University Writing

Last updated: August 28, 2009 at 11:17 a.m.


First-year students entering in the fall of 2009 and thereafter must satisfactorily complete one UWS course, one writing-intensive course, and either a second writing-intensive course or an oral communication course. 

Some students will be notified that they have been placed in a composition class (COMP), based on an evaluation of their writing proficiency. The composition class is taken in the first semester; students must then take a UWS in their second semester. All students who are placed in COMP may choose to complete a writing test in early June via email to challenge their placement.

Certain students whose native language is not English may be required to have their English writing skills evaluated and to have an interview during Orientation, before the beginning of classes. On the basis of this evaluation, students may be advised to sign up for an individual, noncredit tutorial in the English as a Second Language program to supplement their work in composition, UWS or other writing or oral communication courses.

Transfer students may have their credits evaluated to see whether they have successfully completed the necessary course to satisfy the first-year writing requirement. If they have not, they should see the director of university writing, in the English department, for alternative ways to complete this requirement.

The writing-intensive or oral communication components of this requirement are normally completed in a student's second or third year. Writing-intensive and oral communication courses, which are offered in departments throughout the university, are based in academic disciplines and include writing or oral communication as an integral part of the course work.

Writing-intensive courses involve frequent writing assignments, opportunities for rewriting and consultations with the instructor. Oral communication courses involve instruction, feedback and at least two assignments to develop oral communication skills. Writing-intensive and oral communication courses may serve multiple purposes, advancing students toward majors, minors, non-Western and comparative studies or distribution requirements. Courses numbered at the 90 level shall not be eligible for a writing-intensive or oral communication designation.

The list of courses that satisfy the writing-intensive requirement changes each year. The following list should be considered preliminary; courses that satisfy the requirement in a particular semester are designated "wi" in the Schedule of Classes for that semester. When there is a conflict between this Bulletin and the Schedule of Classes regarding the designation of a course as writing-intensive, then the information in the Schedule of Classes takes precedence. Consult with the director of university writing if in doubt about whether a course satisfies the requirement in a specific semester.

Courses of Instruction

COMP 1a Composition
Prerequisite: Placement by the director of university writing. Successful completion of this course does NOT satisfy the first-year writing requirement. A course in the fundamentals of writing, required as a prerequisite to the first-year writing requirement for selected students identified by the director of university writing. Several sections offered in the fall semester and one section in the spring semester.

UWS ##a and ##b University Writing Seminar
University writing seminars (UWS) focus on strategies and techniques of college-level argument taught through the exploration of a subject. Course readings of 400-500 pages typically include books and articles as well as excerpts of longer works collected in source packets. In three papers of increasing complexity (25 pages total), students learn to frame analytical questions, make original claims, structure complex ideas, integrate sources of various kinds and revise for greater cogency and clarity.

Each course assigns a close reading essay, a lens essay and a research-based argument. Students prepare for each of the three major essays through short predraft assignments as well as through drafts that faculty comment on in writing and discuss with the student in individual conferences. Students examine their own writing in draft workshops and in small groups. The course also teaches basic skills of research, from using the library to appropriate citation of sources.

Writing Intensive Courses

AAAS 79b
Afro-American Literature of the Twentieth Century

AAAS 81b
Religion in African-American History

AAAS 123a
Third World Ideologies

AAAS 125b
Caribbean Women and Globalization: Sexuality, Citizenship, Work

AAAS 126b
Political Economy of the Third World

AAAS 132b
Introduction to African Literature

AAAS 133b
The Literature of the Caribbean

AAAS 145b
What Is Race?

AAAS 158a
Theories of Development and Underdevelopment

AMST 100a
Classic Texts in American Culture to 1900

AMST 102a
Environment, Social Justice, and the Role of Women

AMST 105a
The Eastern Forest: Paleoecology to Policy

AMST 106b
Food and Farming in America

AMST 168b
American Religious History

ANTH 83a
Anthropological Inquiry

ANTH 111a
Aging in Cross-Cultural Perspective

ANTH 131b
Latin America in Ethnographic Perspective

ANTH 132b
Representing Ethnography

ANTH 144a
The Anthropology of Gender

BIOL 17b
Conservation Biology

BIOL 18a
General Biology Laboratory

BIOL 155a
Project Laboratory in Genetics and Genomics

CHEM 39b
Intermediate Chemistry Laboratory

CHEM 59a
Advanced Experimental Chemistry I

CHIN 105a
Advanced Conversation and Composition I

CHIN 105b
Advanced Conversation and Composition II

CHIN 120a
Readings in Contemporary Chinese Literature: Advanced Chinese Language

CHIN 120b
Readings in Contemporary Chinese Literature: Advanced Chinese Language II

CLAS 115b
Topics in Greek and Roman History

CLAS 120a
Age of Caesar

CLAS 166a
Medieval Literature: A Millennium of God, Sex, and Death

CLAS 167b
Classical Myths Told and Retold

COML 100a
Comparing Literatures: Theory and Practice

COML 103b
Madness and Folly in Renaissance Literature

COML 165a
Reading, Writing, and Teaching across Cultures

ECS 100a
European Cultural Studies Proseminar: Modernism

ECS 100b
European Cultural Studies Proseminar: Making of European Modernity

ED 100b
Exploring Teaching (Secondary)

ED 155b
Education and Social Policy

ENG 1a
Introduction to Literary Studies

ENG 7a
American Literature from 1900 to 2000

ENG 10b
Poetry: A Basic Course

ENG 18b
Writing the Holocaust

ENG 19b
The Autobiographical Imagination

ENG 26a
Detection and Analysis: Deciphering Theories of Madness

ENG 35b
Staging the Novel: Reading and Writing Adaptations

ENG 39a
Poetry: Beginner's Ear

ENG 40b
The Birth of the Short Story: Gods, Ghosts, Lunatics

ENG 46b
American Gothic Romantic Fiction

ENG 64b
From Libertinism to Sensibility: Pleasure and the Theater, 1660-1800

ENG 68a
The Political Novel

ENG 79a
Directed Writing: Beginning Screenplay

ENG 79b
Writing Workshop: From Memory to Craft

ENG 105b
The English Novel, Jane Austen to Thomas Hardy

ENG 109b
Directed Writing: Short Fiction

ENG 117b
Novels of William Faulkner

ENG 119a
Directed Writing: Fiction

ENG 119b
Directed Writing: Poetry

ENG 127a
The Novel in India

ENG 129a
Writing Workshop

ENG 129b
Understanding the Screenplay: A Workshop

ENG 137a
Primal Pictures

ENG 139b
Intermediate Screenwriting

ENG 144b
The Body as Text

ENG 145b
Jane Austen: Gender, Art, and History

ENG 181a
Making Sex, Performing Gender

ENG 187b
American Writers and World Affairs

FA 63a
The Age of Rubens and Rembrandt

FA 171a
Impressionism: Avant-Garde Rebellion in Context

FA 174b
Postimpressionism and Symbolism, 1880-1910

FA 191b
Studies in Renaissance and Baroque Art

FA 197b
Methods and Approaches in the History of Art

FREN 106b
The Art of Composition

FREN 110a
Cultural Representations

FREN 111a
The Republic

FREN 113a
French Fiction

FREN 122b
The Renaissance: When France Became France

FREN 142b
City and the Book

FREN 143a
French Existentialism: An Introduction

FREN 145a
Baudelaire et son monde: Evil, Beauty, Finitude

FYS 4a
Literacy and Development

FYS 8a

FYS 34a
A Haunted America: American Dreamers as Wanderers, Visionaries, Isolates

FYS 51a
Trauma and Memory in the Literary Imagination

FYS 51b
Assumed Identities

FYS 68b
The Art of Living

GER 105a
Learning Language through Literature/Learning Literature through Language

HBRW 123a
Creative Reading and Writing in Hebrew I

HBRW 123b
Creative Reading and Writing in Hebrew II

HBRW 143a
Advanced Survey of Hebrew and Israeli Literature I

HBRW 143b
Advanced Survey of Hebrew and Israeli Literature II

HBRW 144a
Hebrew through Plays and Drama

HBRW 146a
The Voices of Jerusalem

HBRW 161b
What's Up?: Hebrew through Israeli News Media

HBRW 164b
Israeli Theater

HBRW 166b
Portrait of the Israeli Woman

HBRW 170a
Take I: Hebrew through Israeli Cinema

HISP 106b
Spanish Composition, Grammar, and Stylistics

HISP 193b
Topics in Cinema

HIST 109b
College 101

HIST 121a
Breaking the Rules: Deviance and Nonconformity in Premodern Europe

HIST 123b
Reformation Europe (1400-1600)

HIST 140a
A History of Fashion in Europe

HIST 142a
Crime, Deviance, and Confinement in Modern Europe

HIST 146a
Romantic Europe, 1798-1848

HIST 147a
Imperial Russia

HIST 152b
Salem, 1692

HIST 164b
The American Century: The U.S. and the World, 1945 to the Present

HIST 169a
Thought and Culture in Modern America

HIST 170a
Italian Films, Italian Histories

HIST 173b
Latin American Women: Heroines, Icons, and History

HIST 174a
The Legacy of 1898: U.S.-Caribbean Relations since the Spanish-American War

HIST 175a
Topics in Latin American History

HIST 178a
Middle Eastern Encounters with Europe in the Nineteenth Century

HIST 186b
A Global History of the Vietnam Wars

ITAL 105a
Italian Conversation and Composition

JOUR 15a
Writing for Broadcast and the Internet

JOUR 107b
Media and Public Policy

JOUR 109b
Digital and Multimedia Journalism

JOUR 112b
Literary Journalism: The Art of Feature Writing

JOUR 114b
Arts Journalism

JOUR 130b
Medical and Science News Writing

JOUR 138b
The Contemporary World in Print

LALS 100a
Seminar: Topics in Latin American and Latino Studies

LAT 110b
Advanced Latin Composition

LGLS 132b
Environmental Law and Policy

MATH 23b
Introduction to Proofs

MATH 47a
Introduction to Mathematical Research

MUS 44a

MUS 131b
Music in Medieval and Early Modern Europe

NEJS 75a
Yiddish Literature and the Modern Jewish Revolution: From Dybbuk to Yentl

NEJS 75b
Classic Yiddish Fiction

NEJS 111a
The Hebrew Bible/Old Testament

NEJS 119a
The Torah: Composition and Interpretation

NEJS 140a
History of the Jews from the Maccabees to 1497

NEJS 153b
Abraham Joshua Heschel: Spirituality and Action

NEJS 162a
American Judaism

NEJS 176a
Seminar in American Jewish Fiction: Philip Roth and Cynthia Ozick

NEJS 186a
Introduction to the Qur'an

NEJS 190a
Describing Cruelty

NEJS 197b
Political Cultures of the Middle East

PHIL 19a
Human Rights

PHIL 20a
Social and Political Philosophy: Democracy and Disobedience

PHIL 22b
Philosophy of Law

PHIL 110a
The Good Life or How Should One Live?

PHIL 113b
Aesthetics: Painting, Photography, and Film

PHIL 133a
Consciousness, Brain, and Self

PHYS 39a
Advanced Physics Laboratory

POL 108a
Social Movements in American Politics

POL 127a
Ending Deadly Conflict

POL 127b
Seminar: Managing Ethnic Conflict

POL 151a
Seminar: Cultural Pluralism and Democratic Governance

POL 173a
U.S. Foreign Economic Policy

PSYC 36b
Adolescence and the Transition to Maturity

PSYC 38a
Health Psychology

PSYC 52a
Research Methods and Laboratory in Psychology

PSYC 131a
Child Development across Cultures

PSYC 136b
Advanced Topics in Developmental Psychology

PSYC 160b
Seminar on Sex Differences

RECS 130a
The Russian Novel

RUS 110a
Russian Language for Russian Speakers

SOC 129a
Sociology of Religion

SOC 182a
Applied Research Methods

SOC 193a
Environment, Health, and Society

THA 4b
Acting II: Language in Action

THA 104a

THA 150a
The American Drama since 1945