Lower-Division Writing Course Information

Here at UCI, we believe that writing and communication are the foundation for successful learning across our curricular pathways. Our commitment to writing for all undergraduates is defined by our classes that satisfy the Entry Level Writing Requirement (ELWR) and General Education (GE) category 1. The General Education requirements for lower-division writing should be completed within your first two years at UCI. There are two sequences to satisfy ELWR and fulfill lower-division writing requirements at UCI; you can learn more about the courses in those sequences below.

Humanities Core 

HUMAN 1AS: This course might be best for you if you want to efficiently fulfill lower-division writing while simultaneously completing General Education requirements for Arts and Humanities, Multicultural Studies, and International/Global Issues in your first year of college. 

Humanities Core Writing (1AS) is a 4-credit seminar that you take alongside a thematic 4-credit lecture course (1A). This approach teaches you to write across a range of genres and contexts, including online, while exploring key humanistic issues in literature, history, visual art, and philosophy. 

While Humanities Core is effectively two courses (lecture and writing), students in the program experience the workload as being significantly less, as the exams for lecture and writing assignments for seminar are staggered to support your schedule, even if you are taking a heavy course load. Students who pass 1A/1AS go on to take Humanities 1B/1BS and 1C/1CS to fulfill lower-division writing along with five other GE requirements.

HUMAN 1AES: This course might be best for you if you want to efficiently fulfill lower-division writing as well as the General Education requirements for Arts and Humanities, Multicultural Studies, and International/Global Issues in your first year of college. 

Humanities Core Writing (1AES) is a 6-credit seminar that you take alongside a thematic 4-credit lecture course (1A). This approach teaches you to write across a range of genres and contexts, including online, while exploring key humanistic issues in literature, history, visual art, and philosophy. The benefit of taking Humanities 1AES is that you receive additional instruction and one-on-one consultation with your writing instructor. Increased personal attention helps build confidence in your communication skills as you move forward in the program and your undergraduate career. 

While Humanities Core is effectively two courses (lecture and writing), students in the program experience the workload as being significantly less, as the exams for lecture and writing assignments for seminar are staggered to support your schedule, even if you are taking a heavy course load. Students who pass 1A/1AES go on to take Humanities 1B/1BS (or 1BES) and 1C/1CS to fulfill lower-division writing and five other GE requirements.

For more information about Humanities Core, please visit http://core.humanities.uci.edu/index.php/welcome/.

Courses Offered by the English Department’s Composition Program

WRITING 39A: This course might be best for you if you want to work on tailoring your writing style for different purposes and you want more time or instructor feedback to feel confident about college-level writing. 

Each section of this 4-unit course explores a central question, using texts from a variety of genres and styles. Students learn to break down the elements of these model texts, and then to imitate these elements. While each section has a different set of readings and assignments, all 39A students write a persuasive Final Essay. This essay is presented within the Final Portfolio, which collects the student’s writings across the quarter and includes a Portfolio Introduction in which students analyze their experiences and accomplishments in WR39A. After WR 39A students go on to take WR 39B and WR 39C to fulfill the lower-division writing requirement.

WRITING 39AP: This course might be best for you if WR 39A seems like a good fit, but you want more language support. 

Like 39A, each section of 39AP explores a central question, using texts from a variety of genres and styles. Students learn to break down the elements of these model texts, and then to imitate these elements. WR 39AP is a 6-unit course specifically designed for multilingual students; the added units mean that you spend more time focusing on writing. The course goals and assignments are the same as WR 39A’s, but sections of WR 39AP meet for 80 minutes more per week. This extra class time is focused primarily on revision skills: working on language fluency and composing strategies. After WR 39AP, students go on to take WR 39B and WR 39C to fulfill the lower-division writing requirement.

WRITING 37: This course might be best for you if you feel mostly ready for WR 39B (see description below), but you want some extra instruction on concepts covered in WR 39A. 

Even though the curriculum for this 6-unit course is the same as for WR 39B, WR 37 satisfies both the ELWR and WR 39B, which is the first course in a sequence of two courses that together satisfy the lower-division writing requirement. Like WR 39B, WR 37 focuses on critical reading and rhetoric, but WR 37 offers more language-intensive instruction. In WR 37 and WR 39B you will study genres and situated communication, and learn writing and composing strategies to address both academic and non-academic audiences. This course will give you the writing and communication knowledge you will need for the next course in the sequence, WR 39C, which is the final course of the lower-division writing requirement.

WRITING 39B: This course might be best for you if you want to work on analyzing complex texts and broadening your perspective on contemporary culture and media. 

This 4-unit course focuses on critical reading and rhetoric through the study of genres and situated communication, and teaches writing and composing strategies to address both academic and non-academic audiences. Each section reads a variety of texts in and about a specific genre (for example, fairy tales, travel writing, or science fiction) and undertakes three major writing projects. After WR 39B, students go on to take WR 39C to complete the lower-division writing requirement.

WRITING 39C: This 4-unit course is an appropriate starting place if you have already fulfilled the Entry Level Writing Requirement (ELWR), completed WR 39B or WR 37, or received a 4 or 5 on the AP Language & Composition or Literature & Composition exam. WR 39C focuses on critical reading and rhetoric and information literacy and research techniques, including evidence-based writing and composing strategies for academic audiences. In this course you will research and write about topics in fields ranging from medicine and healthcare, to education, to urban studies and environmentalism, race and social justice, free speech and the Internet, video games and society, animals and ethical concerns, and more. This is the final course of the lower-division writing requirement.

For more information about the courses offered by the English Department’s Composition Program, please visit https://www.humanities.uci.edu/comp/.