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Excelling in Upper-Level Writing

Credits: 1 Advisory Prerequisites: Upper-level transfer students concurrently enrolled in at least one course for which they write on a regular basis. | Mandatory credit/no credit May be elected twice for credit

This course serves transfer and upper-division students who seek support to meet the expectations for writing, and especially in courses that meet LSA’s Upper-Level Writing Requirement. Operating on a workshop and discussion format, this course provides an opportunity to identify writing strengths and issues, set personal goals, and practice writing in a collaborative environment. Students work with writing they produce in other classes.

This C/NC, one-credit parallel course is designed to practice writing in a supportive environment and addresses the writing challenges that students bring to the course, providing direct assistance to transfer and upper-division student writers. The course will help students identify key stages in the writing process from deciphering assignment prompts, planning papers and time schedules to generating ideas and learning the writing expectations for various disciplines. This course will stress the increased significance of revision for success in advanced writing. Our goal is to improve your recognition of practices that will promote your success and effectiveness in writing at the University of Michigan and beyond.

Our class work will include the opportunity to critically annotate one of your previous college papers, contribute and share information on your experience on a course blog, present work in class, share and workshop your current writing in peer groups, and annotate one of your final upper-level writing assignments. Students will be expected to participate and involve themselves in the community of the class as we build a supportive writing environment.

Intended Audience

This course will benefit both first-term transfer undergraduates – and other upper-division undergraduates who feel less confident and prepared for upper-level writing.

What Students Have to Say about Writing 350

"Writing 350 has helped me become a part of a community of other transfer students and writers at the University of Michigan. It has taught me a lot about the writing process and has enabled me to drastically improve my own writing by thinking critically about others’. Additionally, this class has provided me with direct support from my teacher and peers, and showed me how to access other helpful resources on campus." 

"Writing 350 has provided for me a stress free environment where I'm free to ask questions and clarify my understanding at a comfortable pace while seeing improvements in my own writing. Transitioning here hasn't been easy and I'm glad to have taken Writing 350 early on so that I can reap the full benefits of the class continuing into my education here at U-M."

"Writing 350 gave me an opportunity to ease into the writing process here at Michigan. I also learned more effective ways of research to help me thrive. That and I was re-introduced to the different types of papers and writing that exist for the different disciplines. In my case, having been out of school for over 6 years, it allowed me to go beyond what I was taught at WCC and actually do well here. It also introduced me to the Sweetland Center for Writing as well as the two major libraries on campus (Hatcher and the UGLi).

Beyond what I was taught, Louis was a great resource himself for revision as well as how to improve our writing in and out of class. I’m a peer advisor for veteran students and I make it a point to tell them about the class if they need a little extra help with writing."

"I was incredibly nervous about writing at Michigan.  Being a transfer and former community college student, I didn’t feel my skills were up to par with the University’s demands – and lo and behold, I was right! Being in Writing 350 reminded me that I wasn’t the only one working hard to adjust to a new writing environment by introducing me to a network of fellow transfer students whose diverse skills I came to respect. In addition, the class provided me with strategies to confront the (sometimes mysterious) demands of my professors by providing me with example prompts, assignment-reading techniques, and peer critique. Even more importantly, my Writing 350 professor introduced me to the incredible community at the Sweetland Center for Writing, where I’m now a peer consultant!

Overall, I would highly recommend this class for anyone who wants to get a handle on the types of writing assignments they’ll be getting in class and/or brush up on their essay-writing and time management skills. Michigan is a fantastic, challenging school, and Writing 350 is the perfect preparation!"

"I am definitely one of those people who waits to get inspiration before I start writing something, and sometimes that backfires on me cause the inspiration doesn't always come or maybe it does, but then I don't have enough time to put what's in my head on paper. Writing 350 gave me structure and if nothing else kept me thinking about writing, and that made it easier for me to put things on paper later."

"The Writing 350 course helped make my transition into the culture of the University of Michigan easy by offering support from the Professor and fellow transfer students. The course offered instructions regarding thesis development, citing evidence, and writing strategies. We collaborated and compiled a list of resources for support during the transition. This course became a community who supported each other’s academic and holistic development."

"Writing 350 definitely made my transition to life at U-M easier. There were lots of other transfers in my section, and we often discussed happenings on campus as well as what was going on in our lives in general. Maybe that seems intrusive but it was entirely voluntary to open your life up, and I felt that it was very helpful because other people can usually relate to how you feel or what you’re going through.

As a writer, I felt that the annotation projects helped my skills develop in terms of my writerly techniques. The projects put me in a detective role that forced me to think about why I may have used a certain technique in a past work, and consider how effective said technique may have been in that paper or in a future essay."