First Year English

The First-Year English Sequence

As part of University Studies Cluster 1, the First-Year English two-course sequence address several goal

  • 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  read college-level arguments from diverse popular, public, and academic genres in order to develop academic skills of argument analysis, synthesis, and composition. Students practice widely-applicable methods for breaking apart individual arguments as well as synthesizing individual arguments into shared perspectives.

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 format
  4. Demonstrate control of syntax, grammar, punctuation and spelling.



Enl-102 Critical Writing and Reading II

A course designed to advance the rhetorical skills and understanding developed in ENL 101. Critical reading of various literary genres and analytic and argumentative writing assignments enhance the student's awareness and use of effective language.

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.

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English 101 & 102 Waiver Exams

At UMass Dartmouth, we believe ENL 101 and 102 play an important role in a students’ preparation for and success within the university.  Therefore, the expectation is that every student will take these courses when they begin their studies here. However, we also recognize that students sometimes have equivalent, or nearly equivalent experiences elsewhere, before they transfer in or begin courses here.  In those cases, students may take a waiver test to demonstrate that they are sufficiently proficient and do not need to take ENL 101 and 102 at UMassD.

Generally, we consider waivers exams for students if they took either of these courses at another institution, but the credit did not transfer AND the outside course was comparable in nature (outcomes, curriculum).

Students may also take the waiver exam (provisionally) if they have taken CLEP, AP or IB credit elsewhere or have waived out of these courses elsewhere and are seeking waiver of their first year writing courses.

In order to be eligible for ENL 101 or ENL 102 waiver tests, the English Department, First-Year English University Studies Committee has determined that, a student must meet at least one of the following criteria:

•    Student has taken a comparable course that did not transfer. Student is able to provide evidence of comparable course at another institution via transcript, transfer records, syllabus or a combination of the three.
•    Student has taken CLEP or AP coursework. Student is able to provide evidence of CLEP, or AP coursework waivers/tests.
•    Student has taken the International Baccalaureate. Student is able to provide evidence of IB coursework and exams.
•    Student has been “waived” ENL 101 or 102 at another institution and is able to provide evidence in some way via transcript, course records or transfer       records.

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