The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Writing, Identity, and Power

Writing, Identity, and Power (ENGLWRIT 111; formerly called Basic Writing) is an intensive reading and writing course designed for students who need additional preparation before taking College Writing. This four-credit course is a part of General Education at University of Massachusetts Amherst, carrying Interdisciplinary (I) and Diversity: United States (DU) designations, and it is overseen by the University Writing Committee, which reviews first-year writing at the University every five years.

Every Englwrit 111 course at UMass shares the following objectives for students:

  • To explore different disciplinary perspectives on writing, language, and literacy;
  • To understand that writing is socially and culturally situated, and that the ways in which writing practices are valued are tied to larger systems of power and privilege;
  • To become familiar with practices used in process-oriented writing courses at UMass Amherst (drafting, revision, copyediting, peer response, etc.);
  • To experiment with practices used in different academic disciplines, such as close reading and forms of qualitative research;
  • To practice respectful and ethical ways of engaging with others’ ideas, working with both peers’ and published authors’ writing;
  • To develop a line of intellectual inquiry through reading, writing, and original research;
  • To produce polished pieces that take into account conventions of grammar and style as well as the affordances of different modes of communication; and
  • To become familiar with composing technologies (word processing, digital publication, etc.) available to UMass Amherst students.

This course uses Open Educational Resources and/or library content.

For assistance enrolling in Writing, Identity, and Power, contact, and for questions about placement, contact For more information about this course, please contact Anne Bello, Deputy Director of the Writing Program.