and those who do it effectively carry out that process of drafting, receiving feedback, and revising. Writing effectively simply does not happen without revising from feedback. SWS credit requires students to submit at least one initial draft of any major project, receive feedback on it, and revise it into a final draft. When describing how this will happen in the project, there should be at least some roughly established deadlines for drafts that allow for the time required for feedback to be received, understood, and implemented in revision before the final draft. Be clear about how many drafts and when they will be submitted and revised. The minimum is two drafts for any major final product.

Direct Writing Instruction

Scholars must receive at least 4 hours (or the equivalent) of direct instruction on writing for the discipline, field, or specific audience of the project. This requirement involves direct guidance on improving one’s writing abilities. For Summer Scholars projects, this may take place throughout the project either in large, dedicated segments of time or may happen throughout the project as needed. To receive SWS instruction, the proposal must account for 4 full hours of explicit writing instruction or explaining an equivalency of 4 hours of writing instruction. Writing instruction can involve elements of writing such as grammar and syntax, but SWS instruction should commit at least an equal amount of time to helping students understand discipline specific writing conventions. For example, if the scholar is creating a poster presentation, they should be receiving instruction on what that looks like, what is expected in a poster presentation, and how to do what is expected. If the scholar is writing a research paper documenting findings from a research project, the student should receive instruction on what the major conventions are of a research paper in the field or profession. This may also involve teaching specific elements of particular genres--for instance, the student may need to receive instruction on the features, purpose, and process of composing a literature review for a research paper. The proposal should explain explicitly some of the writing instruction the scholar will receive in the project. Thus, support and input from the faculty mentor will be critical to identify and describe these.

Additional information regarding the requirements:

Additional information about the SWS program and SWS instruction:

Contact the SWS Program or the Office of Undergraduate Research with further questions or concerns at [email protected] and [email protected].

Page last modified May 10, 2022