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Deciding which First-Year Writing Course to Take

First-Year Writing Requirement Courses

First-Year Writing Requirement (FYWR) courses carry four credits and are offered in a number of departments and programs (see the list below). Students should plan to complete the FYWR in their first three terms at U-M.

UWrite, an online self-placement tool, provides information about what students can expect in FYWR courses, guides them to reflect on their experiences as writers and their academic interests, and helps them select FYWR courses that fit their interests and needs. UWrite appears in the task list students receive before Orientation.

Transfer students should consult our website for information specific to their first-year experience.

The following courses fulfill the FYWR in LSA. See the LSA Course Guide for information about each course. Not all courses are offered each term.

  • Science Writing for Everyday Life (Biology 197)
  • Greek Civilization (Classical Civilization 101, 121)
  • Great Performances (Comparative Literature 141)
  • Writing World Literatures (Comparative Literature 122)
  • Writing and Academic Inquiry (English 125; some sections are reserved for CSP students)
  • Community Engaged Writing (English 126)
  • Academic Writing and Literature (English 124)
  • The Writing of History (History 195)
  • College Writing (LSWA 125) 
  • Multimodal Composition (Writing 160) 

Several colleges and programs offer FYWR courses designed specifically for their students:  

  • Stamps School of Art and Design: ARTDES 129. Stamps students may also fulfill the FYWR with an LSA course.
  • UArts students: UArts 150
  • Lloyd Scholars for Writing and the Arts: LSWA 125 
  • Comprehensive Studies Program: Some sections of English 125 are reserved for CSP students. CSP students are also encouraged to take any FYWR course that interests them.
  • Residential College: RCCore 100
  • Honors FYWR courses: Gt Books 191, Honors 240, 241

For a Gradual Transition to the First-Year Writing Requirement

If students think they may be facing more new writing tasks and/or challenges than they’d like with the FYWR, they may consider first taking a transitional course that offers a high level of individualized instruction and support, enabling them to gain experience writing academic papers. A FYWR course may then be taken in a subsequent term. The following transitional courses enable students gradually to acclimate to expectations at U-M while enjoying a small-class experience that includes regular individual and small-group meetings with an experienced instructor committed to every student’s success.

WRITING 100: The Practice of Writing

WRITING 100: The Practice of Writing is a 3-credit ungraded course that helps new students transition from high school to college writing. It is designed for students who:

  • would like to gain experience drafting and revising academic essays before taking a course that fulfills the First-Year Writing Requirement; and
  • prefer a gradual introduction to writing longer academic essays on a variety of topics.

WRITING 120: College Writing for International Students

WRITING 120: College Writing for International Students is intended for all students who feel most comfortable with academic writing in a language other than English. This course is designed to help students develop their general and academic writing abilities in English as an additional language. Students will

  • Develop critical reading strategies and draw upon models of successful writing that will inform their own writing
  • Revise their papers both individually and collaboratively for content, organization, and argumentation
  • Learn to edit their papers for language clarity and appropriate format
  • Develop insights into their strengths and weaknesses as writers through reflective writing and the creation of an electronic writing portfolio
  • In individual meetings with their instructor, define goals for themselves as writers that may inform their literacy practices beyond the course and afford them the confidence to meet writing challenges at the college level