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The Writing and Rhetoric Requirement at Stanford

PWR 1 and PWR 2 courses are carefully designed to offer richly diverse intellectual experiences based on shared assignments, goals, and learning outcomes. The basic structure of required PWR courses—in particular, the assignment sequence—does not vary from section to section, but each instructor builds on this shared core, designing class materials and activities and choosing readings to develop a unique course.

PWR 1 Courses

PWR 1 is a 4 unit course taken by students in their first year that fulfills Stanford's WR 1 requirement. It engages students in the serious practice of academic analysis, college level research, and argument.

Detail of a painting, bird and hand. Image from PWR2AH video.

PWR 2 Courses

PWR 2 is a 4-unit course, taken by students in their second year, that continues PWR 1’s emphasis on analysis and research-based argument, while adding a focus on oral and multimedia communication. The course satisfies Stanford's WR 2 requirement.

Key PWR enrollment policies:

  • All preferences submitted by the due date are considered equally - the system is not on a first come, first served basis.
  • Enrollment is handled by the PWR office. Instructors are not able to grant approval to join a class.
  • Students may request to be added to the waitlist for up to three classes. 
  • Section change requests are considered as long as students are able to join the new section before it has met twice in the quarter. Once a section has met twice--even if it is still the first week of the quarter, we are unable to accommodate the request to join a section.
  • Quarter changes are considered as long as students request the change, before section assignment. Once assigned to a section, quarter changes are not allowed.
  • Enrollment caps are strictly enforced and students may not join a full class--please note Axess & SimpleEnroll often do not reflect correct enrollment numbers.
  • Students who miss either of the first-week class meetings of the quarter are in danger of being dropped. Contact if you know you must miss a class in the first week. 

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