WRIT 100/101 Standard Curriculum

Writing 100/101 is designed as an introductory course to academic writing featuring genres commonly used in other academic situations such as analysis, argument, and reflection. For information on class size and conferencing requirements, please see the WRIT 100/101 Course Page. Students choose to take either Writing 100 or Writing 101 and then move into Writing 102 or Liberal Arts 102 after successful completion of either course; they are not placed into either course by test score or writing sample.

Common Reading Text Project

The first-semester, first-year writing courses—WRIT 100 and WRIT 101—use the Common Reading Text as the basis for the first major writing project. This project emphasizes the critical reading, critical thinking, analysis, research, and synthesis skills that are vital to college writing. In this assignment, students are given a prompt pertaining to the Common Reading Text and asked to compose an essay that integrates the Common Reading Text with outside sources and the student’s own ideas. First-year writing courses use the Common Reading Text as a basis for student reading and writing rather than as a literary study.


In analysis, students examine an issue or an artifact’s component parts to understand how it makes meaning. The analysis project is usually the hardest project for students because they don’t have much experience with it and have difficulty moving past summary. Analysis is roughly a three-week unit.

Areas to highlight: Many students are unaccustomed to examining individual parts of an issue or an artifact and may need guidance in breaking down the whole. Often, students struggle with identifying an analytic thesis that answers the questions how, why, and/or so what. Once students have a draft in place, the most common problems are organization and focus. It is not uncommon for a student to try to cover many different ideas. These writers need help organizing their thoughts and focusing their essays. Students sometimes struggle with providing enough specific evidence to support their analyses. These writers may need to be alerted to areas that would benefit from additional evidence.


In argument, students make a claim and support that claim with evidence. While instructors may assign for this project different types of argument, the assignment should require background information on the topic as context for the argument, a clearly-expressed main claim, evidence, integration of outside sources, and refutation of counter-arguments. Argument is roughly a three-week unit.

Areas to highlight: Students often need help narrowing a topic to a specific, debatable claim. Some students struggle to provide enough specific evidence to support their claims and need help brainstorming places to find evidence. Students often need help integrating quoted material and paraphrases into their texts as well as documenting their sources. Students may also need help considering opposing viewpoints or counterarguments and refutation.


In the multimodal assignment, students re-work or re-think an earlier project in a different mode or medium. Multimodal is roughly a two-week project.

Areas to highlight: Students often don’t recognize that a change in mode or medium requires a change in technique, so students need help in understanding how electronic, visual, or spoken text is different from print text and, thus, how to think about audience. Students may also need help with unfamiliar technology.

Reflection Blog

The reflection to blog is a personalized space for recording, organizing, and reflecting on a student’s learning. This semester-long project incorporates daily, weekly, and unit reflections, culminating in a final reflective post.

Areas to highlight: Students are generally unfamiliar with self-reflection and metacognition and need many opportunities throughout the semester to practice. Many will need help with being more specific about their learning. Students may have difficulty demonstrating their progress, or lack thereof, through examples, often resorting to more telling than showing. Students may also struggle to understand how tagging can be a mechanism to represent the larger structures of their learning.