The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Writing At UMass

The UMass Amherst Writing Program pursues excellence in writing education. Our award-winning program teaches student writers to find agency, take risks, grapple with complicated ideas, and discover new ones. Our courses empower students to practice writing in a variety of media and contexts; examine the intersections of writing, language, and power; and learn the rhetorical flexibility needed for their academic, professional, and personal lives. Since 1982, we have been an independent academic unit serving the entire campus community and remain a key part of undergraduate general education here at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

We carry out this mission by

The University of Massachusetts Amherst requires two writing courses of all undergraduates: College Writing, which is an introductory course to general academic writing, and Junior Year Writing, which is an advanced course in the student’s major, focused on the writing of that field and taught by faculty in that discipline.

First Year Writing

Writing, Power, and Identity (ENGLWRIT 111) 

Writing, Power, and Identity is an intensive reading and writing course designed for students who need additional preparation before taking College Writing.

College Writing (ENGLWRIT 112)

All undergraduates must complete or exempt from College Writing, a rhetorically oriented, process-based expository writing course, as part of their bachelor’s degree program.

College Writing Teaching Resources 

College Writing Instructor Handbook

Junior Year Writing

Junior Year Writing is an advanced, discipline-specific writing course for all undergraduates. Students study the writing particular to their areas of study in classes such as “Writing in Chemistry” or “Sport Management Communication,” gaining fluency in the writing they will use in further study and in the workplace.

Students must complete College Writing before they can register for a Junior Year Writing course.