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John S. Knight Institute for Writing in the Disciplines

The John S. Knight Institute for Writing in the Disciplines at Cornell University supports writing seminars and writing intensive courses in a broad spectrum of academic disciplines and at all levels of undergraduate education; it also engages in a variety of outreach activities. Through advances in a changing field, it has maintained its reputation as the premier writing program in the country, seeding the idea of teaching writing across disciplines by teaching future professors in every field, from Chemistry to Comparative Literature, Classics to Mathematics, Biology to Development Sociology, Engineering and Ecology, how to teach good writing to their students.

The Knight Institute coordinates the First-Year Writing Seminar Program, which serves the vast majority of first-year students at Cornell. It also has developed advanced-writing initiatives: it coordinates Writing in the Majors, an upper-level program, and supports courses on expository writing. The Knight Institute is also home to the Writing Workshop, which offers tutorial writing classes and tutoring services. In all, more than thirty-five academic departments and programs offer courses associated with the Knight Institute's programs.

We know of no writing program that exceeds Cornell's in the richness and diversity of its course offerings. The strength of the John S. Knight Institute for Writing in the Disciplines was recognized in September 2000 by the Time/Princeton Review when it designated Cornell the Private Research University "College of the Year" on the basis of its writing-in-the-disciplines approach. Support for the John S. Knight Institute for Writing in the Disciplines goes toward these renowned initiatives, including the Cornell Writing Centers, the Graduate Writing Center, the Writing in the Majors program, writing outreach, and prizes recognizing both student and instructor excellence.

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FWS Classroom Instructor & Students

FWS Enrollment

Students should aim to satisfy their First-Year Writing Seminar (FWS) requirement during their first year. Enrollment for FWSs is open only to freshmen, sophomores, and first-semester transfer students; juniors and seniors are not eligible to enroll in First-Year Writing Seminars. Click here for more information on FWS enrollment.