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First-Year Writing

What is First Year Writing?

Western Oregon University recognizes the key role that writing plays in your success, both in college and your future career. To promote your long-term development, WOU is a writing-intensive campus, which means that you will be writing in most of your classes. With this in mind, we view your time in WR 115 and WR 122 as just a beginning: our instructors will help you to develop writerly habits of mind, which will support you as you tackle a range of writing assignments you will be given in your major and minor.

NOTE: You must complete WR 122 (or its transfer equivalent) within your first two years at WOU and prior to enrolling in upper-division writing-intensive courses.

What Can I Expect to Learn in WR 115

WR 115 will introduce you to a variety of writing strategies with emphasis on critical reading and thinking. This course prepares you for the LACC writing requirement, WR 122.

What Can I Expect to Learn in WR 122?

WR 122 is an intensive writing course that focuses on critical analysis, argumentation, and documentation. This course meets the LACC writing requirement when passed with a grade of C- or better.

How is my placement into a First Year Writing Course Determined?





Phi Kappa Phi First-Year Writing Award

For First Year Writing Instructors

  • Common FYW Syllabus Components
  • Signature Assignment
  • General Education Assessment

FYW Program Student Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to

1. assert and defend a thesis that argues a position in response to a task or for a purpose, while anticipating counterclaims;

2. integrate relevant evidence for the audience, context, and purpose, including reliable documented sources;

3. use syntactically fluent and lexically appropriate language that adheres to the conventions of Standard Written English to develop and support ideas; and

4. reflect and document procedural knowledge gained in the area of writing strategies that minimize challenges and maximize strengths (e.g., invention, organization, revision strategies, language decisions).

Trait Based Rubric

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“While enrolled in my writing class, I gained a lot of confidence in myself as a writer. I discovered my ability to express my thoughts and claims in a more effective, scholarly fashion.” ~Hailey, Community Health Major
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“Let’s enter the writing classroom with compassionate, empathic, and open hearts. Our students come from many different places, cultures, and experiences, and it is our privilege to be among them.” ~NTT Professor Matt Haas