What can you expect of your students?
Many instructors wonder what capabilities their students will bring with them to the Writing 2-3 classroom. Writing 2-3 has an especially diverse population who bring with them an array of writing abilities and writing challenges.
2-3 students are bright students who, for one reason or another, find that they are under-prepared for the writing that they will have to do at Dartmouth. Some 2-3 students are more interested in math or science than they are in writing and come to the course feeling that writing is something they're "just not good at." Still others come from high schools with weak writing programs. Some have little experience writing academic papers; some have never done research. Some are multilingual students who feel that they can't comfortably express their complex ideas in English. Others rely on simple structures—like the five-paragraph theme—that won't be sufficient for success at Dartmouth. Several can express themselves very well in narratives or informal writing but are daunted by the demands of academic prose.
It's also worth noting that the Writing 2-3 population is typically three to four times more diverse than the typical Dartmouth classroom. While this diversity makes for an especially rewarding classroom experience, it also creates challenges for the instructor, who needs to take difference into account. In Writing 2-3, you will be challenged to find a way to teach students the practices of the academy while respecting the values and experiences that they bring with them.
Finally, because every student who takes Writing 2-3 has elected to do so, you can expect that your students will be committed to the work of the course. By and large, 2-3 students are "game": they are willing to work hard, and they are eager to see improvement in their writing. And they do improve - some quite remarkably. Indeed, Writing 2-3 counts among its alums a Valedictorian, a Salutatorian, Phi Beta Kappas, and Presidential Scholars. Expect that your students can meet the rigorous challenges you place before them.