First-Year Writing

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First-Year Writing

We will help you develop the skills, tools, and knowledge to participate effectively in the communities that are central to your personal, academic and professional lives.

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Welcome to First Year Writing at UMN!

In a digital, information-laden era, every one of us encounters, receives, produces, and transmits lots of writing every day. Writing is also the way we communicate in a range of spaces—social, professional, personal, educational—and on many topics. Therefore, all University of Minnesota undergraduates must complete the first-year writing (FYW) requirement within the first two semesters of registration, which means over 3,500 students take FYW courses each year. We will help you develop the skills, tools, and knowledge to participate effectively in the communities that are central to your personal, academic, and professional lives. If you have any questions about FYW, please email

What You’ll Learn in WRIT 1301

WRIT 1301 introduces you to writing processes and rhetorical principles to write successfully in college and beyond. You will study and write in a variety of genres and disciplines that include multimodal forms. The course focuses on writing as a way of knowing; learning to develop ideas through critical thinking, including analysis and synthesis; and working to present ideas effectively for specific audiences and contexts. 

Based on the assumption that writing is a social and rhetorical activity, the course uses a workshop format and requires active engagement in the writing process, including pre-writing, peer review, revision, and editing. 

As part of this work, you develop your information literacy by honing the ability to locate, evaluate, and effectively and ethically incorporate information into your own texts.

We know from research in our field of writing studies that writing is not a linear or static skill that we learn once and for all and check off our list. Writing effectively is a complicated activity. Conventions and expectations shift as writers enter new forms and contexts and encounter new audiences. In other words, all writers—no matter how experienced—have more to learn. 

While no single course can teach any of us to master writing once and for all, a single course can offer you essential tools, a foundational writing process, and an understanding of yourself as a writer that you can adapt and hone as you move into new writing situations. There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to process, so our goal is to help you build your awareness of yourself as a writer through multiple projects and reflection on your writing process.

Our Commitment to Support Our Writers

We are committed to supporting every writer we serve and to respectful, engaged, and meaningful interactions with and among writers in our courses. We are actively engaged in developing our capacity to disrupt dispositions, habits, and practices that are informed by and perpetuate bias, exclusion, and inequity.   

It is the responsibility of every instructor to proactively seek the development they need to ensure their instruction and classroom environment supports equity, diversity, and inclusion. We are committed to the Department of Writing Studies’ Equity and Diversity Statement.  

We are happy to be a part of your journey, and welcome to the UMN!