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First-Year Writing Program

The First-Year Writing program focuses on two of the Drexel Student Learning Priorities: communication and self-directed learning. We encourage students to write clearly with a firm sense of their readers—the people with whom they are communicating. We believe that when writers connect with their readers about subjects of real concern to the writers, they will more readily continue to learn and practice writing on their own, an attitude we believe is fundamental to improving one’s writing. As a result, our students will use writing effectively in their personal, academic and professional lives.


First-Year Writing program classes encourage students to:

  • Write clearly and fluently
  • Overcome procrastination habits of writing
  • Improve their style, grammar, and punctuation
  • Develop a positive attitude toward writing and themselves as writers
  • Engage in research and integrate information from sources into their own writing
  • Understand how writing is influenced by differences in purpose, readers and conventions
  • Write on their own to create, learn, express themselves and communicate with others

First-Year Writing Awards

Each year instructors may nominate two students from each section of English 101 for the First-Year Writing Awards. A panel of faculty judges reads and evaluates the nominated essays, determining the first-, second-, and third-place winners, as well as several runners-up. The awards, including the Erika Guenther and Gertrude Daemmrich Memorial Prizes, are then given out at the conclusion of the Drexel Writing Festival in the Spring. In addition, many winning essays appear in The 33rd, an anthology that first-year writing instructors use in their classes.