About First-Year Writing

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Green asterisk representing Writing Across Technology








The First-Year Writing Program provides seminars in multimodal composition that emphasize cross-disciplinary writing, critical thinking, and critical and digital literacies. FYW courses are project-based and inquiry-driven courses in which students compose in order to achieve our five learning objectives. FYW courses are grounded in our Writing Across Technology Curriculum - click here for more information.

We seek to have UConn students learn to read and write with (alongside, against) challenging texts not simply to absorb information but to take up an engagement with a larger, ongoing conversation as they make broader meanings and connections from their reading and writing. We aim to offer first-year college writers opportunities to contribute—through all modes of expression—to larger issues and conversations (globally, nationally, regionally, locally, personally) as we are also then encouraging and illustrating ways for them to:

  • Approach Composition as a Complex Process
  • Identify Themselves as a Writer
  • Engage with a Conversation
  • Critically Examine Different Ways of Knowing
  • Use Technology Rhetorically

Writing Across Technology

Writing Across Technology Green Asterisk MarkWriting Across Technology (WAT) undergirds First-Year Writing courses and is designed to teach rhetorical composition practices with a diverse range of technologies and communicative modes. Multimodal composition engages more than one of the “five modes through which meaning is made: linguistic, aural, visual, gestural, and spatial” (Ball & Charlton, 2015, p. 42). We live in a world where it is increasingly common to encounter and produce writing that is multimodal and mediated by diverse technologies. It is important for teachers of writing to help students strategize and think critically about the synergy that is created when they compose through multiple modes as well as the technologies they use to compose.

Technology need not mean digital necessarily. All writing, even alphabetic writing with a pencil and paper, is still a technology, one that has diverse applications and relies on multiple modes. Writing Across Technology invites students and instructors to consider the rhetorical implications of composing with a variety of other technologies as well: video, audio recording, photographs, body language, captioning,  hypertext, interactive interfaces, graphics, etc. Multimodal composition technologies have always affected the ways we write, the way we read, and the way we access texts. It is important for students to become aware of these changes through the practice of composing.


Click here for an overview of our courses.

Curriculum and Course Moves

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Course Development Resources

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Conferences and Institutes

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