College Writing

Writing is a creative process through which you can explore the ideas of others and develop new ones of your own. Writing is also a craft, through which you communicate those ideas to others in clear, coherent prose. In this course, you will learn both the process and the craft of writing. You will learn how to analyze written texts in order to reach a deeper understanding of their content and style. You will have the opportunity to try several different types of writing, including a personal essay, visual and rhetorical analyses, an argumentative essay, and research writing. You will learn how to tailor your arguments to persuade different audiences in different situations.

Registration Information

Before registering for College Writing, each student should speak with their advisor to obtain a semester placement assignment.

Initial Course Placement

Most students place directly into College Writing and will take the course either in fall or spring semester of their first year of study. (Advisors have pre-assigned semester placement information. Students should not register for College Writing until they know which semester they have been assigned to take the course.) Students enrolled in the IPH/Text & Traditions or Ampersand Ireland programs take a linked College Writing course. In order to fulfill the first-year writing requirement, students in all sections must earn a C- or better in the course. Students who earn a grade of D+ or lower will take additional writing coursework. (In most cases, they will be required to re-take College Writing.)

What advice would you give students about College Writing?

In this video students discuss keeping an open mind, exploring topics that interest you, and being fearless in your writing.


REMAKE is a space for the new thought and vision of first-year students at Washington University. Our annual journal showcases how first-year work—everything from art to research to creative writing—changes our campus by challenging our assumptions, rethinking our ideas, and giving new shape to the perspectives we hold and the stories we tell.