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First-Year Writing Requirement

The goal of the First-Year Writing Requirement is to prepare students to write in diverse academic contexts. As a broad preparation for the range of writing tasks students will encounter at the University of Michigan and beyond, FYWR courses emphasize evidenced, academic writing in a variety of genres and rhetorical situations. This course is foundational for students to master the kind of analysis and argumentation found in sophisticated academic writing.

The First-Year Writing Requirement should be completed in the first year with a minimum grade of C- and must be satisfied before electing a course to satisfy the Upper-Level Writing Requirement. Advanced Placement (AP) credit is not equivalent to the FYWR.

First-Year Writing Requirement courses assign writing tasks designed to help:

  • produce complex, analytic, well-supported arguments that matter in academic contexts;
  • read, summarize, analyze, and synthesize complex texts purposefully in order to generate and support writing;
  • demonstrate an awareness of the strategies that writers use in different rhetorical situations;
  • develop flexible strategies for organizing, revising, editing, and proofreading writing of varying lengths to improve development of ideas and appropriateness of expression;
  • collaborate with peers and the instructor to define revision strategies for particular pieces of writing, to set goals for improving writing, and to devise effective plans for achieving those goals.

Where Do I Start?

New students should proceed to the Directed Self-Placement page if you have yet to complete the Directed Self-Placement (DSP) essay. The DSP should be completed at least 5 BUSINESS days (Monday-Friday) prior to your Orientation.

If you have completed the Directed Self-Placement essay and want to learn more about the options you have, such as WRITING 100, WRITING 120, or a First-Year Writing Requirement course, check out the Deciding which First-Year Writing Course to Take page.

Transfer students who have taken writing courses at another college or university may be able to use these courses to satisfy the First-Year Writing Requirement. Check the Transfer Courses page for more information.