The Writing Program encourages students to become rigorous thinkers and writers who can construct arguments that matter, craft prose that resonates with their intended audience, and understand how writing and learning cannot be extricated from one another. The Writing Program administers the first-year seminars and also supports a Writing Center where specially trained peer advisors work with fellow students.
Taught by faculty from across the College, the first-year writing seminars explore a particular theme or field of study while emphasizing writing as a means of inquiry, analysis, and persuasion. There are three kinds of seminars: WS-D sections adopt the perspective of a particular academic discipline; WS-T sections focus on a given topic; and WS-I sections prepare students who need extra exposure to academic writing. To help students negotiate the demands of academic writing, courses include practice in critical reading, argumentation, style, and editing; they also stress writing as a process, where the first draft is not the last and where feedback from peers becomes crucial in revising.