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Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is General Education Writing (GEW)?
    General Education Writing is a freshman composition course intended to provide students with an introduction to the conventions of academic writing. In our classes we teach and encourage critical thinking, research, and a thorough exploration of the writing process. 
  • Why do I need to take GEW?

    GEW 101B satisfies the A2 graduation requirement. It will also help you develop the skills needed for college level writing. 

  • When should I take GEW 101B?
    Students are encouraged to complete GEW 101B by the end of their first year at CSUSM. Please speak to your advisor in Undergraduate Advising Services with questions about when you should enroll in GEW and any special circumstances. 
  • How big are the classes?
    All GEW classes are capped at twenty students.
  • How much writing will I be expected to do in GEW?

    All GEW students will engage in frequent, low-stakes writing tasks throughout the semester. Most sections of GEW also include a higher stakes mid-term project. 

    For the final project in GEW 101A, students compose an extended project (equivalent to a 6-8 page essay) that showcases critical reading and information literacy skills (e.g., research-based evaluation of popular sources). 

    For the final project in GEW 101B, students produce an extended inquiry project equivalent to a 10-15 page academic research article.

  • What types of texts will I be reading?
    The required texts for each course will vary according to your instructor. For the specific textbooks required in your class, click on "View Booklist for this Course" in the class schedule.
  • Will I be required to complete any group projects?
    Some GEW instructors do require group projects as part of the course, and some do not. Some instructors may require presentations as well, while others may not. These vary according to the instructor.
  • Is there a midterm or final exam in GEW?
    Sometimes, yes. Again, this varies according to the instructor.
  • What is the Writing Center requirement for GEW?
    All students, regardless of which instructor is assigned, are required to visit the Writing Center twice during the semester. Students are encouraged to visit the Writing Center even more than this as well, as it is an invaluable resource in assisting with the writing process.
  • "STAFF" appears instead of a faculty name. How do I know who is teaching the class?
    Due to the nature of the state budget, many classes on campus (not just GEW) are not staffed until after registration has already begun. This means that sections listed with the name "STAFF" may not yet have a faculty member assigned to them. All faculty will be assigned prior to the first class meeting, so you can keep checking the schedule for updates.
  • I enjoyed GEW and would like to continue in another writing class. What can I take next?
    The Literature and Writing department offers two different 100 level courses to consider: LTWR 100, an Introduction to Literature and LTWR 115, Critical Reading and Writing. Consult the University Catalog of Undergraduate Advising to determine which of these course might be a good fit for you!