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Excelling in Upper-Level Writing

Credits: 1 Advisory Prerequisites: Upper-level transfer students concurrently enrolled in at least one course for which they write on a regular basis. | Mandatory credit/no credit May be elected twice for credit

This course serves transfer and upper-division students who seek support to meet the expectations for writing in upper-level courses, and especially courses that meet LSA’s Upper-Level Writing Requirement. Operating on a workshop and discussion format, it provides an opportunity to identify writing strengths and issues, set personal goals, and practice writing in a collaborative environment. The course uses the writing that students produce in other classes as the basis for workshops.

This C/NC, one-credit parallel course is designed to practice writing in a supportive environment and aid students who seek to meet the expectations for writing in upper-level courses, and especially courses that meet the LSA’s Upper-Level Writing Requirement. It addresses the writing challenges that students bring to the course, thereby providing immediate and direct assistance to upper-division student writers. The course will help students identify key stages in the writing process from deciphering assignment prompts, planning papers and time schedules to generating ideas and learning the writing expectations for various disciplines. This course will stress the increased significance of revision for success in advanced writing. Our goal is to improve your recognition of practices that will promote your success and effectiveness in writing at the University of Michigan and beyond.

Our class work will include the opportunity to critically annotate one of your previous college papers, contribute and share information on your experience on a course blog, present work in class, share and workshop your current writing in peer groups, and annotate one of your final upper-level writing assignments. Students will be expected to participate and involve themselves in the community of the class as we build a supportive writing environment.

Intended Audience

Transfer undergraduates and other upper-division undergraduates who feel less prepared for upper-level writing. This course can be taken at the same time as a ULWR course; it does not fulfill the Upper Level Writing Requirement.

Class Format

The class will meet weekly for one hour in a seminar format. It will primarily use a workshop and discussion format, with occasional and brief direct instruction on specific topics in writing.

I transferred as a junior from Oakland University and I am studying secondary education with a focus in Spanish and history. I made the decision to take Writing 350 for several reasons. I have not been required to write many papers outside of the Spanish language over the past few semesters, and I was nervous about what kind of writing would be required in my history and education courses. Coming to the University of Michigan can be intimidating, so I also took this class to get a better grasp on the expectations of upper-level writing at Michigan, and what to expect in future semesters. 

So far this semester I have taken refuge in the Writing 350 course. It provides an open environment, giving students the opportunity to share their Michigan experiences and build on writing techniques pertaining to each student’s own field of study. Not only are we able to focus on academic aspects of the University, but our weekly Insider Reports encourage students to share tips about the Ann Arbor lifestyle, including great places to eat, study, find academic resources, and relax. We are currently in the process of creating templates for good writing in various disciplines. I am looking forward to the presentations of these templates and learning the key expectations of different types of writing. I encourage students to take this course as I have found it to be an excellent resource in becoming acclimated to the University of Michigan inside and outside of the classroom.

-- Sarah