FAQ

First Writing Requirement

Which course(s) should I take: 1505/1506, 1507/1508, or 1510?

ENWR 1505/1506 is a two-semester sequence that fulfills the first writing requirement.  Students in this stretch sequence will gain experience in sustained written inquiry.

The ENWR 1507/1508 sequence is offered for students whose first language is not English and who are still developing proficiency in American English. In their first semester, these students take ENWR 1507. Students who have successfully completed ENWR 1507 finish the first writing requirement by completing ENWR 1508, a course that borrows the curriculum of ENWR 1506 and adds an integrated ESL workshop.

Because of its pace and abbreviated curriculum, ENWR 1510 is most appropriate for students who have been successful writers in high school and who feel comfortably in control of their sentence style. 

Initial placement decisions are made on the basis of standardized test scores. Students who score 570-730 on the SAT's Evidence-Based Reading and Writing exam or 22-35 on the ACT English exam should meet the first writing requirement in ENWR 1510. Students who score 560 or below on the SAT's Evidence-Based Reading and Writing exam or 21 or below on the ACT English exam should take ENWR 1505 during their first semester at UVa, followed by ENWR 1506 in the second semester. 

When should I take the FWR?

Students must complete the first writing requirement during their first year. 

Students taking ENWR 1510 or an FWR-PLus course should register for fall if the first letter of their last name is A through K. Students should also register for fall if they play on a varsity team that travels primarily in the spring OR if they are transfer students OR if they are repeating the course. Otherwise, students with last names beginning with L-Z should register for spring ENWR 1510.

If you are required to complete the first writing requirement in ENWR 1505/06 or 1507/1508, register for ENWR 1506/07 in the fall semester. Upon successfully completing that course, register for ENWR 1507/08 in the spring.

 

Are all the sections the same?

Because most FWR sections of ENWR are themed, students in different sections will explore about different topical content.

The sections also share other characteristics in common, with each assigning

  • At least 4000+ words of writing
  • At least three papers of at least 1000 words
  • Regular short writing assignments and exercises
  • Significant revision 

The section I want is full. Can I get on a waiting list?

Registration is handled through SIS (UVa's on-line system), which allows students to see a regularly updated report of all available openings and to adjust their own course registration. You should register as soon as possible for an open section rather than wait in the hope that a space will become available in a currently full section. Once you are registered for a section, you may, of course, use SIS to watch for openings and to switch sections should an opening become available.

Can I be added to a section even though it's full?

No.  First writing requirement courses require relatively low student/instructor ratios to succeed. You are welcome to help yourself to any open section via SIS. However, in order to protect the quality of education for all ENWR students, neither SIS, nor the instructor, nor the Writing Program will allow you to register in a section that is already full.

I'm a transfer student, but I didn't exempt. What should I do?

Transfer students who are not exempt from the first writing requirement typically complete the FWR during their first semester at UVa. If you feel that your ability with academic argument should exempt you from the first writing requirement, you may ask the Writing Program to verify your FWR placement by reviewing a portfolio of your best argument essay during the August portfolio reading. (See the placement page for details.)

I'm a varsity athlete. How will my travel schedule affect my work in this class?

Frequent travel can make it more challenging for you to successfully complete the first writing requirement. Based on past experience, we strongly recommend that athletes take ENWR in the off-season.

I'm Echols Scholar, but I think I'd benefit from a writing course; what are my options?

You could take ENWR 2520. A range of classes are offered under the ENWR 2520 banner, with offerings changing each semester. Past ENWR 2520 courses have included "Writing for the Web," "Technical Writing," "Writing about Baseball," "Corporate Identities," and "Writing about Music." 

See the course offerings page for more information on these and other courses.

English is not my first language. Are there any resources for me?

You might be required to complete the first writing requirement in the ENWR 1507/1508 sequence. If so, you will be contacted by Professor Claire Chantell of the Writing Program.

Second Writing Requirement

Please see Judy Updike, the CLAS registrar, for more information on the CLAS second writing requirement. 

What are the goals of the second writing requirement?

The college's second writing requirement has two general goals: to ensure that students receive additional writing feedback beyond the first writing requirement, and to give students some familiarity with writing in their chosen field.

When should I fulfill the requirement?

According to the College of Arts and Sciences, you are obliged to fulfill the second writing requirement by the end of your sixth semester.

May I complete the second writing requirement before I finish the first writing requirement? Does doing so exempt me from the first writing requirement?

Many students complete multiple courses that might be used to fulfill the second writing requirement. The Second Writing Requirement is administered by the College of Arts and Sciences rather than the Writing Program, and the two requirements operate independently. Nothing prevents you from taking a course that meets the second writing requirement as early in your UVa career as you wish; however, successfully completing the second writing requirement does not exempt you from the first writing requirement.