Differences among First-Year Writing Courses

All first-year writing courses at Dartmouth share 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 academic writing conventions. These 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

This course is designed to help Dartmouth writers who feel that they may be underprepared for college academic writing and who 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 take First-Year Seminar in spring term, following completion of Writing 2-3.
  • Students meet weekly with their teaching assistant for a 45-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 cannot always be honored, but students may request to be put on a wait list for the course.

Writing 2-3 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 5

Writing 5 introduces Dartmouth students to critical writing  and treats writing not primarily as an instrument for  communication but as a practice, a practice of thinking, by means of which ideas are discovered, examined, compared,  evaluated, refined, and promoted. Each section of Writing 5 organizes its writing assignments around challenging readings chosen by the instructor. The texts for the class also include student writing.

  • A one-term, one-credit course offered in Fall or Winter terms that fulfills the first-year writing requirement.
  • Students take First-Year Seminar in the term following completion of Writing 5.
  • 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.

Humanities 1

  • Humanities 1 is a one-term, one-credit course taught only in the fall that fulfills the first-year writing requirement.
  • Students take Humanities 2 or a First-year Seminar in winter term to fulfill the first-year seminar requirement.
  • Does not have teaching assistant support.
  • 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.
  • Class size is limited to 16 students per section.
  • Humanities 1 has its own thematic focus. For more information see: https://www.dartmouth.edu/hums1-2/