Foundations Writing Courses

Wondering which writing courses you should take? Check out the descriptions for the different options to meet the Foundations Writing Requirement.

Foundations Writing Courses

The UA Foundations Writing Program offers several writing courses that can fulfill the University General Education Foundation Requirement for Composition (a requirement for graduation). Each course incorporates a set of four overarching goals:

Goal 1: Rhetorical Awareness

Learn strategies for analyzing texts’ audiences, purposes, and contexts as a means of developing facility in reading and writing.

Goal 2: Critical Thinking and Composing

Use reading and writing for purposes of critical thinking, research, problem solving, action, and participation in conversations within and across different communities.

Goal 3: Conventions 

Understand conventions as related to purpose, audience, and genre, including such areas as mechanics, usage, citation practices, as well as structure, style, graphics, and design.

Goal 4: Reflection and Revision

Understand composing processes as flexible and collaborative, drawing upon multiple strategies and informed by reflection.


Depending on your background, you will take one of the following sequences:

3-Semester Sequence
(9 credits)

  • Semester 1 - ENGL 106*
  • Semester 2 - ENGL 101 or 107*
  • Semester 3 - ENGL 102 or 108*

This sequence is intended to further develop multilingual students' academic literacy. ENGL 106 focuses on investigating the language choices that writers make in formal and informal contexts.

2-Semester Sequence
(6-7 credits)

  • Semester 1 - ENGL 101A, 101, or 107*
  • Semester 2 - ENGL 102 or 108*

These two courses guide you through rhetorical analysis and academic research, two practices that are critical to successfully completing your undergraduate degree.

1-Semester Sequence
(3 credits)

  • Semester 1 - ENGL 109H

This accelerated course is designed to prepare you to integrate critical reading, thinking, and writing tasks in one semester. You will engage in a wide range of intellectual, aesthetic, and rhetorical inquiries.

*ENGL 106, 107, and 108 are primarily for international students for whom English is an additional language

English 101A - 4 credit hours

English 101A is a writing intensive, four credit course designed to help you 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 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 your reading and writing skills by offering small group class time with the instructor.

Because of the small class size, you will have further opportunities to interact with your 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.

Next steps: After successfully passing ENGL 101A you then go on to take ENGL 102 the following semester. ENGL 101A displays as ENGL 101 on student transcripts.

English 101/107 - 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, you 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 your 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 107

Course Goals & Objectives

Students in this course will:

  • Identify the purposes of, intended audiences for, and arguments in a text, as situated within particular cultural, economic, and political contexts.
  • Analyze how genres shape reading and composing practices.
  • Incorporate evidence, such as through summaries, paraphrases, quotations, and visuals.
  • Support ideas or positions with compelling discussion of evidence from multiple sources.
  • Produce multiple revisions on global and local levels.
  • Suggest useful global and local revisions to other writers.
  • Evaluate and act on peer and instructor feedback to revise their texts.
  • Reflect on their progress as academic writers.
  • Follow appropriate conventions for grammar, punctuation, and spelling, through practice in composing and revising.
  • Apply citation conventions systematically in their own work.

English 102/108 - 3 credit hours

English 102/108 emphasizes rhetoric and research across contexts. Through reading and discussion of content, you will engage in rhetorical analysis, research, persuasion, reflection, and revision. It is designed to help you recognize and learn to write for a variety of rhetorical situations, including different audiences, purposes, contexts, and genres.

You will conduct research inquiries, find and evaluate sources, and make critically aware decisions about how best to achieve your purposes. Further, it helps you become aware of your own writing processes and adjust them to whatever demands a particular writing situation places on you.

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 108

Course Goals & Objectives

Students in this course will:

  • Analyze the ways a text’s purposes, audiences, and contexts influence rhetorical options.
  • Respond to a variety of writing contexts calling for purposeful shifts in structure, medium, design, level of formality, tone, and/or voice.
  • Employ a variety of research methods, including primary and/or secondary research, for purposes of inquiry.
  • Evaluate the quality, appropriateness, and credibility of sources.
  • Synthesize research findings in development of an argument.
  • Compose persuasive researched arguments for various audiences and purposes, and in multiple modalities.
  • Adapt composing and revision processes for a variety of technologies and modalities.
  • Identify the collaborative and social aspects of writing processes.
  • Reflect on their progress as academic writers.
  • Reflect on why genre conventions for structure, paragraphing, tone, and mechanics vary.
  • Identify and effectively use variations in genre conventions, including formats and/or design features.
  • Demonstrate familiarity with the concepts of intellectual property (such as fair use and copyright) that motivate documentation conventions.

English 109H - 3 credit hours:

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

In an accelerated learning environment, you'll learn about the basics of academic research and 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. You may be asked to to read more challenging material, interact with denser philosophical or theoretical concepts, and experiment with different technologies as you practice inquiry, develop ideas, and engage in multiple revisions of your 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.

Scheduling & Advising Notes

  • 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.
  • English 109H is a one-semester course that can be taken Fall or Spring (not offered in summer session).
  • 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 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.
  • 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 you're 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).


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

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