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Upper Division Writing Requirement

All BIOBS, BIOBA, and BCH majors must satisfy the WRTD requirement through BIO 459. Please read on to learn more about the registration, submissions, and review of an upper division writing sample.

BIO 459 Informational Handout                        Writing Image


The Upper Division Writing Requirement for the Biology major is consistent with the University Graduation Requirements for General Education , and successful completion will satisfy the Stony Brook Curriculum (SBC) learning outcomes for "Write Effectively within One's Discipline" (WRTD) . In order to satisfy the Upper-Division Writing requirement for the major in Biology, students must co-register for the 0-credit BIO 459 course with an approved advanced course as listed below. Students must enroll in BIO 459 at the same time that they are registering for the respective advanced course. To receive a satisfactory grade in BIO 459 and WRTD credit, either a lab report or term paper from the advanced course must be submitted prior to the end of the term.

How to submit writing sample

After submitting their lab report or term paper for BIO course credit in their respective courses, students should submit the exact same document to the BIO 459 Blackboard course for writing evaluation. We encourage submission of writing samples early in the semester to allow time for review and revision if needed.

Review of writing sample

 The Program in Writing and Rhetoric will evaluate the BIO 459 submission and will contact the student directly if remedial efforts are needed. Satisfactory completion of BIO 459 will fulfill the Stony Brook Curriculum (SBC) “Writing in the Discipline” WRTD learning objectives . If the writing assignment is initially found to be unsatisfactory, the student will be instructed by the Program in Writing and Rhetoric before re-submitting a revised version of their original paper. If, in lieu of making revisions, a student chooses to submit a paper from another course that routinely offers a BIO 459 assignment, they should not enroll in BIO 459 again. To allow for evaluation and possible revision of their writing sample, students are urged to complete their upper division writing requirement in their junior year or by the end of their next-to-last semester. Completion of the upper division writing requirement in the final semester is considered but may delay graduation clearance.

Courses that routinely offer assignments that can satisfy the BIO 459 WRTD learning outcomes: