Ethical Scholarship for Students

We Want You to Make a Contribution to FYW Classroom Conversations

We don’t write in a vacuum; rather, our writing is always in relation to what others have thought, said, and written. If everything we can say comes out of what others have already said, why are we so hung up on whether we always document where our ideas are from? While our work emerges from the work of others, in the academy we share the list of invitees with our readers. And while our words come from engagement with others, we do not present the work of others as our own, as replacements for our thoughts and the words we commit to a document. When you, the writer, do not see your stake in an idea or argument, it’s harder to move away from others’ words to make your thoughts and formulations a part of the conversation. In the UConn First-Year Writing program we emphasize methods for finding your stake in an argument and making a contribution to the discussion. We want you to be able to go beyond simply agreeing or disagreeing wholesale with others’ work. In the pages linked to the FYW website’s Ethical Scholarship for Students, we ask you to think through how you are a member of a community of people forming questions about what they’ve noticed. Your goal in the FYW course will be to further your classmates’ and your instructors understanding of the way you see, engage with, and make sense of the world.

In addition to asking you to think through your role as a reader and writer of intellectual matter, we offer very practical advice and specific examples of how to use the words of others in productive and interesting ways. If you have further questions or comments, please let your instructor know, or write to us at