Serving All Northwestern Students

The Bobbie and Stanton Cook Family Writing Program is an independent unit officially located in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, but our courses and resources are designed to serve students throughout the university. For undergraduates, we offer a sequence of composition courses at the introductory, intermediate, and advanced levels: English 105, 205, and 305. All of these are small seminars taught by experienced writing faculty and limited to 15 or 16 students so that instructors can comment extensively on students’ papers and meet regularly with students in individual or small group conferences. In addition, Writing Program faculty teach many first-year seminars (English 105-6) in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences and the foundational communication course, English 106, in the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science. English106 is taught in conjunction with Design 106, known more commonly as Design Thinking and Communication. Courses at every level emphasize revision, with the goal of strengthening each student’s ability to read critically, think clearly, analyze carefully, argue persuasively, and communicate effectively.

The Writing Program also operates the Writing Place, a center open to all Northwestern students that provides free composition tutoring and consultation. Located in University Library, the Writing Place is open most mornings, afternoons, and evenings during the academic year. Students may make appointments, use the schedule of drop-in hours, or interact with Writing Place peer consultants through the campus computer network. An offshoot of the Writing Place, the Graduate Writing Place offers peer consulting and workshops for graduate students across the University.

In addition, the Writing Program helps to oversee writing requirements – and thus provides writing advising – for undergraduates in Weinberg College, the McCormick School, and the Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music. Members of the Writing Progam faculty teach specialized courses and workshops as needed. The Program has collaborated extensively with other University programs and departments, developing new ways to integrate writing instruction with instruction in other disciplines, such as engineering design and law. In all its courses and special offerings, the Writing Program concentrates on helping students develop skill, confidence, and insight as writers.