The College

Writing Support

The "Writing Check" provides academic guidance for students who can benefit from additional writing instruction and support.

For significant concerns about a student’s writing, instructors may issue a “writing check” flag with the final grade. This flag — or checkmark — will appear as WSUP, or “Writing Support," in the instructor’s Banner grading option drop-down menu. A checkmark visible to academic advisors then appears on your internal academic record next to the course in question; the checkmark does not appear on your official Brown transcript. While faculty referrals are not required for you to have a consultation at the Writing Center, if you have a flag you will receive priority support and guidance about Writing Center resources by Writing Center staff. The first check acts as a warning.

If you receive more than one check during your time at Brown, you will not be able to graduate until the additional checks are cleared. (Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, any flags issued in Spring 2020 will not count toward this total, as approved by the College Curriculum Council in April 2020.) If you have two or more flags, Writing Center staff will work with you to help you determine the best course of action to clear the checks. There are four ways for you to resolve multiple checks:

  1. Enroll in a Nonfiction Writing course: (1) ENGL 0900, Critical Reading/ Writing I: The Academic Essay or (2) ENGL 1030, Critical Reading/ Writing II: Research Essay. When you successfully complete the course, the checks will be cleared.
  2. Enroll in a Writing Fellows course. When you successfully complete the course, the checks will be cleared.
  3. Meet with a staff member at the Writing Center to be connected with a Writing Advisor and to establish a writing schedule for the semester. Students usually work on a minimum of three writing assignments (at least 12-15 pages of writing in total). For each assignment, your Writing Advisor will read and respond to a draft and then meet with you to talk about your revision plans. The checks will be cleared at the end of the semester after you schedule a reflective meeting with your Writing Advisor.
  4. If you receive no additional WSUPs and complete a combination of three or more WRIT, English, Comparative Literature or Literary Arts classes, your writing checks will be cleared at the end of your seventh semester.

As a student at Brown, you are expected to write effectively in all of your courses. Because receiving feedback is a critical part of the writing process, you are encouraged to work on your writing with the Writing Center. Any student can make an appointment with a Writing Center associate.

If an instructor is concerned during the semester about your ability to write effectively, they may refer you to the Writing Center by emailing or by emailing a Writing Center staff member.