First-Year English

The First-Year English Sequence

As part of University Studies Cluster 1, First-Year English offers a two-course sequence addressing several goals:

  • To introduce students to the concepts of the engaged citizen and engaged learning.
  • To emphasize the use of critical thinking, reading, and writing and communication as vehicles for engaged learning.
  • To foster students’ ability to use technology to enhance learning.

ENL-101 Critical Writing and Reading I

Argument-focused course that introduces students to scholarly reading and writing strategies. Students practice widely-applicable methods of reading, writing, and revising arguments. Students read college-level arguments from diverse popular, public, and academic genres in order to develop their academic skills of analyzing single arguments, synthesizing multiple perspectives, and composing informed responses to an ongoing conversation.

At the end of ENL-101 students will be able to:

  1. Produce college level writing that addresses needs of audience, situation and purpose.
  2. Analyze, summarize, paraphrase, and synthesize material from a variety of sources.
  3. Incorporate and accurately document outside sources using proper documentation formats.
  4. Demonstrate control of syntax, grammar, punctuation, and spelling.

ENL-102 Critical Writing and Reading II

Synthesis-focused course that builds on ENL 101. Students sharpen analytical skills by reading complex texts across public and academic genres. Students also create individual research questions, build college-level research skills, compose sophisticated syntheses, and revise their own argumentative, academic contributions to a defined conversation. Students leave the course prepared for intermediate reading and writing tasks in a broad variety of disciplines as well as with improved research skills and the reflective habits of successful, life-long learners.

At the end of ENL-102 students will be able to:

  1. Write essays that satisfy the specific needs of audiences in the disciplines of the sciences, social sciences, and humanities.
  2. Write effective syntheses that demonstrate effective critical reading.
  3. Select, effectively integrate, and document appropriate resource materials from library databases and print holdings.
  4. Demonstrate discipline-specific control of language, style, structure, format, syntax, grammar, and mechanics.

Who Takes English 101 & 102?

At UMass Dartmouth, we believe ENL 101 and 102 play an important role in a student's preparation for and success within the university.  Therefore, the expectation is that all students will take these courses when they begin their studies here. However, we also recognize that students sometimes have equivalent, or nearly equivalent, experiences elsewhere. The below flow chart can help you figure out for which First-Year English course you should enroll.

Decision Tree offering a visual guide for which FYE class, if any, a student should enroll.

In other words, the vast majority of UMassD students take ENL-101 and ENL-102. However, some students may have transfer credit already in place or may have exam scores that automatically waive them out of a course. The registrar can confirm that credit transfer for you; no further action is needed on your part. Your 1A/1B University Studies requirements are automatically met.

In other cases, students have the option to take a waiver exam to demonstrate their college-level reading and writing proficiency; passing the waiver exam means a student does not need to take ENL 101 and 102 at UMassD. 

We generally consider waiver exams for students who:

  • took first-year English courses at another institution, but for whom the credit did not transfer AND the outside course was comparable in nature (outcomes, curriculum)
  • used CLEP, AP or IB credit elsewhere to waive out of first-year English courses elsewhere and are seeking waiver of their first year writing courses (provisionally)
  • had their first-year English courses waived elsewhere and are seeking waiver of their first year writing courses (provisionally)

For further information, please contact the Director of First-Year English or the Assistant Director of First-Year English.