First-Year Student Information

First Year Writing Program

(Introductory Composition Requirement)

At the University of Michigan, writing will play a critical role in your thinking and learning, beginning with your first year. In some classes, your writing will be your most important tool for demonstrating that you understand course concepts. Your ability to write prose that, at its best, is characterized by intellectual force, clarity, appropriate organization and development of ideas, effective use of evidence, cogency, and stylistic control will be crucial to your success as a student here. Because writing plays such a vital role in all academic disciplines at Michigan, your first writing course must meet your actual needs as a writer so that you can successfully make the transition to college writing. The Introductory Composition Requirement should be completed in the first year.

1. Self-Assessment

All students entering the University must fulfill the first-year writing requirement. They may do so by taking Practicum and another first-year writing course, or by taking a first-year writing course alone. After meeting with an advisor or a Writing Workshop instructor, students decide which of these alternatives is better for them on the basis of a self-assessment.

2. Practicum (ECB 100-105)

ECB Writing Practicum is for all students receiving a practicum placement on their writing assessment or for students who choose the course as preparation for college writing. This is not a remedial course but is designed to support students with limited experience writing the sorts of pieces most often assigned and valued at the University. Practicum offers opportunities for students to improve how they organize, develop, and support ideas, analyze complex material, and deploy evidence in an argument. At the end of the course, students put together a portfolio which is read by two ECB lecturers. Their written response acknowledges the student's level of achievement and readiness for first-year writing. Practicum is not graded but does earn 2 course credits. Class enrollment is limited to eighteen students. Classes meet two hours per week and each student receives an additional half-hour of individual instruction every other week during conferences with their instructor. This concentrated individual attention has proven crucial to the success of students with limited writing experience.

Practicum is the best placement for you if:

3. First-Year Writing Courses

First-year writing courses are offered in a number of disciplines and cover a wide range of intriguing topics. They serve to introduce students to the kinds of argumentative and analytical writing most often required in an advanced academic context. Students regularly receive written and oral feedback from peers as well as from the course instructor. Class sessions are often devoted to workshops that focus on examples of student writing, and students typically receive responses from their peers to each essay they write. Students have one or more individual conferences with the instructor in the term, and instructors may require individual students to work with a Writing Workshop instructor on particular issues for all or part of the term.

First-Year Writing is the best placement for you if:

Courses that meet the First Year Writing Requirement:

4. Transfer Students Admitted in Winter 1999 or Later

Beginning Winter Term 1999, entering students who have taken a first-year writing course at another college or university may be able to use that course to satisfy the Introductory Composition requirement. Incoming transfer students should consult our web site: http://www.lsa.umich.edu/swc/requirements/transfcourses.html for the list of courses approved as meeting the requirement. We do not consider Advanced Placement (AP) credit nor Creative Writing or Journalism courses as equivalent to our Introductory Composition requirement. If your school or course is not listed, please provide a course description (from the school catalog) and the syllabus.

Submit it to:

Ms. Teri Ford,
Sweetland Writing Center,
1139 Angell Hall,
University of Michigan,
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1003.


ECB 101 is offered Fall Term, 1999


In Fall Term, 1999, mainstream LS&A students may elect English 124 or 125 (152 total sections of English 124/125 are offered in Fall Term), History 195, and Slavic Film151.

Use the advanced course guide search at http://www.lsa.umich.edu/saa/publications/
courseguide/fall/search/advanced.html
to narrow your choices.

Inteflex 100 is restricted to students enrolled in INTEFLEX.

Lloyd Hall Scholars Program 125 is restricted to students enrolled in the LHS Program

RC Core 100 is restricted to students enrolled in the Residential College

Great Books 191 and Honors sections of Classical Civilization 101 are restricted to students enrolled in the College Honors Program


The Introductory Composition Requirement should be completed in the first year.

Students enrolled in courses that meet the Introductory Composition requirement may receive concurrent writing assistance from the ECB Writing Workshop. For information, contact the ECB in 1139 Angell Hall, (734) 764-0429.

A student MUST have junior standing (at least 55 credits) and have completed introductory composition before being eligible to meet the Junior/Senior Writing Requirement.


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