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First Year Writing Program

studying in residence halls

The first-year writing program teaches students the research and writing practices that they will need to succeed in their college careers, as well as the persuasive and argumentative skills necessary for a thriving liberal democracy.

Contact

Writing Program Administrator: Dr. Tara Wood
Email: Tara.Wood@unco.edu 
Office: Ross 1190A

  • WHAT WE TEACH

    Our Mission

    The mission of the UNC writing program is aligned with the core values and mission of the university, striving to prepare students to think, act, and communicate effectively in our diverse and global society. Instructors in our writing program focus on enhancing student’s rhetorical knowledge, their genre awareness, and their ability to identify, adapt, and employ various conventions and dispositions across contexts and disciplines. Students in the writing program are provided with formative feedback throughout their processes of writing and research, and instructors emphasize the social nature of writing and the value of revision.

    Our Courses

    The Department of English offers three courses that satisfy Liberal Arts Core categories 1a and 1b:

    • ENG 122 College Composition
      • ENG 132 College Composition Enrichment (Non-LAC Supplemental Academic Instruction)
    • ENG 123 College Research Paper
    • ENG 225 Communications on a Theme

    The Department of English offers numerous sections of all three courses each semester, as well as during the summer. Class sizes are small so that students can be sure of receiving individualized attention.

    ENG 122 - College Composition (3)

    Extensive practice in writing clear and effective academic prose with special attention to purpose, audience, organization, and style. Instruction in critical analysis and revision. (LAC, gtP)

    ENG 132 - College Composition Enrichment (1)

    Co-requisite: ENG 122. This one-hour composition enrichment provides supplemental academic instruction with an emphasis on the relationship of reading and grammar to writing. Students who have scored below 18 on ACT in English, below 470 on SAT in English, and/or have below a 2.75 cumulative high school GPA are encouraged to enroll in this course.

    ENG 123 - College Research Paper (3)

    Prerequisite: ENG 122, an ACT score of 30.0 or higher in English, or an SAT verbal score of 630 or higher prior to March 2016, or SAT Reading score of 34 or higher after March 2016. Instruction in diction, style, logical analysis, research techniques and organization of college level research papers. (LAC, gtP)

    ENG 225 - Communications on a Theme (3)

    Prerequisite: ENG 122, an ACT score of 30.0 or higher in English, or an SAT verbal score of 630 or higher prior to March 2016, or an SAT Reading Test score of 34 or higher after March 2016. Topics for writing chosen from ideas of historical influence and/or contemporary problems. Repeatable, may be taken two times, under different subtitles. (LAC, gtP)

    There are other courses across campus that also meet the LAC 1b requirement (SCI 225, SCI 291, BA 205, PVA 152). Learn more about other LAC 1b courses.

  • RESOURCES FOR STUDENTS

    Information on Placement Procedures for the Writing Program 

    • Overview: All students are required to take 6 credit hours in area 1 of the Liberal Arts Core. These 6 hours may be fulfilled by taking ENG 122 (3 credit hours) and ENG 123 (3 credit hours) or ENG 225 (3 credit hours). ENG 122 meets the State of Colorado’s Guaranteed Transfer for Composition I (CO-1) and ENG 123 and 225 meet the State of Colorado’s Guaranteed Transfer for Composition II (CO-2).
    • Exemptions for ENG 122 (CO-1): If a student presents an ACT score of 30.0 or higher in English, or an SAT Critical Reading score of 630 or higher prior to March 2016, or an SAT Reading Test score of 34 or higher after March 2016, he or she is exempt from ENG 122. A student must complete enough electives to bring the total number of hours to at least 40 hours of liberal arts core courses.
    • CLEP Information: A student may earn 6 credit hours (CO-1 and CO-2) by earning a score of 50 on the College Composition CLEP exam. Learn more about CLEP exams.
    • Placement into ENG 132 (Supplemental Academic Instruction: Composition Enrichment, 1 credit hour): This course is a co-requisite with ENG 122. This one-hour course provides supplemental academic instruction to support student's successful completion of writing projects in the co-requisite course. Students who have scored below 18 on ACT in English, below 470 on SAT Evidence-Based Reading & Writing, and/or have below a 2.75 cumulative high school GPA are strongly encouraged to enroll in this course. New students should take the UNC Writing Program Directed Self-Placement Survey prior to New Student Orientation. Survey results will be analyzed alongside test scores to determine recommendation for enrollment in ENG 132. Consult your advisor for help with proper placement into writing program courses.

    UNC Writing Center

    The UNC Writing Center is located in Ross 1230 and serves all enrolled students, faculty, and staff at the University of Northern Colorado. Clients receive help with a variety of areas, such as discussion of purpose, audience, and the writer's role in the work; development of ideas, main points, and structure; utilization of primary and secondary sources; utilization of documentation systems; and instructor in grammar. Tutors work with all types of writing and with writers from all levels and abilities.

    UNC Library

    In UNC's Michener Library, there are librarians specifically dedicated to supporting students in ENG 122 and ENG 123. They are located on the first floor and their offices have turquoise signs indicating that they are designated ENG 122/123 Librarians. Walk-ins and appointments are both accepted. Additionally, the university library faculty have created the "undergraduate research tutorial," which is a series of modules that are available in Canvas Commons 

    Purdue OWL 

    The Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue University houses writing resources and instructional materials.

    Writing Minor at UNC

    The Writing Minor includes course options for professional writing and publishing or creative writing.

    Learn more about the writing minor

    English Scholarships

    The English Department offers three scholarships to students. For more information about scholarships at UNC, visit the Office of Financial Aid. Scholarships include the Ed Kearns Scholarship for an outstanding ENG 122 (College Composition) essay (papers are nominated by ENG 122 instructors each year).

    Learn more about the scholarships for English students

    Intensive English Program

    If you are an international student and would like to find out what resources might be available to you – e.g. tutoring – please contact the Center for International Education:

    CIE Intensive English Program

  • RESOURCES FOR INSTRUCTORS

    Welcome! Instructors in the UNC Writing Program adhere to the program's mission, philosophy, and curriculum design. The following resources are available to instructors: 

    • Writing Program Administrator, Dr. Tara Wood
      Please feel encouraged to contact Dr. Wood with any questions you have.
    • FYC@UNC: FYC@UNC is a designated Canvas course for all instructors in the Writing Program to share resources and develop community. If you don't already have access to the Canvas course, please contact the WPA, Dr. Tara Wood at tara.wood@unco.edu. 
    • Liberal Arts Core. Area 1 of the LAC requires a minimum of 6 credit hours. 
      • ENG 122 meets the general education requirement for Written Communication Area 1a within the Liberal Arts Core here at UNC.
      • ENG 123 and ENG 225 meet the general education requirement for Written Communication Area 1b within the Liberal Arts Core. 
    • Colorado Department of Higher Education (CDHE) Gt Pathways Requirement: ENG 122 is approved to meet the CDHE's Gt Pathways (guaranteed state transfer) CO-1 course under Written Communication. ENG 123 and 225 are both approved to meet the CDHE's Gt Pathways CO-2 course. In light of this approval, all ENG 122, 123, and 225 courses must adhere to the Student Learning Outcomes and Content Criteria for CO-1 and CO-2 courses.
  • WHO WE ARE
    Ellen Maresh

    Ellen Maresh

    Ellen.Maresh@unco.edu

    Cynthia Mitchell

    Cynthia Mitchell

    Cynthia.Mitchell@unco.edu

    Timothy Vander Meulen

    Timothy Vander Meulen

    TA

    timothy.vandermeulen@unco.edu