English 1004

Placement and Enrollment

ENGL 1004 (Introduction to Academic Writing)  is open to all students who would like to write in a course with more individualized attention as preparation for the required First-Year Writing requirement. We also require some students to enroll in the course automatically. This includes students who score lower than 440 in the “Critical Reading” (aka “verbal”) section of the SAT or lower than 470 on the “Critical Writing” sections of that test. Students with ACT Reading scores of between 12 and 19, and students whose ENGL 1003 instructors have advised them to enroll in ENGL 1004 must also do so. All those enrolled in ENGL 1004 must pass the course before moving on to ENGL 1010 or 1011 in subsequent terms. To verify placement that is best for students, writing samples are required on the first day of ENGL 1010 or 1011. Upon review of those samples, instructors may direct students to enroll in ENGL 1004 for the term. See more information about course placement.

The course carries four credits, and the class limit is 17 students (on the Storrs campus; 15 at other campuses). The four credits granted for passing the course do count toward graduation.

Course Description

The course is designed to guide students in developing their writing practices and to introduce them to meaningful participation in critical conversations. To that end, the work of the class includes learning and improving strategies for taking stock of one’s ideas; becoming aware of their own and others’ rhetorical situations, and the way we respond to those situations; unpacking writers’ critical assumptions; situating oneself in conversation with writers; developing critical approaches to issues, problems, and texts; forming new ideas rather than reporting on the ideas of others; and making new contributions.

Course Goals

In English 1004, students prepare for the composition practices required in the First-Year Writing seminars (either English 1010 or 1011), future coursework, as well as public and professional writing. The course immerses students in a variety of composition practices by primarily spending the work of the class on composing in a variety of modes, including written/textual, visual, and audio. In English 1004, then, students practice developing writing projects, drafting and revising work, listening to and acting on other readers’ responses to their writing, experimenting with the progression of their ideas to engage readers, engaging in ethical scholarship, and presenting their work in a way that is clearly compelling to their audience, thereby achieving their goals as writers and composers. Thinking about writing in a variety of modes and media further allows students to consider the complex ways we communicate, engage in conversations, and participate in the world around us.

Learning Goals for English 1004

The goals for ENGL 1004 are to invite students to engage in the kind of work we do as thinkers and as members of the a variety of communities; to prepare students to participate successfully in the First-Year Writing seminars and all other university courses, including but not limited to those where writing is featured. We hope then to help students begin to understand through practice certain features of critical literacy, rhetoric, and an awareness of and response to a variety of conventions while also developing a consciousness of their own practices, assumptions, strengths, and weaknesses as writers.

Critical Literacy 

  • discerning a writer’s aims, methods, materials, critical vocabulary, and to unpack the writer’s assumptions
  • representing the relationship between one’s own ideas and ideas from reading (that is, to demonstrate how one reads by way of writing and how one writes by way of reading)


  • recognizing the social nature of writing
  • understanding the relationship between writer and audience
  • developing questions and projects in response to texts
  •  responding actively to intellectual tasks outlined in assignments

Writing Conventions 

  • making choices about the genre, style, and progression of ideas in response to the task, the context, the issues, the goals, and the readers
  • crafting work that is compelling, engaging, and audience-friendly
  • exploring a variety of ways to organize and develop a work of composition in response to differing rhetorical situations and expectations
  • marking the boundaries between and the relationships to other writers’ work responsibly and ethically, using the appropriate citation and documentation conventions to indicate those boundaries and relationships while also offering the reader access to the intellectual context for the work

Consciousness as Writers 

  • understanding practices, assumptions, strengths, and weaknesses as writers
  • developing writing practices and strategies for drafting, rewriting, revising, and proofreading their work
  • adapting to and making choices based on the response of one’s audience
  • understanding that writing changes and develops throughout their academic careers and beyond as they write outside of the university

For more information on the goals of the First-Year Writing program and the principles and practices of teaching English 1004 and the First-Year Writing seminars, please see the Course Description for English 1010 and 1011 and the materials on this website.