First-Year Writing Program

Suffolk University’s First-Year Writing (FYW) program will help you develop the composition and research skills you need to succeed at Suffolk and beyond. Our three-track system is designed to meet you where you are, offering supportive courses that expand your academic writing abilities and prepare you for college-level scholarship. Guided by our expert faculty, you’ll learn the process of writing in a collaborative, activity-based learning environment that emphasizes rhetorical awareness and citizenship, persuasive writing strategies, and engagement with public conversations that help shape the world.

Student reading aloud from a book during a FYW class
In your FYE course, you and your classmates will read texts together, finding meaning through rhetorical analysis and lively group discussions.

Placement in the FYW Program

The FYW program uses a Directed Self-Placement model to establish initial writing placement determinations. This procedure directs new students into courses that will provide an appropriate foundation for success in academic writing.

To read more about the Directed Self-Placement process, please see our FAQ page.

All WRI-100 and WRI-101 students will complete an additional diagnostic essay at the beginning of the semester to confirm the appropriateness of their placement. Initial questions about your placement into a specific WRI course should be directed to the Director of FYW.

FYW Tracks

Completion of the FYW program is a requirement for Suffolk University’s Shared Undergraduate Core Curriculum. All students at Suffolk must complete one to three courses in first-year writing, depending on initial placement. Writing tracks are determined through a Directed Self-Placement process, or, for H103, by direct invitation.

Students who begin in WRI-100 must also complete WRI-101 and WRI-102.

Students who begin in WRI-101 must also complete WRI-102.

Students invited into WRI-H103 and finish the course with a passing grade have fulfilled the entire University writing requirement.


inkling magazine cover

Each year, we proudly showcase student work in Inklings: Research and Rhetoric from the Suffolk University First-Year Writing Program. This journal contains compelling writing from students across all FYW classes.

Inklings is a celebration of excellent first-year student writing at Suffolk and a reflection of the dedicated instructors leading our writing courses.

Read the latest digital edition

FYW Courses

Our courses are designed to inspire critical reading and reflective writing practices that encourage students to ask pertinent questions, strengthen their research methods, and craft their language into clear and coherent arguments.

Affords students well-supported practice with persuasive and expository writing in the essay form through frequent writing assignments based on critical readings of class texts and discussions. Students compose a research paper and study the process of writing and revising for an academic audience.

Develops students’ analytical, composition, and research skills by teaching writing as a process in which multiple drafts are examined, edited, and revised. Establishes critical reading and reflective practices that encourage students to ask insightful questions, strengthen their research methods, understand how meanings are made in context, and craft their language into clear and coherent arguments.

Offers advanced study and practice in argumentative and research writing through further work with writing process and revision. Gives extended practice in the critical reading and synthesis of a variety of texts and perspectives. This course culminates with a substantial academic research project, including a formal research proposal, annotated bibliography, and research paper.

Offers advanced study and practice in textual analysis, writing processes, revision, and research, based on close readings of a variety of texts. This course is reserved for incoming Suffolk students with high admissions scores. Placement is by invitation only.

Transfer & AP Credits

Transfer credits for WRI courses are assessed on a case-by-case basis and may be awarded based on a variety of criteria, including coursework completed at a previous institution. Credits may also be awarded for high scores on the AP exam in English Language and Composition. Please contact Undergraduate Admissions for further information about transfer and AP credits.

Questions? Get in touch!

Erin Trauth

Erin Trauth

Instructor & Director of First-Year Writing

Email [email protected]

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