First Year Writing Program

Program at a Glance

  • Courses per year (2017–18): 122
  • Students enrolled (2017–18): 2982
  • Instructors (2017–18): 43
  • Number of students per section: 25 (max)

Who We Are

In EMU’s First Year Writing Program (FYWP), we support undergraduate students in becoming more confident, capable college-level writers and researchers for communities in and beyond our university campus. We prioritize equitable education for all students and quality instruction grounded in contemporary writing research and rhetorical concepts.

EMU’s award-winning First Year Writing Program was recognized by the Conference on College Composition and Communication with the Writing Program Certificate of Excellence in 20052006.

  • Celebration of Student Writing

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    At a Glance:

    The Celebration of Student Writing is the cornerstone of the FYWP's curriculum, providing students with an opportunity to share their work with the larger university community. 

  • Credit for WRTG 121

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    All EMU students must satisfy the requirement of WRTG 121 as part of EMU’s General Education Program: Area I: Effective Communication. We encourage all students to take WRTG 121 in EMU’s First Year Writing Program in order to practice and improve upon introductory academic research methods and research-based writing at the college level.

    To receive a waiver:

    You may receive credit for WRTG 121 if you have an ACT English score of 29 or higher, or an SAT Reading and Writing score of 670 or higher. To be waived from WRTG 121 based on a test score, you should talk with an academic advisor.

    To receive transfer credit:

    You may also receive credit for WRTG 121 if you have taken a university-approved equivalent course at another college or university. We recommend beginning this process by talking with an academic advisor. Online, you can find a list of pre-approved courses (and their equivalent EMU courses) from specific institutions as well as additional information on transfer credit policies at EMU. If your previous college or university is not on the list, then we do not have a transfer articulation agreement with that institution, and you must submit a portfolio to the First Year Writing Program (in the Department of English Language & Literature) in order to request credit for WRTG 121.

    To submit a writing portfolio:

    You may be eligible to receive credit for WRTG 121 if you have taken a research-based writing course at another college or university (even if EMU does not have a transfer agreement with that institution) by submitting a writing portfolio based on the writing you did for that course. The portfolio must include at least three components:

    • A written reflection of how your writing in the course fulfills the EMU First Year Writing Program general education-approved outcomes for WRTG 121.
    • Your student information as well as general information about the course
    • A minimum of two samples of your research-based writing from that course.


    Complete portfolios can be submitted via email, and you can find full details on the WRTG 121 Equivalency Credit Portfolio Process here.

Our Statements

  •  Linguistic Diversity

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    Drawing on the Students’ Right to Their Own Language statement adopted by the Conference on College Composition, the FYWP at EMU affirms the linguistic practices that students bring with them to our classrooms:

    We affirm the students' right to their own patterns and varieties of language -- the dialects of their nurture or whatever dialects in which they find their own identity and style. The claim that any one dialect is unacceptable amounts to an attempt of one social group to exert its dominance over another. Such a claim leads to false advice for speakers and writers. A nation proud of its diverse heritage and its cultural and racial variety will preserve its heritage of dialects. We affirm strongly that teachers must have the experiences and training that will enable them to respect diversity and uphold the right of students to their own language. (CCCC)

    Thus, rather than focusing on 'correctness' in academic writing, our program focuses on making informed, effective, and ethical choices in all communicative interactions through the study and practice of rhetoric. 

  •  Anti-Racism

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    Excerpted from the Department of English Language and Literature:

    The Department of English Language and Literature stands in solidarity with Black Lives Matter in condemning the long history of Black people being brutalized, terrorized, and killed in our country. We are committed to combating white supremacy and racism in all its forms wherever we find it. Too often, we find it right here on our own campus.

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