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Winter Academic Term 2001 Course Guide


All students entering the University must fulfill the Introductory Composition Requirement. They may do so by taking Writing Practicum followed by a first-year writing course, or by taking a first-year writing course alone. 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.


Because faculty at Michigan believe that writing is important in many ways indeed, that it is one of the determinants of students' academic success they have charged the Sweetland Writing Center with assessing the writing of incoming students and ensuring that they are placed appropriately in a composition course their first year. Rather than placing students in the course we've judged appropriate for them, we ask students to examine their own writing habits and experiences and place themselves in the course that seems most appropriate for their own background. SWC provides a list of questions during orientation to assist students in making this decision. Advisors and SWC writing workshop instructors are available to assist students in making this decision.

Writing Practicum (ECB 100-105)

ECB Writing Practicum is an ungraded, two-credit course in which students develop writing skills that enable them to take full advantage of their experiences at Michigan. Far from being a developmental class, Practicum is designed to support students who have limited experience writing the sorts of pieces most often assigned and valued at the University. Practicum offers opportunities for students to improve their ability to organize, develop, and support ideas, analyze complex materials, and begin to use evidence and reasoning to support their own claims. The course requires biweekly tutorial sessions with the instructor; this concentrated individual attention has proven crucial to the success of students with limited writing experience.

In Writing Practicum students will gain practice and have experience in

  • writing as a process of drafting and revising
  • reading and writing analytically
  • developing a writer's voice, which includes distinguishing between one's own ideas and those of others
  • studying models of writing of the kind students are expected to produce
  • using a computer to draft and revise papers and to talk about writing
  • attending to grammar and mechanics

Many of the Practicum sections are taught in a computer-equipped classroom with state-of-the-art technology and movable chairs to enable students to work in small groups. Practicum instructors are especially trained to work with writers who need more detailed attention to their writing and who present a range of problems, some of them associated with English as a Second Language and some associated with less rigorous secondary preparation.

Practicum is the best placement for you if:

  • You learn best with one-on-one instructor support
  • You have limited experience with writing
  • You have limited experience with revision
  • You typically wrote essays of under three pages
  • You wrote fewer than three essays a year in high school
  • You do not often read for pleasure
  • You have difficulties making your writing correct

First-Year Writing Courses

While Practicum takes students step by step through distinct activities that lead to a polished essay, first-year writing courses are based on the premise that thinking, reading, writing, and revising are intertwined and that writing is best taught and learned by focusing on all these elements simultaneously. In most first-year writing courses students will be on their own for much of the time. Students provide one another necessary feedback in peer response groups, whole class workshops, and/or computer conferencing.

All first-year writing courses assign weekly writing and revising tasks designed to help students learn to

  • summarize and characterize essays and nonfictional narratives and state their claims in their own words
  • investigate problems and issues by means of course readings, interviews, or library research
  • evaluate an argument
  • develop an argument, taking a position on an issue or proposing a solution to a problem
  • support arguments using course readings and materials gathered through research
  • practice note-taking, attributing ideas to their authors, and citing sources
  • use group resources to work collaboratively and revise extensively

First-year writing courses are offered in a number of disciplines and cover a wide range of intriguing topics. Some sections of these courses focus on themes or topics such as ethics and social justice, history and myth, autobiography and memoir. Readings may be from a variety of disciplines, such as philosophy, women's studies, history, anthropology, cultural studies, and art history.

A first-year writing course is the best placement for you if:

  • You learn best from a combination of peer critiques and instructor feedback
  • You anticipate needing some tutorial support but not frequent individual meetings with the instructor
  • You have considerable experience with revision
  • You have some experience writing with a computer
  • You typically wrote three-to-five-page essays
  • You usually wrote three to five essays a year in high school
  • You regularly read for pleasure

First-year writing courses that satisfy the Introductory Composition Requirement:

  • Residential College students meet the requirement with RC Core 100.
  • Honors Program students meet the requirement with Great Books 191 or the Honors sections of Classical Civilization 101.
  • Other students meet the requirement with one of the following courses:
    • Classical Civilization 121
    • English 124
    • English 125
    • History 195
    • Institute for the Humanities 104
    • Linguistics 104
    • Lloyd Scholars 125
    • Slavic Survey 151
    • University Course 153

Six sections of ECB 102 are offered Winter Academic Term, 2001

In Winter Academic Term, 2001, mainstream LS&A students may elect English 124 or 125, or or Classical Civilization 121 or Linguistics 104, or Slavic 151.

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

126 total sections of English 124/125 are offered in Winter Term. These descriptions are listed on the English department website.

Students enrolled in any LS&A course may receive concurrent writing assistance from the Writing Workshop. For information, contact Sweetland Writing Center, 1139 Angell Hall, (734) 764-0429.


The Upper-Level Writing Requirement provides students with valuable instruction in advanced writing in the disciplines. Once a student has satisfied the Introductory Composition Requirement and feels ready for advanced writing, he/she may elect an approved advanced writing in the disciplines course.

This page was created at 3:23 PM on Tues, Oct 24, 2000.

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