All students, regardless of their writing abilities when they enter Brown, benefit from taking one or more intensive writing classes. These courses invariably improve students’ confidence when approaching writing assignments in other courses, and they frequently result in higher course grades. All students are expected to consider which writing courses will best address their academic goals and professional aspirations. First-year students are especially encouraged to consider enrolling in one or more of the writing courses described below.
English Department Courses
Brown’s English Department offers a number of intensive writing courses designed to help students master the skills needed for University-level writing. Many first-year students benefit from enrolling in a section of English 110, in which students learn the fundamentals of a variety of essay styles, or English 130, which focuses on the research essay. Sections of both courses are limited to 17 students, and both courses are graded S/NC. Other courses focus on journalistic writing (English 160) and creative nonfiction (English 180).
Writing-designated, or WRIT, courses provide students with substantive feedback about their writing and opportunities to apply that feedback on the same assignment or when completing writing assignments later in the course. WRIT courses must have at least two written assignments. Offered in nearly all departments, WRIT courses for a particular semester may be viewed in the Banner Course Search by selecting "Writing-Designated Courses" in the Curriculum Program section.
Faculty who wish to add the WRIT designation to their courses can:
- modify the course via the course proposal system, checking the "writing-designated" box in the curricular programs section and uploading a recent syllabus; OR
- email a request to the Associate Dean for the Curriculum with a recent syllabus attached.
Students may not make requests to add the WRIT designation to particular courses.
Writing Fellows Courses
Brown's Writing Fellows program trains undergraduate students to work intensively with peers in select classes to help improve student writing. Writing Fellows read drafts of student papers and meet in individual conferences with students to discuss their drafts. Students then revise their work and submit both versions (the original with the fellow’s comments and the revision) to their course instructor. When grading papers, professors in Writing Fellows courses consider both the drafting and revision process as well as the final paper.