Departments and Administrators
The Subcommittee on the Communication Requirement approved revised descriptions and criteria for CI-H and CI-HW subjects in Academic Year 2013-2014. All subjects are expected to meet these criteria. If you have questions regarding these criteria, please contact the Office of the Communication Requirement.
The CI-H (Communication Intensive in the Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences) subjects provide a foundation in effective expository and argumentative writing and oral communication. CI-H subjects are classes appropriate for freshmen and sophomores in the HASS curriculum in which students plan, organize, draft, and revise a series of sequenced assignments based on course material. These subjects provide students with instruction, practice, and feedback in communication skills with the goals of achieving: clarity in writing; greater facility in oral communication; the ability to structure a persuasive argument; and an understanding of the use of sources and scholarly materials.
The Subcommittee on the Communication Requirement has established the following outcomes specified for CI-H subjects:
- Students are familiar with the different elements of the writing process (e.g., pre‑writing, drafting, revising, and editing).
- Students' work reflects an awareness of the rhetorical dimensions of writing—the audience for whom one is writing, and the purpose for which one is writing (e.g., to argue, inform, persuade, explain, or convince).
- Students approach a writing assignment as a series of tasks, including evaluating, analyzing, and synthesizing appropriate sources.
- Students apply the appropriate conventions of documenting and citing sources.
- Students demonstrate improvement of their oral communication skills.
Mechanical Criteria for CI-H subjects
- All CI-H subjects must include:
- at least 5,000 words of writing typically divided among three to five assignments, distributed reasonably across the semester. (Typically, one page of 12-point Times New Roman text that is double-spaced and has one-inch margins equals 250 words. The length of assignments should be measured in words on all syllabi.)
- at least one assignment that is revised and resubmitted. This revision will not count toward the total word count. Separate grades will be given for the paper and the revised paper. Both grades will count towards the final grade. Instructors will determine the weighting of the grades.
- an assessed oral component (e.g. presentations, student-led discussion, class participation, or a combination thereof).
- In order to guarantee sufficient attention to student writing and ample opportunity for oral expression, all sections of CI-H subjects must be capped at 18 students.
- For subjects taught in a lecture/recitation format, each section must be capped at 18 students.
- For subjects taught in a seminar format, when a Writing Advisor is assigned to the subject, enrollment can rise to 25 students.
- Writing Advisors are assigned to CI-H subjects to increase communication instruction and to provide a pedagogical resource to students and faculty.
- The communication activities are expected to comprise the substantial majority of the final grade.
This is a minimum requirement. Subjects may include additional assignments (e.g., journals, response papers, or posts to the class’s discussion forum or blog).
CI-HW (Communication Intensive in the Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences–Writing Focused) subjects are a subset of CI-H (Communication Intensive in the Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences) subjects concentrating more particularly on the writing process and the rhetorical dimensions of writing. CI-HW subjects are required for some freshmen and appropriate for all freshmen and sophomores. In CI-HW subjects the primary focus is on writing, and the reading and discussion serve the purposes of students’ writing. CI-H and CI-HW subjects should provide students with instruction, practice, and feedback in communication skills with the goals of achieving: clarity in writing; greater facility in oral communication; the ability to structure a persuasive argument; an understanding of the use of sources and scholarly materials.
Students will be CI-HW required when they meet two conditions upon arriving at MIT:
(i) If their first CI-H subject were a standard CI-H, then their background in writing would not prepare them to engage with the content of the subject.
(ii) They will be better placed to engage with the content of their second CI-H subject by first taking a subject whose primary focus is writing, than by first taking a standard CI-H subject.
Students for whom English is a second language and who need instruction in writing may be placed in a specially designed class, 21G.222 Expository Writing for Bilingual Students. 21G.222 is a CI-HW subject specifically tailored for students who need instruction that takes into account the linguistic, cultural, and rhetorical differences among English as a second language and bilingual students.
In addition to the outcomes specified for CI-H subjects, CI-HW subjects have the following desired outcomes:
- Students address effective paragraph construction and major trouble spots in grammar, mechanics, and style.
- Students learn the proper use of research materials and sources, including strategies for effective paraphrasing.
- Students required to complete 21G.222 Expository Writing for Bilingual Students gain an understanding of the role, as well as the conventional form and style, of the essay in American academic life.
Mechanical Criteria for CI-HW subjects
- CI-HW subjects conform to the CI-H mechanical criteria.
- Given how important revision is to composition, most, if not all, assignments will be revised.
- All revisions will be made on the basis of timely feedback.
- At least one assignment will be revised and resubmitted. This revision will not count toward the total word count. Separate grades will be given for the paper and the revised paper. Both grades will count towards the final grade. Instructors will determine the weighting of the grades.
- In order to guarantee sufficient attention to student writing and ample opportunity for oral expression, all sections of CI-HW subjects must be capped at 18.
CI-H subjects are reviewed and designated by the Subcommittee on the Communication Requirement. A list of current CI-H subjects is available online. Faculty members wishing to propose new CI-H subjects should contact their department head and the Office of the Communication Requirement.
- Departments or HASS teaching units (both within and outside of SHASS) who wish to propose a new CI- H/HW subject are asked to send a completed CI-H/HW proposal form with an updated syllabus to email@example.com. A complete form and syllabus for each version of the subject is required. The due date for AY2016-17 CI-H/HW proposals is December 4, 2015.
- Catalog Coordinators in each Department/unit can enter the subject as a new subject into the Curricular Information System (CIS). A refresher on the process and subject numbering can be found on the Registrar's website.
- Catalog Coordinators and Undergraduate Administrators will be contacted with deadlines for HASS proposals at the beginning of the fall semester. Please note, proposals will be accepted in the fall semester for the next Academic Year. The deadline for proposals to SOCR may be earlier than other subject deadlines. Please contact the staff to the Subcommittee, if you have questions.
- Subjects requesting the CI-H/HW attribute must also count towards the HASS Requirement. Further information on the HASS Requirement is available on the web at http://web.mit.edu/hassreq/ or by contacting Lauren Weitkamp, Staff to the Subcommittee on the HASS Requirement, at 253-6309 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The Committee on Curricula has the final review and approval of all subjects.
CI-H subjects are typically approved for a term of 5 years. New subjects are often approved for an initial term of 3 years. As instructors change, SOCR expects the subject will continue to meet the criteria for CI-H subjects.
All CI-H and CI-HW subjects are reviewed for relicensing by the Subcommittee on the Communication Requirement at regular intervals. Departments will be contacted at the start of each academic year with a list of the subjects due for review. Instructors will be asked to submit a completed CI-H/HW proposal form with an updated syllabus to email@example.com. A complete form and syllabus for each version of the subject is required. When possible, the Office of the Communication Requirement will send the materials submitted for the last review.