Writing in the First-Year Seminar

A required course for entering students, First-Year Seminars feature a strong writing emphasis. Taught by faculty across the curriculum, the seminars focus on compelling topics arising from the disciplines as they seek to initiate students into the "community of inquiry."

In regard to writing, students in First-Year Seminars are challenged to meet five main learning goals:

  • Craft a clear and compelling thesis
  • Shape a logical argument that balances general statements, concrete details, and specific examples
  • Critically analyze an issue in a way that offers insight into how the parts contribute to the whole
  • Anticipate and satisfy an audience's need for information
  • Produce clear, concise, and error-free prose.

The Writing Program sponsors the First-Year Seminar Excellence in Writing Awards, which seek to celebrate and reward with a monetary prize the best First-Year Seminar essays.