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College of Arts and Sciences

First Year Writing Program

english department

Boston College’s First-Year Writing Seminar (FWS) is a required course designed to help students develop effective processes for composing and revising nonfiction prose for a variety of writing situations—including but not limited to academic writing situations. FWS is a workshop-based course in which students work as practicing writers; that is, students in the seminar write both from their own interest, commitment, and passions and to the demands and specifications of teachers, readers and editors; to revise their essays before they are submitted for evaluation; to learn to give and receive productive feedback; and to present and "publish" their work within various classroom, campus, or internet settings.

The goal of FWS is to give first-year students strategies and practice in a variety of writing situations and genres, which will help them understand and plan for the new writing challenges that lie ahead in their academic, professional and personal lives. The goal of FWS is to give students the tools and the incentive to keep writing after the course has ended: in other courses, in their community, and for themselves. Part of learning to write well, especially in academic settings, involves attention to the conventions and tropes of academic discourse, and in FWS students are introduced to both library resources and practice writing and documenting secondary research.


Paula Mathieu, Director
Office: S447 Stokes Hall

Bonnie Rudner, Associate Director
Office: S371 Stokes Hall