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FYW Director’s Welcome

The First-Year Writing Program is an integral part of Northeastern’s nationally recognized Writing Program.  Our courses emphasize active learning; they are process-oriented and workshop-based. You will develop your critical thinking and writing skills by engaging with a variety of readings, exploring different genres of writing, drafting your own writing projects, giving and receiving feedback, and revising.  You will become part of a writing community.

While all of our courses share learning goals, we offer several versions of First-Year Writing, including:

Students go through a process of Guided Self-Placement to choose the setting that best suits their goals and learning style. You can learn more about our course offerings and Guided Self-Placement by exploring these pages. 

I hope you enjoy learning about our courses here and welcome your questions at


Kelly Garneau
Director, First-Year Writing

Frequently Asked Questions about First-Year Writing

At Northeastern, we use a process called Guided Self-Placement to ensure that every student is aware of their options for fulfilling the First-Year Writing requirement. Talk to your advisor during registration, and check-in with your instructor during the first day of class if you are unsure. For more information on this process, visit our Guided Self-Placement page.

It’s common for incoming first-year students think this writing course will be just like their high school English literature courses–but in fact the focus is often quite different.

The topics and projects covered in First-Year Writing will vary based on your instructor.

All writing courses will share our 11 Student Learning Goals and explore a variety of genres and purposes for writing.

You can also see what other NU students have thought about the course: First-Year Writing Student Voices.

Yes. To learn more and to determine if this option might be for right for you, read about ENGW 1102: First-Year Writing for Multilingual Learners.

Our service learning sections parallel ENGW 1111 but also offer service-learning opportunities, such as community volunteering, activism, and other forms of community engagement. To see if this option might be right for you, read about some of our past service-learning courses.

Yes–transfer credit for First-Year Writing courses is processed by the Admissions Office. Current transfer rules and equivalencies may be found in the transfer credit database.

Students requesting transfer credit for writing courses not already in the database should consult with their advisor.

Advisors, please contact the Director of the Writing Program with transfer equivalency review requests for courses in the Writing Program.