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First-Year Writing Courses

All First-Year Writing Program courses are designed to meet you where you are as a writer. Your specific writing requirements are determined by your academic college, and you can refer to the University Catalog or your home college to determine your individual needs.  

At the heart of our mission are three courses—Writing 001, Writing 002 and Writing 011—that provide guided practice in writing and extensive feedback on your work. Each of these courses is designed to help you develop your capacities as a writer and communicator, and our sequence of courses is carefully scaffolded to help you develop increasingly complex skills as you progress from one class to the next.   

First-Year Writing Course Descriptions

Note: These descriptions reflect course changes that take effect in Fall 2024. For descriptions of First-Year Writing courses in Spring 2023, visit the English Department section of the University Catalog. 

Here are details about each of the three Writing Program courses: 

Writing 001 Academic and Analytical Writing 
Writing 001 introduces you to the demands of academic writing at the university level, specifically analytical writing and claim-based argumentation. You will have instruction and practice in: 

  • Academic writing: You will learn to engage in reasoned and respectful claim-based conversations with other thinkers and writers.

  • Analytical writing and critical thinking: You will use writing to improve your skills of analysis, synthesis, and interpretation.

  • Understanding the writing process: You will engage in a number of writing projects through multiple drafts to develop a fuller understanding of how you work as a writer, the things you do well, and areas in which you might need improvement. You will also experience the social aspect of writing through collaboration with classmates during class discussions, on brief assignments, and in peer feedback workshops.

  • Navigating the conventions of college writing: You will learn about academic discourse communities and develop, through practice, your knowledge of organizational patterns, stylistic options, and linguistic structures important in academic writing. You will also explore the concepts of intellectual property and practice applying academic citation and documentation conventions.

Writing 002 Research and Argument 
Writing 002 offers more advanced instruction in rhetoric, argument, and research. Over the course of the semester, you will compose thoughtful, persuasive, and well-supported arguments in multiple genres, including multimodal and digital forms. Most Writing 002 sections are organized around themes (recent examples include curiosity, humor, risk, population health, and sustainability) chosen to help you focus your thinking about genre, audience, and other rhetorical considerations (your instructor will explain your section’s theme on the first day of class). In Writing 002, you will have instruction and practice in:

  • Improving your rhetorical capacities: You will learn to meet the needs of both academic and public audiences and to understand the conventions and affordances of various genres and media by adapting to and composing for multiple rhetorical situations. In addition to formal essays, you will compose at least one persuasive multimodal text appropriate for a non-academic audience. 

  • Developing your information literacy skills: You will practice locating, evaluating, and ethically and persuasively using research materials while also recognizing the politics and power behind information production, availability, and use. You will learn advanced frameworks for deploying research rhetorically in your written and multimodal work.

  • Refining your facility with argument: You will receive advanced instruction in argumentation drawn from the discipline of rhetoric. You will learn to write various types of arguments while developing an understanding of well-reasoned claims and support tailored to specific audiences.

Writing 011 Advanced Writing: The Rhetorical Self
If you are in the College of Arts & Sciences and you test out of both WRT 001 and WRT 002, you have special permission to take Writing 011, which will help you develop and polish advanced rhetorical, stylistic, and design skills you can use to create effective texts in traditional and digital formats. The student-driven projects will give you practice in advanced strategies for analysis, persuasion, and research and will help you develop your voice as you consider how to present yourself in academic, public, and professional contexts. Your capstone project will be a public-facing e-portfolio that will showcase your communication strengths and that can grow with you over the course of your time at Lehigh. Each section of Writing 011 will provide:

  • A supportive writing community: Through collaboration, discussion, and personalized feedback in a small, workshop setting, you’ll experience writing as both a personal and a social practice.

  • A rigorous engagement with language and rhetoric: Through extensive practice in analysis, persuasion, and style, you’ll come to understand yourself as a rhetorical being in a world driven by information and communication technologies.

  • An expansive approach to the concept of research: By examining your own information consumption habits and analyzing how others use research to produce knowledge, you’ll develop a nuanced understanding of what it means to add your voice to public discourse communities.    

  • An e-portfolio project focused on the rhetoric of self-presentation: As you work through the various assignments of the course, you’ll learn how to shape a public persona by curating and designing the content of an e-portfolio that can evolve rhetorically with your changing personal, academic, and professional needs.