Brown students are expected to communicate effectively in writing in all of their courses. If an instructor is concerned about a student's ability to write competently, he or she may register the concern online in the form of a “writing check” at mid-semester or with the final grade. A checkmark then appears on the student's internal academic record next to the course in question; it does not appear on the official Brown transcript.
Once a writing check appears, a dean follows up with the course instructor and with the student to determine if focused work is needed to improve the student's writing abilities. If extra work is needed, the dean will help the student develop a plan to work on writing. Once the dean determines that the student has demonstrated writing competency, the check will be removed from the student’s record.
In addition to written assignments in courses, all writing that students submit for official purposes to Brown University is expected to meet baseline standards for written communication. This includes pre-matriculation materials submitted to Brown and written correspondence with University offices or committees. Some students may be required to complete a writing course during their first year of study at Brown; such cases are determined on the basis of materials students submit when applying for admission to Brown or during the summer prior to matriculation.