First Year Writing Program

Students begin their coursework at Queens College by taking a two-semester sequence that teaches them how to enter a scholarly conversation in writing. College Writing 1 (CW1) is taught only in the English Department, and College Writing 2 (CW2) is offered in departments across the college.

For recommendations about which courses to take and when to take them, see the Guide to First Year Writing.

Please email fyw@qc.cuny.edu with transfer credit requests for English 110 and 130, if you need help enrolling in English 109, 110, 115, or 130, or with any other questions.


College Writing 1 (CW1): English 110

Writing is fundamental to a Queens College education and the first step is English 110: College Writing 1. For this reason, the College Writing curriculum is designed to give students a basic understanding of the principles and methods of college writing and research that they will continue to practice and master in their other classes. In short, this class offers the foundation for future success in any student’s major field of study.

English 110, College Writing I (4 hours, 3 credits)
The course examines the arts and practices of effective writing and reading in college, especially the use of language to discover ideas. Methods of research and documentation are taught, along with some introduction to rhetorical purposes and strategies. Students spend at least one hour per week conferring with each other or with their instructor about their writing.

Typically capped at 20 students, these intimate seminars are the single course that all Queens College freshmen experience. Each section of English 110 teaches writing via inquiry into a specific theme or topic such as “Writing about Cultural Identity,” “Writing about Language and Literacy,” or “Writing about Film.” Students can expect a lively, engaging, and interactive classroom with a smaller class size than usual. Students will be able to share ideas with peers, work with digital texts and environments, workshop pieces of writing, use and understand the library’s resources, participate in discussion-based classes, and help to build a community of learners in their first year. Each section of English 110 emphasizes ten learning goals and a series of guidelines.

First-year students should fulfill the CW1 requirement in their freshman year, and they are required to fulfill it before they have taken 60 credits. Transfer students may only be exempted from the requirement if they have taken a similar course at a U.S. university or college that is worth the same number of credits; test scores do not provide grounds for exemption. Contact Academic Advising for more information.

College Writing 2 (CW2)

After the interdisciplinary work they do in English 110, first-year students take a second writing course in a discipline of their choice. They are encouraged to take a course that satisfies the College Writing 2 (CW2) requirement in the same discipline as their major to build the rhetorical skills they will need most. An English major might take ENGL 130 as their CW2 course, for example, while a Sociology major might take SOC 190.

The College is currently expanding its list of courses that satisfy the CW2 requirement, and it offers a different schedule of those courses every semester.