FWS Balloting Begins January 15

By: JSKI Staff, 
Tue, 01/05/2021

FWS Balloting RESTORED for Spring 2021!

For decades before Fall 2020, First-Year Writing Seminars enrolled separately from other courses, through a ballot system rather than "open" enrollment.  In Fall 2020, the centralized overhaul of scheduling and enrollment under pandemic conditions caused the elimination of the FWS ballot.  But we are restoring the ballot for Spring 2021 enrollment.

  • The ballot for First-Year Writing Seminar enrollments for Spring 2021 will take place from 8am on January 15th-11:59pm on January 21, 2021.
  • A tentative list of First-Year Writing Seminar courses for Spring 2021 can be viewed here.  Please note there could be changes in currently scheduled seminars prior to balloting.
  • Students should aim to satisfy their First-Year Writing Seminar 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.
  • Transfer students: English 2880-2890, a cluster of writing courses for sophomores, juniors, and seniors, may fulfill a First-Year Writing Seminar requirement for those who need it. Students enroll for these sections through Student Center.

If you have any questions about balloting or FWS enrollment, Tracy Hamler Carrick, Writing Workshop Director:

FWS Writing Consultation

Not sure about your academic writing? We want you to feel confident about the FWS you choose!

Some students have questions about if and how the First-Year Writing Seminars they considering will suit their learning styles and academic needs and expectations. In the early days of the semester, the Knight Institute's Writing Workshop offers a FWS Writing Consultation to provide students opportunity to learn how their writing skills align with the expectations of the FWS Program.

Not all students need to accept the invitation to participate in the FWS Writing Consultation; students should first think carefully about their experiences with and attitudes toward writing. If they have not had much formal writing instruction in high school, are unfamiliar with academic or research-based writing, have never studied in the US or at an English-medium institution, or feel a general lack of confidence about writing, students should definitely consider participating in this unique opportunity to talk with an experienced writing instructor. Students who struggled in a previous FWS should consider participating in the FWS Writing Consulttation by submitting the last essay they wrote in their previous FWS.

For most students who opt to participate, the writing consultation simply confirms that they will be comfortably challenged by the writing and learning opportunities presented in any First-Year Writing Seminar. 

For other students, the writing consultation will make available an alternate route FWS, one that provides a more intensive and individualized learning environment. At the writing consultation, students may be offered the opportunity to transfer into a FWS titled WRIT 1370/80: Elements of Academic Writing. WRIT 1370/80 is the same as any other FWS in all but a few ways: class sizes are smaller (enrollment is limited to 12 students), students attend weekly one-on-one writing conferences with instructors, and courses tend to have shorter required reading lists.

If you have any questions about this process, please contact Jennifer Janke at jld296@cornell.edu.

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