First-Year Writing Seminars
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About First-Year Writing Seminars
For first-year students, the Knight Institute offers First-Year Writing Seminars (FWS) in one of the country's largest and most diverse programs in writing in the disciplines: each semester, over 100 different courses are taught in more than 30 departments and programs located in the humanities, social sciences, expressive arts, and sciences. Through introductory work in each seminar's particular field of study, students learn to write in a range of genres and in ways that emphasize clarity, coherence, intellectual force, and stylistic control. Our Spotlight FWS Work webpage highlights some of the exciting projects students are doing in FWSs, as does our student publication Discoveries.
Incoming First-year students will pre-enroll for a First-Year Writing Seminar beginning at 9:00 AM on July 19 and ending at 4:30pm on July 22. Any further changes must await the Add-Drop period for first-Year Writing Seminars, which begins for sophomores and freshmen prior to the beginning of classes in August 19. Please visit the website of the Office of the University Registrar, or consult with your college’s Advising/Student Services office, for official information and dates regarding the enrollment process.
Many seminars are likely to fill to capacity very quickly after incoming freshmen pre-enrollment opens on July 19. Students may enroll only in a seminar with open spots in it. No student can be registered for more than one FWS at a time. Please do not contact FWS instructors, who have no control over the enrollment process; there are no waiting lists, and you will not be allowed to “sit in” on any seminar if you are not on the roster. No registrar can enroll you in a FWS. All FWS enrollment takes place electronically only, via Student Center.
Follow these links for more information on Fall2022 First-Year Writing Seminars:
- Fa22 First-Year Writing Seminar Brochure PDF (subject to change)
- Fa22 First-Year Writing Seminar SEARCHABLE Brochure (subject to change)
Students should aim to satisfy their First-Year Writing Seminar requirement during their first year. FWSs are open only to freshmen, sophomores, and first-semester transfer students.
Juniors and seniors are not eligible to enroll in First-Year Writing Seminars. Those who have not fulfilled their college's writing requirement during their first four semesters at Cornell must seek either transfer credit from another institution or an appropriate course substitution with a Cornell course such as ENGL 2880/2890, "Expository Writing", that could be applied only toward the FWS requirement. If used to meet the FWS requirement it cannot simultaneously count towards an A&S distribution requirement. Online writing courses will not be eligible for FWS credit.