First-Year Writing Course Descriptions and Sample Syllabi

 Following are the course descriptions and links to the sample syllabi of all first-year writing courses.


ENGL 101/107

ENGL 102/108



English (ENGL) 101A - 4 credit hours

English 101A is a writing intensive, four credit course designed to help students practice the skills of close reading and critical analysis. Each week, you will be required to read assigned texts and respond to these texts through informal writing and class discussions. Three times during the semester, you will write well-developed essays that will each go through an extensive process of peer revision before the completion of the final draft. In addition to the two 75 minute classes, you will also be required to attend a 50 minute Studio Session once a week. Studio sessions provide further guidance on issues of craft, such as invention, drafting, and revision. With additional studio instruction, 101A provides extra support for students’ reading and writing skills by offering small group class time with the instructor. Because of the small class size, students will have further opportunities to interact with the instructor and be engaged in small group discussions. Like art studio, adapted studio creates a learning play space for students to work creatively on projects while becoming mindful of effective writing habits.

Please Note: After successfully passing ENGL 101A students then go on to take ENGL 102 the following semester. ENGL 101A displays as ENGL 101 on student transcripts.


View a sample syllabus for ENGL 101A


English 101 (ENGL101) and English 107 (ENGL107) - 3 credit hours:

English 101/107 familiarizes students with the social and situated nature of writing--that is, with the ways in which writing is tied to purpose, audience/community, and topic/content. As such, there is a heavy emphasis on community, genre, and rhetorical situation. Through informal and formal writing, students will write in several genres, analyzing how purpose, audience, and context shape research, strategies for organization, and language usage, components that will be developed further in the second semester class. In addition, the course introduces practices of research inquiry in writing. Reflection on students’ writing is also formally built into the entire course, culminating in a final portfolio.

English 107 is designed for international students and taught by instructors with a background in second-language teaching.

These courses are also offered during Summer Session I and II.

View a sample syllabus for ENGL 101

View a sample syllabus for ENGL 107


English 102 (ENGL102) and English 108 (ENGL 108) - 3 credit hours:

English 102/108 emphasizes rhetoric and research across contexts. Through reading and discussion of content, students engage in rhetorical analysis, research, persuasion, reflection, and revision. It is designed to help students recognize and learn to write for a variety of rhetorical situations, including different audiences, purposes, contexts, and genres. Students will conduct research inquiries, find and evaluate sources, and make critically aware decisions about how best to achieve their purposes. Further, it helps students become aware of their own writing processes and adjust them to whatever demands a particular writing situation places on them.

English 108 is designed for international students and taught by instructors with a background in second-language teaching.

These courses are also offered during Summer Session I and II.

View a sample syllabus for ENGL 102

View a sample syllabus for ENGL 108


English 109H (ENGL 109H) - 3 credit hours:

IMPORTANT NOTE ON COURSE OFFERINGS: ENGL109H is a ONE-SEMESTER course which can be taken Fall OR Spring. Not all students are pre-scheduled for 109H during orientation. A good time to search for seat availability is the first two weeks of classes. Students who are unable to get a Fall seat will have 109H Spring Priority Registration and should plan to register for something other than English if a full-time schedule is required for Fall.

English 109H is an advanced, one-semester course that engages students in college-level writing practices and acclimates them to the four-year university as a new cultural context in which to place themselves as writers. Enrollment in English 109H is equivalent to the traditional First-Year Writing course sequence of English 101 + English 102.

In an accelerated learning environment, 109H students learn about the basics of academic research + writing, college-level argumentation, rhetorical awareness and practice facility with the conventions of writing in different genres. Because the course has a year’s worth of writing instruction to cover in a single semester, the course moves very quickly. Students may be asked to to read more challenging material, interact with denser philosophical or theoretical concepts, and experiment with different technologies as they practice inquiry, develop ideas, and engage in multiple revisions of their writing projects.

If you receive an A, B, or C in English 109H, you will have completed your first-year composition requirement. If you receive a D in English 109H, you will be required to 1) re-take the course for a higher grade, OR 2) take English 102 in order to fulfill the requirement.


  • Medical, Veterinary, and Law schools, usually require two semesters of composition. ENGL 306 (Advanced Composition) can be taken to fulfill this requirement, but speak to your college/major advisor for further information.
    • If your are unsure of the requirements for the medical, veterinary, or law school you might apply to, you can still take ENGL101 and ENGL102, but you must contact our office for a placement change to do so.
  • Placement into English 109H is determined independently from admission into the honors college. You may be eligible to take English 109H even if you are not a member of the honors college, and being a member of the honors college does not automatically qualify you to take English 109H.

View a sample syllabus for ENGL 109H



Contact the Writing Program with any questions you might have about your English Placement:

The Writing Program
Department of English
The University of Arizona
Modern Languages, Room 445
Tucson, AZ 85721-0067
(520) 621-1836 (phone)



College of Social and Behavioral Sciences