Differences among First-year Writing Courses

First-year writing courses at Dartmouth have many common elements: They consider the relation of reading to writing; the strategies for writing complex, argumentative papers; the development and support of thesis statements; the process for conducting research; the importance of peer editing; and the value of revising papers and understanding writing conventions. All of the courses are rigorous and demanding, all of them will help students improve their writing, and all of them are staffed by experienced and committed faculty.

But there are differences among these courses:  

Writing 2-3 with Teaching Assistant Support

This course is designed to help Dartmouth writers who feel that they may be underprepared for college academic writing and may benefit from two-terms of instruction with intensive academic support. Writing 2-3 students receive this support from committed faculty and graduate student teaching assistants trained in writing pedagogy. By committing themselves to a rigorous plan of reading, writing, discussing, researching, conferring, and rewriting, students learn to craft clear, compelling academic arguments and prepare themselves for their future college writing.

  • This two-term, two-credit course allows students ample time to improve their writing and to meet with the same professor and teaching assistant for two terms.
  • The second term provides thorough instruction in the research process and requires a research paper in the winter term.
  • Students meet weekly with their teaching assistant for a 45-five-minute, one-on-one conference to discuss their writing and address particular writing and research needs.
  • Class size is limited to 15 students.

Please note: Because enrollment is limited, a preference for Writing 2-3 with TA support cannot always be honored, but students may request to be put on a wait list for the course.

Writing 2-3 with Teaching Assistant Support for International Students

This section of Writing 2-3 with TA support has all of the features of the course described immediately above, but it is exclusively for international students. Importantly, this is not an ESL grammar course. It is a course for students who might have conducted all or part of their schooling in English or who speak English fluently but have not had the opportunity to write extensively in English and desire a more gradual immersion into academic writing in the context of US higher education.

Writing 2-3: Writing Across the Disciplines

Writing Across the Disciplines, a new version of Writing 2-3, invites students into the interdisciplinary conversations that define modern academia. This course offers novel opportunities to reflect deeply on how different disciplines use language to shape ideas. In the fall term, students will join one of two 15-student sections exploring cultural and textual meaning through humanistic inquiry. In the winter term, students will transition to one of two sections focused on understanding how knowledge is produced and communicated in the social sciences. Each term involves sustained attention to the craft of writing, with special emphasis on the art of revision and the argumentative conventions that shape scholarship in each field.  Students will enjoy participating in an intentional, sustained community, or learning cohort. Throughout both terms, students will share experiences across both sections, joining together for larger events, discussing shared texts, and reading the writing of other students. In the Writing Across Disciplines cohort, students will come together to explore how disciplines shape knowledge, how writing and thinking differ across scholarly communities. 

  • A two-term, two-credit course, meeting in fall and winter terms.
  • Does not have teaching assistant support and has a different instructor for the fall and winter term portions of the course.
  • Class size is limited to 15 students.
  • Both terms of this course will focus on a shared theme but with different disciplinary approaches: humanities in the fall term, social sciences in the winter term.

* The topic for 2020-21 is SCREEN/LIFE.

Writing 5

Writing 5 introduces Dartmouth students to the writing process that characterizes intellectual work in the academy and in educated public discourse. Each section of Writing 5 organizes writing assignments around challenging readings chosen by the instructor. The texts for the class also include student writing. The course focuses primarily on the writing process, emphasizing careful analysis, thoughtful questions, and strategies of effective argument.

  • A one-term, one-credit course offered in fall or winter terms that fulfills the first-year writing requirement.  
  • Introduces students to the library and requires a research task but not necessarily a research paper.
  • Does not have teaching assistant support.
  • Writing 5 students who need extra help with writing and research can find it by scheduling an appointment with a peer tutor at Dartmouth's writing center.
  • Class size is limited to 16 students.

Writing 5 for Prospective Writing Tutors

This section shares the goals and the focuses of other sections of Writing 5. However, in directing course writing and inquiry toward the theory and practice of writing centers, this section offers students a chance to join the community of peer educators at Dartmouth's writing center. Students who complete the course in good standing may be offered a position as a Peer Tutor in the center. Permission from the instructor is required.

  • A one-term, one-credit course offered in winter term only that fulfills the first-year writing requirement.
  • Does not have teaching assistant support.
  • Class size is limited to 16 students.

Humanities 1

  • Humanities 1 is a one-term, one-credit course taught only in the fall. You'll be able to complete the first-year writing requirement in a single term and then go on to take Humanities 2 or a First-year Seminar in winter term.
  • Humanities 1 students who need extra help with writing and research can find it by scheduling an appointment with a peer tutor at Dartmouth's writing center.
  • Humanities 1 has its own thematic focus. For more information see: https://www.dartmouth.edu/hums1-2/