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The Writing Requirement Package | The Reading Requirement Package

> Introduction  

Background | Designated writing | Aims

I. Introduction to the Writing Requirement


In order to pursue its goals of trilingualism and biliteracy, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University is preparing to enhance substantially its language instruction with the new four-year curriculum. As part of this enhancement, with regard to English language writing in particular, the Policy and Implementation Guidelines on the R and W requirements of CAR subjects (June 2010) state that all students are required to complete one subject that includes a requirement for a substantial piece of writing in English within their CAR programmes with a "W" designation.

In order for a CAR subject to be eligible for a "W" designation, it must include an extensive piece of writing of approximately 2,500 words. In order to be eligible for a "W" credit for the subject, students are required to participate in instructional and assessment activities which aim at offering them in-depth training and assistance in their writing process and assisting them to acquire the appropriate writing skills they need for their university studies and future career. The activities are outlined below:

  • a short online lecture videos series focusing on writing strategies, provided by ELC; and,
  • two one-hour, small-group tutorials designed to provide in-depth feedback on students' extensive writing. The tutorial groups, to be conducted by ELC staff, will comprise of five students sharing the same CAR subject.

These activities are organized and conducted by ELC staff, in consultation with the instructor of the course. The writing assignment concerned, as well as the performance of the students in the related activities, is graded jointly by the subject instructor and the ELC staff member and counts for a substantial proportion of the final grade for the subject, with the precise weighting determined by the subject instructor. It is recommended, though, that the final writing assignment would contribute to no less than 30% of the subject grade.

The overall objective of CAR subjects is to expand the intellectual capacity of students beyond their disciplinary domain. This needs to be accomplished in "an academically rigorous manner" challenging students to "analyze a major or local issue from multidisciplinary perspectives, and to tackle the associated problems holistically". In order to help learners achieve such commendable goals, intellectual, as well as cognitive activities that cultivate literacy, higher order thinking and life-long learning should be formulated and some corresponding instructional guidelines and tools for teachers running CAR subjects with a "W" requirement are to be highlighted in this set of handout in this respect.


Designated writing
The designated writing assignments, which are closely connected with the CAR subject concerned, should include:

  • an extensive piece of writing (2,500 words) of any genres
    • possible genres of designated writing include:
      • critical responses to stimulus questions
      • chapter summaries
      • reflective journals
      • book reports
      • critiques / reviews
      • online posts / blogs
      • letters to editor
      • essays
      • reports
      • portfolios



This pack

  • highlights some information regarding two of the most prevalent approaches to writing in the field, namely, writing as a process versus writing as a product; and motives for writing, that is the perspective of considering writing as a tool to achieve various purposes, so that CAR subject teachers could have a better understanding of what students are expected to go through when they are asked to fulfill the "W" requirement by composing a piece of extensive writing. In this way, a more effective facilitation can be put in place;

  • provides CAR subject teachers with some instructional guidelines and ideas on how to engage students in writing various texts of substantial length, such as chapter summaries, book reports, critical responses to stimulus questions given by subject teacher, reflective journals, and essays, both inside and outside classroom settings;

  • offers CAR teachers some writing-related activity sheets / templates that can be adopted to facilitate students' writing both inside and outside classroom settings;
  • lays down the assessment criteria and propose some assessment tasks for CAR subject teachers to assess students' writing outcomes, as well as their writing competence during their writing process.


> Writing
> Engaging students in writing
> Assessment
> Templates for writing activities

About this website

EWRite is an open access online literacy platform for PolyU community that has two major objectives:

  • to support PolyU students’ literacy development within and across the disciplines
  • to support subject and language teachers to implement system-level measures for integrating literacy-sensitive pedagogies across the university

This platform provides access to generic genre guides representing typical university assignments as well as links to subjects offered by faculties with specific disciplinary genres and relevant support materials.

The materials can be retrieved by students by choosing the genres that interest them on the landing page. Each set of materials includes a genre guide, genre video, and a genre checklist. The genre guide and video are to summarize the genres in two different ways (i.e. textual and dynamic) to fit different learning styles. The genre checklist is for students to self-regulate their writing process. The genre guide and checklist include links to various ELC resources that can provide further explanation to language items (e.g. hedging and academic vocabulary).

The platform also acts as a one-stop-shop for writing resources for students, language teachers and subject leaders. Information about the English Writing Requirement policy can also be found on this platform. There are training materials for new colleagues joining the EWR Liaison Team.