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Being a contemporary citizen requires the ability to consider problems and issues from international and global perspectives. Global Perspectives seminars, a required first-year course, offer students a range of courses that encourage thinking beyond national boundaries.

Essentials of research, writing, and presentation through global perspectives

Seminar topics vary widely and reflect diverse disciplinary and multidisciplinary approaches, but all seminars consider topics best understood from global or multinational perspectives. Topics may include: Global Warming; World Hunger; Emerging Pathogens; History of Dance; Third World Cinema; Ethnobotany; Post-1945 Revolutions in Art; Traveling the World; Enemies, Terror and Paranoia; Nuclear Proliferation; or Post-Colonial Literature.

GRW seminars invite students into the scholarly conversation at Washington College by introducing them to the process of academic writing and research. Thus GRW seminars prepare students to be active participants in upper-level courses and help them develop the research skills needed for upper-level courses and the Senior Capstone Experience.

In the GRW seminar, students will learn to:
  • locate and evaluate appropriate source material
  • synthesize diverse sources for a specific purpose and audience
  • use sources as a means of constructing an argument
  • gain familiarity with at least one system of citation
  • revise based on self-reflection as well as the feedback of their peers and their professor
  • negotiate and adapt to the conventions of research


Students write frequently in the GRW seminars. Assignments emphasize the research process - exploration, synthesis, analysis, and argumentation. In addition to a formal research essay, assignments may include reaction papers, process journals, summaries, or proposals. To help students develop a critical awareness of their own writing processes and to encourage thoughtful revision, GRW courses may draw on the resources of the Writing Center.


GRW seminars introduce library resources and information literacy and require students to complete at least one assignment that involves extensive use of research skills and resources. Research instruction in GRW seminars in collaboration with reference librarians gives students the basics of academic library research and an overview of the resources available through Miller Library’s web page.


GRW seminars require students to present their work to the class and include instruction in techniques of effective oral presentation and the use of supporting visual materials such as PowerPoint or digital video.

All students are required to complete ENG 101 in one semester of the first year and GRW 101 in the other semester. Both courses are offered fall and spring. Neither course counts toward distribution requirements. Transfer students with more than 29 college credits may be exempted from GRW 101.