The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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College Writing

College Writing (ENGLWRIT 112) is a 3-credit, college-level course designed to give students practice in meeting the literacy demands of their academic, professional, civic, and personal lives. It is the only course at University of Massachusetts Amherst that satisfies the University’s first-year writing requirement. 

The goal of College Writing is to help students develop their abilities to write—not only for their classes here at UMass Amherst but also for broader personal, civic, and professional purposes. College Writing is based on the assumption that students are already writers and that writing is an activity that is tied to its social context. College Writing is a key part of General Education at UMass Amherst and is overseen by the University Writing Committee, which reviews first-year writing at the university every five years.

Every College Writing course at UMass Amherst shares the following objectives:

By writing, reading, and engaging in discussion in this course, you’ll improve your ability to: 

  • write for a variety of purposes, audiences, and contexts;
  • identify (and even play with) audience expectations and textual conventions;
  • use the writing process, esp. peer review and revision, to re-see and extend your thinking—thus writing essays in which your thinking evolves rather than essays that defend pre-formed positions;
  • develop your ideas through critical thinking, including analysis and synthesis;
  • effectively and critically find, use, and cite diverse sources of information;
  • copy-edit at every level (sentence, paragraph, essay) by considering conventional usage alongside your purpose; and
  • develop effective writing processes and strategies to apply beyond the course

Course texts for all College Writing classes are available for purchase on Amazon. They include:

  • Hoang, Haivan V., et al., eds. Opening Conversations: A Writer’s Reader. Hayden-McNeil Publishing, 2015. | ISBN (print): 9780738080215 | ISBN (ebook):
  • Lunsford, Andrea A. EasyWriter. 7e ed. Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2019. ISBN (print):
    978-1319361440 | ISBN (ebook): 9781319370381 | Edition: 7e
  • UMass Writing Program.The Student Writing Anthology, 2017-18. Plymouth, MI: Hayden-McNeil Publishing, 2017. | ISBN: 9780738093284