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Writing, Power, and Identity FAQ

Does Writing, Identity, and Power fulfill the General Education writing requirement?

No. The only course that fulfills the CW writing requirement is College Writing (Englwrit 112). Writing, Power, and Identity fulfills the I (Interdisclinary) and DU (United States Diversity) General Education requrements.

I took the Writing Placement Exam awhile ago, and I placed into Writing, Identity, and Power. Am I still required to take that class before I take College Writing?

If you wrote an essay for the Writing Placement Exam and placed into Writing, Identity, and Power, you should email writingplacement@umass.edu. You should take the new Writing Placement questionnaire to see which course is the best fit for you. (Good news: the new placement questionnaire is much shorter than the old one, and you don't have to write an essay!)

Can I take Writing, Identity, and Power and still be in Commonwealth Honors College or a RAP?

Students in RAPs and Commonwealth Honors College do take Writing, Power, and Identity. Contact your advisor if you have questions.

I’m not confident of my English skills. Is Writing, Identity, and Power the right course for me?

Writing, Identity, and Power can help you practice the kinds of reading and writing you’ll do in College Writing and at UMass Amherst more generally. Through the course, you’ll learn about the writing process, and you’ll have opportunities to reflect upon your strengths as a writer and to identify areas where you’d like to improve. You can expect to do a lot of reading and writing in the course, but there will also be time in class to discuss readings and to work on your writing.

If you are learning the English language, you might consider taking a course through the English as a Second Language (ESL) Program. The ESL Program offers for-credit courses in academic writing, speaking, grammar, and vocabulary. Some students find it helpful to take an ESL course before they take Writing, Power, and Identity, and some students enroll in an ESL course while they take Writing, Power, and Identity or College Writing. You can contact the ESL Program at esl@umass.edu for more information.

I already took College Writing, but I still want to work on my writing. Can I take Writing, Identity, and Power? 

Yes, but you should talk to your advisor first and see if other writing intensive courses (including your Junior Year Writing course) fit your schedule. Writing, Identity, and Power is primarily designed for first-year students who haven’t taken College Writing yet. If you enjoyed the main activities in College Writing (drafting, revising, peer response, etc.) and you’re interested in the course topic, you’re welcome to take Writing, Identity, and Power. You may also want to keep in mind that Writing, Identity, and Power is four credits, and students who take the class with the main goal of boosting their GPA often find that it is more work than they expected.