University Writing

Last updated: May 25, 2016 at 2:11 p.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 may be eligible for alternative ways to complete this requirement based on their transfer credit record, with written approval from the Registrar's office and University Writing.

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. Enrollment limited to non-native English speakers.
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 will be offered in the fall semester.

COMP 1b Composition
Prerequisite: Placement by the director of university writing. Successful completion of this course does NOT satisfy the first-year writing requirement. Enrollment open to native English speakers.
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 will be offered in the fall semester.

UWS 1a - 39b 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.

HUM/UWS 1a Tragedy: Love and Death in the Creative Imagination
Enrollment limited to Humanities Fellows.
How do you turn catastrophe into art - and why? This first-year seminar in the humanities addresses such elemental questions, especially those centering on love and death. How does literature catch hold of catastrophic experiences and make them intelligible or even beautiful? Should misery even be beautiful? By exploring the tragic tradition in literature across many eras, cultures, genres, and languages, this course looks for basic patterns. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Burt and Mr. Dowden

Writing Intensive Courses

AAAS 79b
Afro-American Literature of the Twentieth Century

AAAS 80a
Economy and Society in Africa

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 158a
Theories of Development and Underdevelopment

AAAS 165a
Performance and the Politics of Black Authenticity

AAAS 168b
The Black Intellectual Tradition

AMST 30b
American Environmental History

AMST 100a
Classic Texts in American Culture Before 1900

AMST 102aj
Environment, Social Justice, and Empowerment

AMST 105a
The Eastern Forest: Paleoecology to Policy

AMST 106b
Food and Farming in America

ANTH 81a
Conducting Ethnographic Fieldwork: Methods and Practice of Anthropological Research

ANTH 111a
Aging in Cross-Cultural Perspective

ANTH 131b
Latin America in Ethnographic Perspective

ANTH 144a
The Anthropology of Gender

ANTH 148a
Media in Latin America

BIOL 18a
General Biology Laboratory

BIOL 155a
Project Laboratory in Genetics and Genomics

Diseases of the Mind

CHEM 39b
Advanced Laboratory: Inorganic Chemistry

CHEM 49a
Advanced Laboratory: Organic Chemistry

CHIN 105a
Advanced Conversation and Composition I

CHIN 105b
Advanced Conversation and Composition II

CHIN 106b
Business Chinese and Culture

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 121b
Money, Markets and Society in the Ancient Mediterranean

CLAS 149b
Sailing the Wine Dark Sea: Global Trade in the Ancient Mediterranean

CLAS 165a
Roman Sex, Violence, and Decadence in Translation

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

CLAS 167b
Classical Myths Told and Retold

COML 100a
Introduction to Global Literature

COML 165a
Reading, Writing, and Teaching across Cultures

Fiction of the Second World War

Crime and Punishment: Justice and Criminality from Plato to Serial

ECON 173a
Central Banking: Theory and Policy

ECS 100a
European Cultural Studies Proseminar: Modernism

ED 100b
Exploring Teaching (Secondary)

ED 155b
Education and Social Policy

ED 157b
The Psychology of Student Learning

ED 170a
Critical Perspectives in Urban Education

ENG 7a
American Literature from 1900 to 2000

ENG 20b
The Art of Flirtation: Reading Romance from Pride and Prejudice to Harry Potter

ENG 40a
Coming of Age in Literature

ENG 40bj
The Birth of the Short Story

ENG 46b
American Gothic Romantic Fiction

ENG 48b
Literature and Happiness

ENG 49a
Scriptwriting for the Short Film

ENG 58a
Literature and Medicine

ENG 68b
The International Legacy of Anne Frank

ENG 79a
Directed Writing: Beginning Screenplay

ENG 79b
Writing Workshop: From Memory to Craft

ENG 80b
The Tale

ENG 109a
Directed Writing: Poetry

ENG 109b
Directed Writing: Short Fiction

ENG 117b
Novels of William Faulkner

ENG 119a
Directed Writing: Fiction

ENG 119b
Directed Writing: Poetry

ENG 129a
Directed Writing: Creative Nonfiction

ENG 139a
Broadsides, Public Art, and Non-Traditional Publishing

ENG 139b
Intermediate Screenwriting

ENG 149a
Writing for Television

ENG 150b
Out of This World: Science Fiction's Cyborgs, Time Travellers, and Space Invaders

ENG 157b
American Women Poets

ENG 160b
Anne Sexton and Sylvia Plath

ENG 171a
The History of Literary Criticism: From Plato to Postmodernism

FA 149a
The Age of Rubens and Rembrandt

FA 155a
Impressionism: Avant-Garde Rebellion in Context

FA 156b
Postimpressionism and Symbolism, 1880-1910

FA 191b
Studies in Renaissance and Baroque Art

FA 199a
Methods and Approaches in the History of Art

FREN 106b
The Art of Composition

FREN 110a
Cultural Representations

FREN 111a
The Republic

FREN 131a
Orientalism and Literature

FREN 139b
Proust's Artistic Vision and the Beauty of Ordinary Life

FREN 180a
"L'exception françise": French Singularity in a Globalized World

FYS 46b
JustBooks: La justice sociale: Issues of Social Justice in the French and Francophone World

GECS 130b
The Princess and the Golem: Fairy Tales

GECS 131b
Goethe—A European Romantic and his Muses

GECS 167a
German Cinema: Vamps and Angels

GER 105a
Writing on the Wall: Literature, the Arts, and the Fall of the Wall

HBRW 123a
Creative Reading and Writing in Hebrew I

HBRW 123b
Creative Reading and Writing in Hebrew II

HBRW 144a
Hebrew through Plays and Drama

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

HBRW 164b
Israeli Theater

HBRW 170a
Take I: Hebrew through Israeli Cinema

HISP 106b
Spanish Composition, Grammar, and Stylistics

HISP 108a
Spanish for Heritage Speakers

HISP 160a
Culture and Social Change in Latin America

HISP 164b
Studies in Latin American Literature

HISP 167b
Twice-Told Tales: Colonial Encounters and Postcolonial Fiction in the Americas

HISP 193b
Topics in Cinema

HISP 198a
Experiential Research Seminar in Literary and Cultural Studies

HIST 61a
Cultures in Conflict since 1300

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

HIST 123b
Reformation Europe (1400-1600)

HIST 131a
Hitler's Europe in Film

HIST 133b
Rights and Revolutions: History of Natural Rights

HIST 134a
The History of Great Britain, 1756-1956

HIST 136b
Global War and Revolutions in the Eighteenth Century

HIST 137b
World War I

HIST 140a
A History of Fashion in Europe

HIST 141a
Sex, Marriage and the State in American History

HIST 147a
Imperial Russia: From Westernization to Globalization

HIST 147b
Twentieth-Century Russia

HIST 154a
Stalin Revolution: Foundations of Modern Russia

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 175a
Topics in Latin American History

HIST 175b
Resistance and Revolution in Latin America and the Caribbean

HIST 177b
Modern Germany: Rise of a Global Power

HIST 178b
Britain and India: Connected Histories

HIST 182a
Mao: The Man, the Myth, and the Milieu

HIST 183a
Empire at the Margins: Borderlands in Late Imperial China

HIST 184b
Swashbuckling Adventurers or Sea Bandits? The Chinese Pirate in Global Perspective

HIST 185a
The China Outside China: Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Diaspora in the Making of Modern China

HIST 186a
Europe in World War II

HSSP 89a
Internship and Analysis

HSSP 112b
Perspectives on Child Health and Well-Being

HSSP 120bj
Health Care Landscapes

IGS 170a
The Rise of Brazil

IMES 105a
War and Revolution in the Middle East

ITAL 134b
Nella cultura ebraica italiana: cinema e letteratura

JAPN 105a
Advanced Conversation and Composition I

JAPN 105b
Advanced Conversation and Composition II

JAPN 120a
Topics in Contemporary Japanese Culture and Society

JAPN 120b
Readings in Modern Japanese Literature

JOUR 15a
Writing for Broadcast and the Internet

JOUR 45a
Sports Writing

JOUR 45aj
Sports Writing

JOUR 106aj
Beat Reporting: Covering the Patriots and the NFL

JOUR 107b
Media and Public Policy

JOUR 110b
Ethics in Journalism

JOUR 112b
Literary Journalism: The Art of Feature Writing

JOUR 130b
Science and Journalism in Society

JOUR 138b
The Contemporary World in Print

JOUR 145a
Opinion Writing

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

LALS 170a
Sports, Games, and Politics in Latin America and the Caribbean

LAT 110b
Advanced Latin Composition

LGLS 132b
Environmental Law and Policy

LGLS 161b
Advocacy for Policy Change

MATH 23b
Introduction to Proofs

MUS 44a

NBIO 157a
Project Laboratory in Neurobiology and Behavior

NBIO 177b

NEJS 111a
The Hebrew Bible/Old Testament

NEJS 119a
The Torah: Composition and Interpretation

NEJS 140a
Under Crescent and Cross: The Jews in the Middle Ages

NEJS 159b
Classic Yiddish Fiction

NEJS 162a
American Judaism

NEJS 173b
American Jewish Writers

NEJS 187a
Political Islam

NEJS 197b
Political Cultures of the Middle East

PAX 89a
Internship in Peace, Conflict, and Coexistence Studies

PHIL 110a
Meaning in Life and Why It Matters

PHIL 113b
Aesthetics: Painting, Photography, and Film

PHIL 119a
Human Rights

PHIL 120a

PHIL 123b

PHIL 125b
Philosophy of Law

PHIL 126a
What Does it Mean to be a Global Citizen?

PHIL 131a
Philosophy of Mind

PHIL 133a
Consciousness, Brain, and Self

PHIL 153a

PHYS 39a
Advanced Physics Laboratory

POL 108a
The Police and Social Movements in American Politics

POL 123a
Political Psychology

POL 127a
Ending Deadly Conflict

POL 127b
Seminar: Managing Ethnic Conflict

POL 134b
The Global Migration Crisis

POL 144a
Latin American Politics I

POL 149b

POL 151a
Seminar: Cultural Pluralism and Democratic Governance

POL 163a
Creating World Order: Power, Purpose, and American Diplomacy 1939-1950

POL 173a
U.S. Foreign Economic Policy

POL 179a
China's Global Rise: The Challenge to Democratic Order

POL 184a
Global Justice

POL 184b
Political Theories of Medicine: Distribution, Recognition, and Democracy

PSYC 52a
Research Methods and Laboratory in Psychology

PSYC 160b
Seminar on Sex Differences

RECS 130a
The Russian Novel

RECS 134b

Russian Theater: Stanislavsky to Present

SOC 118a
Observing the Social World: Doing Qualitative Sociology

SOC 129a
Sociology of Religion

SOC 146a
Mass Communication Theory

SOC 156b
Sociology of Celebrity

THA 71a

THA 76a
British, Irish, and Postcolonial Theater

THA 142b
Women Playwrights: Writing for the Stage by and about Women

YDSH 30a
Intermediate Yiddish