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, they 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, the student will be instructed to meet with the Associate Director of the Writing Center, who will determine the best course of action for the particular situation. It is common for students to meet for an average of five meetings with a Writing Associate to work on current assignments. Students must demonstrate improvement in their writing to the satisfaction of create the Writing Associate. No student with a writing check is eligible to graduate. Once the Writing Center committee 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.