Writing is an essential skill for all students in a liberal arts degree program and is a fundamental learning tool used by many of our faculty in all majors. First-year writing courses are your introduction to college-level writing and have been designed to help you be successful at writing under the One Course At A Time schedule.

Cornell offers several different first-year writing courses, which are offered in a variety of disciplines. Although the fields of study and types of writing differ from course to course, all of these courses use writing as a way of discovering new connections between ideas and using those connections in formulating coherent and compelling arguments. Because first-year writing courses are the foundation to successful college writing, all entering degree candidates are required to complete a writing course by the end of their first year.

First-year writing courses emphasize the importance of the writing process through a variety of activities. In addition to working with your professor on assignments, you might also meet with a writing consultant, participate in peer-review workshops, or consult a librarian to locate and incorporate research. First-year writing courses also strongly emphasize reading, which helps you to recognize the elements of effective writing as well as to comprehend sophisticated presentations of complex ideas. All of these activities provide you with a strong foundation for developing high levels of literacy, which is an essential characteristic of the liberal arts curriculum at Cornell College.