In response to Doug Brent's question, but perhaps of general interest:

John Spencer and I each directed a section of a 3-credit course called
"Writing in the Social Sciences" for two years and each was linked to a
specific 6-credit course in the Division of Social Sciences (at the
first-year level).  John's linked course was "Education and Social
Change";  mine was "Introduction to Social Science".  The 3-credit
(writing) course met 1 1/2 hours per week and the linked 6-credit course
for 3-hours per week. The enrollment in each writing course was 25, and
these groups of 25 students also constituted one tutorial in the linked
6-credit course.  Each of the 6-credit courses had enrollments of about
200, so there were many students enrolled there who were not enrolled in
the Writing course.  John and I were each participants in the larger
Social Science course; in particular, we served as the tutorial leader for
our writing students (and only for those students).

With this format we were able to assign our students writing exercises
based on the social science content of the 6-credit course.  Our focus was
on the preparation of discipline-based library research essays.  Though
our experiment with this format was generally successful, we have been
overtaken by a Faculty of Arts move to nine-credit courses in the Division
of Social Science, each course having a mandate to provide some
instruction in critical skills. Some of these courses emphasize writing,
but the interpretation of "critical skills" is quite broad.  Course
directors and tutorial leaders vary considerably in their experience
teaching writing or other critical skills, though there is an attempt to
insure at least one person in each teaching team is knowledgable in
this area.  As we are in the midst of the first year of the project there
is no official report of progress.  However, I think it is pretty clear
that it is not going to succeed well unless more attention is given to
training course directors and tutorial leaders about writing instruction.

Doug--in the linked-courses project students could drop the writing course
and stay in the larger social science course if desired, but not the
contrary as they would no longer be reading the material about which we
were writing.  Though no one failed, something similar would have had to
govern repetitions.

Ron Sheese                                Phone: 416 736-2100, x20363
Department of Psychology, and
Centre for Academic Writing               FAX:   416 736-5924
York University