Modular Writing

WRIT 195/3.0

Organized around a menu of ten genres, this online writing course can be tailored to individual interests. Students select five modules, ranging from the business memorandum to the literary review. Complementing the modules is a mandatory Grammar and Mechanics assessment.


Modular writing is designed to let you, the student, decide what kinds of writing you want to do based on your interests and academic program. The course tries to be as broad and inclusive as possible. The course offers you ten modules from which to choose. *You are required to submit the grammar module, plus either Module 1 or 2 and up to four additional modules. The total value must be equal to 100%*.

*Note that the compulsory grammar module is pass/fail; however, failure of the grammar test will result in an incomplete in the course. If you fail the test, you will be asked to re-write the test after meeting with the course instructor.


You must pass the Grammar Test in order to pass the course (the grammar test is worth 10%). Additionally, you must do either Module 1 or 2, but not both (worth 10%). Then choose up to 4 of the remaining modules to equal a value of 80%. The value of the grammar test, module 1 or 2, plus remaining modules is to total 100%.

Module 1

Introduction to the writing process - personal narrative, memo, or process analysis



Module 2

Business Writing - Conveying bad news well


Then choose from the remaining modules to equal a value of 80%.

Module 3

Critical thinking I - Writing a film or technology review


Module 4

Writing for Children - Learning to develop your "voice", Part I


Module 5

Interview and Commentary


Module 6

**Technical Writing - The feasibility, progress, activity, and trouble report


Module 7

Critical Thinking II - The position paper


Module 8

**The Formal Research Paper Proposal - Developing a working and annotated bibliography, creating a research proposal, and writing the research paper's outline


Module 9

Travel Writing - Developing your own voice, Part II


Module 10

Working With a Net: Incorporating the World Wide Web into your Writing


The grammar test


** These two modules, the report and the research paper proposal, are complex and require library research. They are also more time-consuming and extensive than the other modules; therefore, they count as two modules (40% each). You can do both, one, or neither, as you prefer.

There is no final exam.


Welcome to Writing 195. I hope you will enjoy the readings and the assignments; I’ve certainly enjoyed creating the course and developing the modules. The course is designed to let you, the student, pick and choose, essentially making up your own writing course according to your interests or needs. Students in the sciences, for example, may be more interested in writing a research proposal or technology review; commerce students may want to do the business writing and technical reports.

After working at the Queen’s Writing Centre as a tutor for 12 years, it became clear to me that students have a variety of writing interests and requirements. I have taught this course for several years, refining it and redeveloping it along the way. However, my interests also revolve around the social history of Upper Canada; I received my History PhD in 1998 and have been teaching at Queen’s ever since, with a few side trips to RMC. I live in Kingston with three furry little housemates who never pay rent.

Martina Hardwick

Time Commitment

To complete the readings, assignments, and course activities, students can expect to spend on average, about 10 - 12 hours per week on the course.

Course Resources


SOLUS is Queen’s Student On-Line University System. You’ll have access to a SOLUS account once you become a Queen’s student. You’ll use SOLUS to register for courses, add and drop courses, update your contact information, view financial and academic information, and pay your tuition.


Moodle is Queen's online learning platform. You'll log into Moodle to access your course. All materials related to your course—notes, readings, videos, recordings, discussion forums, assignments, quizzes, groupwork, tutorials, and help—will be on the Moodle site.

About Credit Units

Queen’s courses are weighted in credit units. A typical one-term course is worth 3.0 units, and a typical two-term course is worth 6.0 units. You combine these units to create your degree. A general (three-year) BA requires a total of 90 credit units.

Computer Requirements

To take an online course, you’ll need a good-quality computer (Windows XP/Vista/7, Pentium III, or Mac OS X 10.5, G4 or G5 processor, 256 MB RAM) with a high-speed internet connection, soundcard, speakers, and microphone, and up-to-date versions of free software (Explorer/Firefox, Java, Flash, Adobe Reader). See also Preparing For Your Course.


The deadlines for new applications to Queen’s are 1 April (for May summer term), 1 June (for July summer term), 1 August (for fall term), and 1 December (for winter term). All documents must be received by the 15th of the month following the deadline. You can register for a course up to one week after the start of the course. See also Dates and Deadlines.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees vary depending when you start, your year, faculty, and program. Fees for 2014-15 first-year Distance Career Arts & Science Canadian students are as follows: for a 3.0-unit course, $605.31; for a 6.0-unit course, $1210.62. See also Tuition and Payment.

Campus Bookstore

All textbooks can be purchased at Queen’s Campus Bookstore.

Non-Queen’s Students

All Queen’s Arts and Science Online courses are open to students at other universities. Before applying as a visiting student, request a Letter of Permission from your home university that states that you have permission to take the course and apply it to your degree. See also Apply.

Academic Integrity

Please see Queen’s policy statement on academic integrity for information on how to complete an online course honestly.