First-Year Writing Seminar

WR 120, First-Year Writing Seminar, will help you cultivate skills and habits of mind essential to your academic success and to your future personal, professional, and civic life. Writing is a way not only to express what you have to say but also to discover and evaluate it. You will write a great deal at BU and beyond, and each occasion will present you with a range of questions: Who is my audience, and what kind of writing does the occasion call for? How should I structure my writing to engage, inform, persuade, and perhaps even entertain an audience? How can I judge sources wisely and use them effectively and responsibly? How can I clearly express my ideas? In this class we will review general principles about how to address such questions, and we will put those principles into practice as we read, talk, and write about our topic.

Course Objectives

You will receive one Hub unit for this class: First-Year Writing Seminar.

You will develop your abilities to

• read a range of genres with understanding, appreciation, and critical judgment;
• express yourself orally and converse thoughtfully about complex ideas;
• craft responsible, considered, and well-structured written arguments;
• produce clear, coherent prose in a range of genres and styles, using different media and modes of expression as appropriate;
• plan, draft, and revise efficiently and effectively, and help your peers do the same by responding productively to their work;
• reflect on your own reading, writing, and editing practices.

Instructional Format, Course Pedagogy, and Approach to Learning

Although they differ with regard to their subject content, all WR seminars share common goals and lead you through a sequence of assignments that emphasize a process of planning, drafting, and revising informed by feedback from your classmates and instructor. You will reflect on your approach to this process so that you can adapt it to future occasions. The seminar will also give you opportunities to engage in focused scholarly inquiry and conversation.

In WR 120 you will craft a series of writing assignments in multiple genres, entering into an intellectual conversation on the topic of the course. You will learn about the process of writing, from understanding and analyzing sources to organizing your ideas, responding effectively and responsibly to the ideas of others, and revising your writing for clarity and impact. You will participate in workshops and other activities designed to help you make informed rhetorical choices and communicate with an awareness of your audience.

Notes for English Language Learners (ELL)

Though multilingual or ELL students may take any section of WR 120, some sections of WR 120 are designated WR 120 ELL. All sections of WR 120 use the same assignment sequence and carry 4 credits and a First-Year Writing Seminar Hub unit, but WR 120 ELL is specifically designed for students who identify as multilingual and/or English language learners. WR 120 ELL instructors help students critically analyze the linguistic and cultural aspects of college writing while exploring their course topic in a supportive environment with other multilingual students. After completing WR 120 ELL, students may go straight to any of the WR 15x classes.