What's important to know about writing at U-M?
Ashley, Psychology major, transferred from Lansing Community College
"For incoming students I feel one of the most important things to know about writing at Michigan is simply what's expected of you. Each school has a different standard and it can be tricky to find out not only where that bar is set but also what elements are needed to accomplish the quality of work and excellence found at U-M."
Sean, Sociology major, Community Action and Social Change minor, transferred from Grand Rapids Community College
"Depending on your major you'll do a lot of writing at Michigan, and you'll have less time to do it. Go to office hours, your professor might tell you what makes a great research paper if you ask the right questions. Start early, because you might need a rough draft or two."
Alexandra, Biopsychology Cognition & Neuroscience major, transferred from Wayne State University
"The most important thing to know about writing at Michigan is that it requires an extremely high quality of effort. You can’t really get by with just doing the bare minimum here, and for me, this was a wake-up call. At my last school, straight A’s were easy – here, straight A’s take a lot of work. Different writing assignments will have different expectations of you, and it’s important to figure out early on which will require more of your time and effort while also keeping deadlines and other commitments in mind."
Alberto, Evolutionary Anthropology major, Community Action and Social Change minor, transferred from Washtenaw Community College and Eastern Michigan University
"I think a good thing to know about writing at Michigan is that it’s a lot more detailed than at community colleges and high school. Every paper I’ve written at Michigan needed a lot more detail as well as citations. They really want you to know your stuff as well as know where you get your information."
Anna, English major with a Creative Writing Subcon, International Studies minor, transferred from Kalamazoo Valley Community College and Grand Valley State University
"Be prepared to explore (and defend!) your own opinions. You’re part of the academic conversation now, which means your ideas matter as far as you can help other people understand them! Also, be prepared to write more than you’ve ever written before… U-M classes are tailored to challenge you, expand your skillset, and overwhelm you just a tad. Remember that the Sweetland Center for Writing is a good place to go if you want to work through your writing frustrations!"
How Sweetland can help
Sweetland Center for Writing welcomes and is committed to supporting all transfer students at the University of Michigan with writing at U-M. Here are a few ways we can help and opportunities for transfer students to develop as writers at U-M.
Writing Workshop: Faculty-led one-to-one writing support. Make an appointment online and bring any course-related writing or multimodal project in to Writing Workshop.
Peer Writing Centers: Our Sweetland-trained undergraduate Peer Writing Consultants also provide one-to-one writing support. Centers are located in multiple locations across campus and have evening hours. Make an appointment online and bring in any writing or multi-modal projects. Projects can be for class or personal in nature.
Online Writing Lab (OWL): Operated by our Peer Writing Consultants, the OWL allows students to connect one-to-one with a writing consultant online to receive writing assistance. Make an appointment online.
Writing Guides: Our writing guides cover frequent questions writers at U-M face. We also host frequently used guides found in our Peer Writing Centers.
We offer a range of courses that support transfer student writing, and are designed to be taken at the same time as a ULWR course; they do not themselves fulfill the Upper Level Writing Requirement.
Writing 350: 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.
Our Writing Programs
Minor in Writing: The Minor in Writing is designed for any undergraduate student who is interested in developing and exploring his or her writing abilities with the guidance of seasoned writing professors. Students in the Minor experiment with writing in numerous ways, including (but definitely not limited to!) multi-modal projects, traditional papers, professional writing, and creative work. They can make use of what they have learned in their major and other courses within their writing projects for the minor, as well as explore new ways of writing that they might not otherwise encounter.
Peer Writing Consultant Program: The Peer Writing Consultant Program is an excellent way for undergraduate students from across the University to get involved in consulting with their peers about written communication. Becoming a writing consultant gives you the opportunity to work with others on their writing, enjoying conversations about interesting topics, helping to solve writing challenges, and supporting effective writing processes.
If you've worked in a writing center at your previous institution and are interested in continuing that work at U-M-Ann Arbor, we encourage you to fill out this survey about your previous writing center training course(s).