First-Year Writing

The First-Year Writing Program prepares students for writing at the college level in all disciplines. Comprised of English 1, 2, 3, and 4, the curriculum teaches students to develop a clear thesis; a well-organized and developed argument; well-illustrated points; and thoughtful, lively prose. Small classes offer the opportunity for close, personal attention and an atmosphere of collaborative learning. For more information, please consult our Program Handbook

Required Courses

Liberal Arts students must take English 1 and 2 or English 3 and 4 or equivalent. Engineering students must take English 1 or 3 or equivalent


For English 2, students may choose among several seminar topics. Liberal arts students seeking to fulfill the second half of the writing requirement may take Philosophy 2: Introduction to Philosophy or an English 2 alternative in place of English 2.

Amount of Writing

Each student is required to turn in about 25 pages of graded writing per semester, figuring at 250 words per page. Thus, we should all think in terms of students writing 6,250 words during the semester, divided into 5-6 papers. One of these will be a research paper.

Research Requirement

A research paper is a requirement of English 1, 2, 3, and 4. The First-Year Writing Program aims to provide the following critical research skills:

  • Strategies for thinking critically about information-seeking, information resources, and reflecting on the research process
  • Strategies for searching and retrieving information
  • An understanding of how to evaluate information resources

Attendance Policy

Students are required to attend the first two class meetings of English 1 and 2 to retain their seat in the class. In case of an emergency, students must contact the instructor beforehand for permission to miss class. If they fail to do so, they and their advisor will be notified and their places will be filled from the waiting list.

The attendance policy for the rest of the semester can be found in the syllabus handed out in class.

General Policies

  • For additional information about the writing requirement, please see The Tufts Bulletin.
  • English 1, 2, and 4 must be taken for a letter grade in order to fulfill the writing requirement.
    English 3 is pass-fail.