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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 provides academic writing support for undergraduate and graduate students, as well as speaking support to international and multilingual graduate and professional students across all Cornell schools and colleges.

The program administers first-year writing seminars and offers tutorial-based writing courses, seminars in the teaching of writing, and writing and speaking courses for international graduate and professional students. The program also supports upper-level courses across the university.

In addition to courses, the Knight Institute provides tutoring services, writing workshops, a conversational English program, and curricular support for faculty who teach writing in designated writing courses or in courses across the curriculum that integrate writing with learning.

This images shows students working in a group in class..

English Language Support Office

ELSO's mission is to offer writing and speaking support to multilingual and international graduate and professional students that meets the needs of students in diverse programs, from diverse linguistic backgrounds, and at diverse points in their graduate careers.

We understand that multilingual and international graduate students arrive at Cornell with years of English language education, writing and speaking experience, and experience navigating diverse rhetorical situations. 

Our goals are to build on and add to this wealth of knowledge, empowering multilingual and international graduate and professional students to be successful with the many writing and speaking tasks of graduate school and professional life. 

Knight Spotlight Series

In the Knight Spotlight Series, we recognize and celebrate the good work and achievements of the talented members of our far-reaching community. Meet some of our tutors and faculty, and learn more about featured First-Year Writing Seminars and 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.


KNIGHTLYnews | #teachlikeabear

KNIGHTLYnews: Notes from the FWS Classroom is an online forum for FWS instructors and other teachers of writing to swap and share ideas for best classroom practice.

Weekly posts are designed to help teachers develop lesson plans and writing assignments, and respond to classroom challenges by introducing new teaching tools and sharing emerging pedagogical ideas. Posts also direct readers to program and campus resources that support teaching and learning, and provide opportunities for peer collaboration and mentorship.