First-Year Writing Program

The First-Year Writing Program at Ohio State University consists of the courses English 1110.01, English 1110.02 and English 1110.03. All three of these courses fulfill the university’s first General Education Writing and Related Skills requirement, though each is structured slightly differently to respond to the needs of a range of students.

English 1110.01 is the most commonly offered version of the course. It is a course in analytical thinking and writing that asks students to compose a range of scaffolded writing assignments leading to a longer researched essay. That essay will demonstrate students’ capabilities of developing a compelling idea, using outside resources effectively and appropriately and honoring conventions of academic writing. In addition, students compose a multimodal presentation that grows from their research and engages a public—rather than an academic—audience.

English 1110.02 fulfills the same expectations as 1110.01, but the focus of the students’ reading and analysis is literary. Students will read and respond to poetry, short fiction, memoir, creative non-fiction, graphic fiction and other genres as a means of developing their own ideas in academic writing and presentation.

English 1110.03 is available by placement only. Its curriculum matches that of 1110.01, but the class features smaller enrollment, an experienced instructor, and additional support outside of class.

The goals of the FYWP align with those of the State of Ohio Department of Higher Education’s guidelines for the Ohio Transfer Module:

1. Rhetorical Knowledge

Throughout the first course, students should practice reading and writing in several genres. By the end of their first writing course, students should

  • Understand how genre conventions shaped the texts they read and should shape the texts they compose
  • Understand the possibilities of electronic media/technologies for composing and publishing texts for a variety of audiences
  • Compose texts that
    • Have a clear purpose
    • Respond to the needs of intended audiences
    • Assume an appropriate stance
    • Adopt an appropriate voice, tone, style, and level of formaiity
    • Use appropriate conventions of format and structure

2. Critical Thinking, Reading, and Writing

By the end of their first writing course, students should be able to

  • Use reading and writing for inquiry, learning, thinking and communicating
  • Locate and evaluate secondary research materials, including visual texts such as photographs, videos, or other materials
  • Analyze relationships among writer, text, and audience in various kinds of texts
  • Use various critical thinking strategies to analyze texts

3. Knowledge of Composing Processes

By the end of their first writing course, students should be able to

  • Recognize that writing is a flexible, recursive process that typically involves a series of activities, including generating ideas and text, drafting, revising and editing
  • Understand that writing is often collaborative and social. To demonstrate that understanding, students should be able to
    • Work with others to improve their own and others’ texts
    • Balance the advantages of relying on others with taking responsibility for their own work
    • Apply this understanding and recognition to produce successive drafts of increasing quality

Use electronic environments to support writing tasks such as drafting, reviewing, revising, editing and sharing texts.

4. Knowledge of Conventions

By the end of the first writing course, students should be able to

  • Recognize genre conventions for structure, paragraphing, tone and mechanics employed in a variety of popular forms
  • Learn to control syntax, grammar, punctuation and spelling through practice in composing and revising
  • Select and employ appropriate conventions for structure, paragraphing, mechanics and format in their own writing
  • Acknowledge the work of others when appropriate
  • Use standard documentation format as needed

5. Minimal Course Requirements

By the end of their first writing course, students will have written

  • A variety of texts with opportunities for response and revision
  • A minimum of 5000 total words of formal, edited text
  • Frequent “low stakes” assignments, such as journals, reading responses and in-class efforts

Program Assessment

In the summer of 2018, the FYWP completed a program assessment process initiated by the Arts and Sciences Curriculum Committee. The report of that assessment and accompanying documentation can be found here:

PDF icon 2018 Assessment Report for English 1110.pdf

The First-Year Writing Program leadership team in 2018-19:

Edgar Singleton, PhD, Director (
Bonnie Opliger, Graduate Student Writing Program Administrator (
Cristina Rivera, Graduate Student Writing Program Administrator (