Upper-Division Writing Awards

The Office of the Campus Writing Coordinator announces five writing awards that recognize excellence in student writing in upper-division courses (numbered 100 and above).  Prizes will be awarded to students enrolled in Spring 2016, Fall 2016, and Winter 2017. Only one submission per student will be accepted. Winners will be honored in a Writing Awards Ceremony (co-sponsored by the Office of the Campus Writing Coordinator and the Composition Office) in the spring quarter.

DEADLINE: Submissions in all categories are due by noon on Wednesday, April 5, 2017.

1. Awards for Excellent Upper-Division Academic Writing

This award honors both the student writer and the instructor of the course.  The submission should include the instructor’s assignment, the student’s paper, and a brief evaluative statement from the instructor pointing out the strengths of the writing in discipline-specific terms (e.g., why it succeeds as a writing in biology, sociology, philosophy, etc.). This is a joint submission by the student and the instructor—both the paper and the prompt will be evaluated. Papers should be submitted in one of the following categories:

  • Humanities and Arts
  • Social Sciences
  • Science and Technology

Writings submitted for this award are not restricted to “W” course papers, but should be between five to fifteen written pages, excluding extra material.


Mastery of writing abilities demanded by the discipline, especially as articulated in the assignment and evaluated in the instructor’s statement.

AWARD: $75

2. Award for Best Multimedia Text

This award honors the student writer who recognizes the “essay” as a form that explores complex thinking not only on paper but also in multimedia formats.  Many contemporary writers are using the media capabilities of the Web to engage their readers visually, textually, and even aurally in a variety of rich and compelling ways.  Submissions in this category will explore their topics substantively through any number of multimedia formats that serve such exploration rhetorically.  In other words, just posting an essay “online” is insufficient; rather, a successful multimedia essay demonstrates what the multimedia formats bring to the presentation, examination, and analysis of the topic at hand.


Textually and visually rich presentation of a topic; demonstrated awareness of how to use a variety of media to explore substantively a topic.

AWARD: $75

3. Award for Best Writing Portfolio or Electronic Portfolio

This award honors a student’s achievement in writing drawn from a variety of courses. Showcasing a range of styles, forms, and disciplinary areas, the portfolio should be introduced by a 1-2 page statement in which the writer describes the papers enclosed, discusses her/his criteria for selection, and reflects on the development of her/his writing over the course of undergraduate study.  The portfolio should include a minimum of three selections, emphasizing work in upper-division courses; the maximum length is 50 pages of writing, including the statement.


Interesting range of writings; variety in genre and style, or evidence of a development of abilities within a single genre; effective statement; strong general writing abilities

AWARD: $75


Writings should be submitted without any instructor’s comments.  The student’s name should not appear anywhere in the text or on a title page.  Submissions should be typed and double-spaced.  The pages should be numbered and the printing should be letter quality.  In the case of researched writing, papers should follow appropriate style and format conventions.


Each entry should be accompanied by a submission form, available at the link below or in the CWC Office (185 Ayala Science Library).  For writing submitted in all categories, the signature of an instructor familiar with the student’s writing is required. Please submit your entries to the CWC Office (185 Ayala Science Library).

2016-2017 Upper-Division Writing Awards Submission Form


Collaborative writing is acceptable in all categories.  Collaborators should include a brief statement describing their process of composition.