Writing 5 or Writing 2-3

Writing 5

Writing 5 focuses on the writing process, emphasizing careful analysis, thoughtful questions, and strategies for effective argument. Students taking Writing 5 are assigned to take the course either in the fall or winter; this assignment cannot be changed. Information about when a student is scheduled to take Writing 5 appears on the student's placement record in the information that is visible to the student and the student's advisor just before first-year students register for fall term.

During the normal course registration process for the upcoming term, students who are scheduled to take Writing 5 review the sections of Writing 5 offered and elect/request the section they prefer, along with their other course elections. Whether they get into the section they elected/requested is determined during the registration processing period. Students who did not get into their first choice during initial course election choose another Writing 5 class from among those with space available during the course changes period prior to the start of classes. Students enrolled in Writing 5 may use the online registration system to switch into a different section of Writing 5, as long as there is space available, during the course changes period or during the drop/add period in the first week of classes.

The details on the schedule for course election, course changes period, and add-drop period for a given term can be found on the registrar's website. Advice on switching among First-year Seminars during the course changes and add-drop period can be found on our website on our switch page.

Writing 5 class size is limited to 16 to allow for individualized attention. Enrollment above the limit is never allowed in a Writing 5 course. Open slots are first-come, first-served. No waiting lists are maintained.

See Writing 5 Course Descriptions for more information on the topics offered. The descriptions page will display the descriptions for the upcoming term shortly before registration opens to first-year students for that term.

Writing 5 does not serve in partial satisfaction of the General Education requirements such as distributive requirements or the world culture requirement.


Writing 2-3

Writing 2-3 is a two-term, two-credit course that provides more intensive guidance through the reading, writing, and research processes, including individual support from teaching assistants and a culminating research project. Students likely to benefit from more support in these areas are asked to complete an online placement process during the summer. 

Writing 2-3 is limited to 15 students per section and is taught only in fall and winter terms. Writing 2-3 is taken in place of Writing 5. Students must complete both terms of Writing 2-3 and a First-Year Seminar to fulfill the first-year writing requirement. 

See this page for more information about the online placement process for Writing 2-3, including a comparison between Writing 2-3 and Writing 5.

Writing 2-3 does not serve in partial satisfaction of the General Education requirements such as distributive requirements or the world culture requirement.