First-Year Writing Program

Welcome to Suffolk’s First-Year Writing Program! Our curriculum supports your development of the reading, research, and rhetorical proficiencies needed in college and beyond.

Each course in the FYWP emphasizes a process-based approach in which drafting, peer review, and revision are built into the curriculum. Our classes introduce academic assignment genres and research practices to familiarize you with conventions transferable across all majors in the University.

FYWP courses are limited to 19 students or fewer and encourage the development of a writing community. You and your classmates will read texts together, finding meaning through rhetorical analysis. The critical skills that you apply to reading and research will then inform the feedback that you provide to classmates in peer review. Your own writing process is closely supported by many different forms of individualized attention from faculty, such as one-on-one conferences, draft feedback, or weekly tutorials.

Each course in the FYWP is shaped around a common assignment sequence and taught by faculty with advanced degrees in a variety of writing-intensive fields. Suffolk’s writing placement procedure directs new students into courses that will provide an appropriate foundation for success in academic writing. When you receive permission to register for classes, you will be notified of the WRI course number you are eligible to register for in the first semester.

Our Mission

Suffolk University’s First-Year Writing Program develops students’ composition and research skills by teaching writing as a process in which multiple drafts are examined, edited, and revised. Small class sizes and activity-based instruction foster a collaborative learning environment that supports engagement in this process.

Our course sequence is designed to inspire critical reading and reflective practices that encourage students to ask pertinent questions, strengthen their research methods, and craft their language into clear and coherent arguments. WRI courses emphasize the foundational rhetorical skills, audience and genre awareness, and information literacies that shape 21st-century student writers’ choices in multiple academic, professional, and civic settings.

Placement in the Writing Program

The First-Year Writing Program collaborates with the Undergraduate Admissions Office to make initial writing placement determinations, which are based on admissions scores and other criteria. All WRI-100+, WRI-100, and WRI-101 students will complete an additional diagnostic essay at the beginning of the semester to assess the appropriateness of their placement. Initial questions about your placement into a specific WRI course should be directed to the Undergraduate Admissions Office.

Writing Tracks

Students may complete the University’s writing requirement through a variety of tracks based on their initial placement and progress through the sequence.

Learn more about our Undergraduate Degree Requirements.

Three Course Track

Students who place into and complete either WRI-100+ or WRI-100 must also complete WRI-101 and WRI-102.

Two Course Track

Students who place into and complete WRI-101 must also complete WRI-102.

One Course Track

As of Fall 2019, students who are invited into WRI-H103 and finish the course with a passing grade have fulfilled the entire University writing requirement.

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.

Placement Questions

Further questions about individual WRI courses, scheduling, and WRI requirements should be directed to the Undergraduate Academic Advising Center and the Registrar’s Office. Students and advisors with unresolved queries about writing placement may also contact Dr. Pamela Saunders, Director of the First Year Writing Program.

First-Year Writing Faculty

Please visit the English Department webpage for a current list of all full-time and part-time First-Year Writing Program faculty.