First-Year Courses

First-Year Courses

Writing courses taken during the first year offer students instruction and practice to create a foundation for writing at St. Olaf. Beginning in Fall 2021, new students will complete Writing and Rhetoric as part of their First-Year Experience. 

Students may complete Writing and Rhetoric by taking Writing 120: Writing and Rhetoric during the fall or spring semester of their first year. Writing 120 seminars focus on a variety of topics through intensive critical reading and writing practice. Each semester, course topics are available through Writing  in the Class and Lab. 

A two-semester sequence serves students who need additional preparation and practice to complete First-Year Writing. This sequence includes a writing intensive First-Year Seminar during the fall of their first year to prepare for Writing 120 during the spring semester. Students enrolled in a Conversations program may enroll concurrently in Writing 108: Writing Studio for individualized writing support. For more information, read about Writing Placement

Students may also fulfill Writing and Rhetoric by successfully completing designated courses in American Conversations, Asian ConversationsEnvironmental Conversations, or The Great Conversation, or through transfer credit. 

WRIT 108: Writing Studio (0.25)

Writing Studio emphasizes process and practice as students reflect on their emerging identities as thinkers, readers, and writers. The course is ideal for students seeking ongoing support in their personal and academic transition to the rigor of college-level academics by providing guidance in areas such as course attendance and engagement, completion of assignments, and reading, writing, and speaking development. Offered annually during fall and spring semesters.
Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

WRIT 120: Writing and Rhetoric

Writing and Rhetoric engages students in academic and public discourse (audience, purpose, genre, context) related to a particular topic. Students write in multiple genres and engage in writing as a systematic, interactive process. They understand, evaluate, and use appropriate technologies for different purposes and audiences. Writing and Rhetoric is part of the First-Year Experience, which includes two distinct activities to support college transition: students participate in structured and sustained orientation to support their academic and co-curricular development, and students reflect on this development.

This course is limited to first-year students and sophomores. Offered each semester.

Writing-Intensive First-Year Seminar

Designated sections of First-Year Seminar are writing intensive and serve students who may benefit from extensive writing instruction and practice during Fall semester. 

Writing-intensive First-Year Seminar for multilingual international students guides students through the conventions of U.S. academic culture and discourse with emphasis on liberal arts education. Students practice reading, writing, speaking, and listening to develop skills and confidence in college writing. The course also includes extensive discussion of academic integrity and responsible use of information.

Writing-intensive First-Year Seminar for students who graduated from a U.S. high school emphasizes critical reading, the writing process, and revision. Students write frequently, respond to one another’s writing, and meet often with course faculty in conferences.

Students enroll in these sections through writing placement or permission of instructor. Students who place into a writing-intensive First-Year Seminar will be directed to appropriate sections through their registration in the Student Information System.