Courses for Writing 101

To view a list of Spring 2017 Writing 101 courses click here. Updated 10/25/16

To view a list of Fall 2016 Writing 101 courses click here. Updated 8/24/16

Writing 101

Writing 101, Duke's one-semester, first-year course in academic writing, offers students a foundation for and introduction to university-level writing. Writing 101 courses enroll no more than 12 students per section, creating a seminar environment consisting of vigorous class discussion and careful consideration of student writing. As part of the Thompson Writing Program, Writing 101 helps students develop strategies for generating, supporting, and sharing their ideas within a community of scholars.

Writing 101 faculty have doctorates in a variety of disciplines--including biology, English, history, literature, anthropology, ecology, and philosophy--and have completed specialized training in the teaching of writing.

Duke students can select a section of Writing 101 from a wide range of topics in order to explore areas of academic interest. From gothic literature to religious mysticism, militia movements to bioethics, students have a rich array of courses from which to choose. While specific reading and writing projects vary by professor, all sections of Writing 101 share the same course goals and practices.

These goals and practices prepare students for the rigorous scholarly analysis of information and evaluation of competing claims they will encounter throughout their undergraduate careers. Students in all sections of Writing 101 to learn how to:

  • engage with the work of others;
  • articulate a position;
  • situate their writing within specific contexts; and
  • transfer writing knowledge into situations beyond Writing 101.

In developing their work-in-progress, students are offered practice in:

  • researching;
  • workshopping;
  • revising; and
  • editing.

Please browse our site to learn more about Writing 101 and our faculty. The 'Students' section provides students more specifics on our course goals, advice about how best to select a section of Writing 101, and useful links to such sites as Duke University Libraries, FOCUS, and the Writing Studio. Current and prospective faculty can visit the 'Teachers' section for helpful links, guidelines, and opportunities for grants and awards, such as the Duke University Award for Excellence in Teaching Writing. The 'Publications' section features Correspondences, the TWP newsletter, and Deliberations, our journal of first-year writing. For detailed descriptions of current and past Writing 101 courses, please visit 'Courses,' and for access to Duke's individualized, electronic portfolio system, which features students' personal achievements, course work, and projects, please visit 'Portfolio@Duke'.

Grants Impacting Writing 101

The Thompson Writing Program has recently been awarded a 2013-14 Humanities Writ Large Emerging Networks Grant which will, in part, support a vertically and horizontally integrated Digital Writing and Pedagogy Lab to be housed in the TWP with the charge of cultivating curricular and pedagogical digital innovations within Writing 101 courses. The TWP has also been selected to receive a 2013-14 Duke Center for Civic Engagement Studio Grant to create an immersive space in which we can explore the possibilities for long-term local partnerships centered on literacy and writing with Durham Public Schools (DPS). The work of this Studio will be highly collaborative, with participants from DPS, faculty in the TWP, and Duke graduate students and undergraduates. To read more about these projects, please click here.

Innovations in First Year Writing

Learn more about innovative undergraduate learning experiences in Duke's first-year writing seminars.

    • NDOW Wordle
    • TWP Faculty 2010-11
    • Students in Perkins Library
    • Denise Comer, Director of First Year Writing
    • deliberations 2010
    • Writing 20
    • Cover 2005
    • Cover 2008 full
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For more information about

First-Year Writing



Please also peruse Deliberations, the journal of first-year writing at Duke, showcasing exemplary texts produced by students in Writing 101