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First Year Writing

Contact Information:
First-Year Writing Program
Department of English
6 The Green, 210 East Hall
Medford MA 02155
Phone: 617.627.3459

Professor John Lurz
Director, First Year Writing
216 East Hall

Lynn Stevens
Director, English 3 and 4
312 East Hall


English 1, 2, 3, and 4 prepare students for writing at the college level. The First-Year Writing Program emphasizes qualities common to successful writing in all disciplines. These include: 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.

Amount of Writing
Each student is required to turn in about 30 pages of finished writing per semester, figuring at 250 words per page. Thus, we should all think in terms of students writing 7500 words during the semester, divided into 5-7 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.