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Students at UIC are required to take a two-semester series of first-year-writing courses, English 160 and English 161. Participation in a preparatory course is required for students whose placement tests indicate they would benefit from additional, focused writing practice before taking English 160.

For more information about each course, see the brief descriptions below or click on a course title to see the full course framework. For current course offerings, visit the First-Year Writing Program's course offerings page.

English 160 (Academic Writing I)

The first required course, English 160 emphasizes that the situation and context for producing a piece of writing helps the writer decide the form a piece of writing will take—whether to write, for instance, an essay, a letter, a report, or a proposal. The class requires four multiple-draft writing projects to allow time for and instruction on the writing and revising process.

English 161 (Academic Writing II)

The second required course, English 161 asks students to explore a topic in some depth and conduct independent research related to that topic. Conducting research allows students to learn what it is like to participate in academic culture, posing questions about important issues and developing an argument in response to what others have said. Often sections of English 161 focus on local concerns such as the arts in Chicago, multiculturalism, public policy, and urban issues, but the topics can vary a great deal.

English 071 (Introduction to Academic Writing)

This preparatory class for native speakers of English emphasizes academic reading and writing with a focus on argument, sentence-level issues, and rhetorical effectiveness. The content of English 071 is similar to that of English 160, though English 071 is topic-driven and includes additional work on argument, grammar, sentence-level choices, critical reading skills, and rhetorical effectiveness. This class also requires three multiple-draft writing projects, allowing more time for the writing and revising process for each paper.

English 070 (Introduction to Academic Writing for Non-Native Speakers of English)

This preparatory class for non-native speakers of English emphasizes the second-language writing challenges presented by syntax (structure), semantics (meaning), and pragmatics (use). The content of English 070 is similar to that of English 160 but focuses more heavily on academic rather than public writing. The class requires three writing projects to allow for time and instruction on the writing process and on sentence-level skills.