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Winter Academic Term 2002 Course Guide

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)

Writing Practicum is for all 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. Practicum is not graded but does earn two 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 in a conference with the 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:

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

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:

  • 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 write three-to-five-page essays
  • You have usually written three to five essays a year in high school
  • You regularly read for pleasure

Courses that meet the First Year Writing Requirement:

  • 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
  • Residential College students meet the requirement with RC Core 100.
  • Honors Program students meet the requirement with Great Books 191 or designated Honors sections of Classical Civilization 101.

4. Transfer Students Admitted in Winter 1999 or Later

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:

Associate Director
Sweetland Writing Center
1139 Angell Hall
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1003


Winter Term 2002 Introductory Composition Courses

ECB 102 is offered Winter Term 2002

In Winter Term, 2002, mainstream LS&A students may elect English 124 (40 sections) or 125 (71 sections) or Slavic 151 (1 section).

Lloyd Hall Scholars Program 125 (4 sections) is restricted to students enrolled in the LHS 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 Writing Workshop. For information, contact the Sweetland Writing Center in 1139 Angell Hall, (734) 764-0429.

Upper-Level Writing Requirement

A student MUST have completed introductory composition before being eligible to meet the Upper-Level Writing Requirement.


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