The Writing Program

Writing Program Faculty Profiles

Writing is central to academic life at Wellesley and will continue to play an important role in most students’ lives after they graduate, whether they choose majors in the sciences, the social sciences, or the humanities. The starting point for writing at Wellesley is the First-Year Writing requirement. All students are required to fulfill the First-Year Writing requirement by taking an introductory course in expository writing during their first year at Wellesley. Courses fulfilling this requirement, numbered WRIT 101 to WRIT 198, make up the majority of the course offerings in the Writing Program. These courses are taught by faculty from many departments as well as by a team of writing professionals based in the Writing Program. All First-Year Writing faculty view writing as an important part of their own professional lives and are committed to helping Wellesley students learn to use writing as a powerful tool of thought and expression, and as a way to gain entrance into public discourse.

All First-Year Writing courses have the primary goal of helping students establish a useful writing process, from developing ideas through drafting and revision. All sections provide instruction in analysis and interpretation, in argument and the use of evidence, in the development of voice, and in the conventions of academic writing, including writing from sources. Students may choose to take a standard First-Year Writing course (meeting two periods a week and addressing a small, well-defined topic related to the instructor’s expertise), or to study writing as part of an introductory course in another department. These latter are called "combined courses" and have departmental course numbers in their titles, for example WRIT 105/ENG 120. The combined courses carry one unit of credit, fulfill distribution and/or major requirements, and meet for at least three periods each week.

In addition to these combined courses, the Writing Program also offers courses designed for students who need additional help making the transition from high school to college writing. In 2016-2017, students enrolled in the Wellesley Plus Program will enroll in WRIT 121, WRIT 122, or WRIT 132 in the spring. In fall, we offer WRIT 121 and WRIT 127, both of which provide intensive writing instruction for students who did not do much writing in English in high school; who received scores of less than 600 on the Writing or Critical Reading sections of the SAT; or who find writing especially challenging or anxiety-provoking. Placement into these sections takes place during summer pre-registration, and interested students should contact the Writing Program director.

In 2016-2017, the Writing Program will offer one full-year experience combining a writing course and a first-year seminar. Students electing this option must complete both semesters (WRIT 101 and WRIT 102) in order to fulfill the First-Year Writing requirement.

Students who wish to pursue the study of writing beyond the introductory course may select WRIT 201 (a workshop and tutorial for students who want more practice with academic writing), WRIT 307 (on grant writing), WRIT 390 (a Calderwood Seminar in Public Writing), or independent study in writing (WRIT 250 for a full unit or WRIT 250H for a half-unit of credit). Many courses at Wellesley outside the Writing Program curriculum emphasize writing, offering students the opportunity to study writing as part of their disciplinary study. Students wishing to pursue course work in creative writing should consult the English Department course listings.

All first-year writing courses in both fall and spring will be covered by the college's shadow grading policy. This means that no student will have a letter grade for her first-year writing course recorded on her transcript, whether she takes her writing course in fall or in spring. In most writing courses, faculty members will give students letter grades during the semester and on their semester grade reports. In others, no letter grades will be given at any point. These latter types of courses are designated with "No letter grades given" in the course description.

PLEASE NOTE: Students may not take a second First-Year Writing course (WRIT 101 to WRIT 198) unless they have the written consent of the director of the Writing Program.

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