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University Writing Requirements

Freshman Writing Proficiency

Fulfilling the Requirement

There are two ways to fulfill the freshman writing proficiency requirement. If you earned a 4 or a 5 on the AP English Exam or a 5 on the IB exam, you will fulfill the proficiency requirement. You may also fulfill the requirement during your freshman year by taking and passing English 1010.  Even if you fulfill the requirement through an AP or IB exam score, you might still choose to take English 1010 to cultivate your writing abilities further.

Description of English 1010

All sections of English 1010 carry four credits, meet for four hours per week, and are usually limited to an enrollment of 15.  Each class demands the same amount of writing: 30 pages of graded prose.  You will be asked to produce numerous, short, low-stakes pieces of writing on a regular basis, and you will also be asked to produce four major, formal essays, including one that requires you to become familiar with our library, with various research techniques, and with the demands of academic honesty and the seriousness of the crime of plagiarism.  In addition to the research essay, English 1010 focuses on two other kinds of writing tasks commonly assigned in college courses: analysis and argument.  Your instructor will introduce you to strategies, conventions, and templates for these kinds writing, and provide you with invention techniques and stylistic principles that will enable you to revise your work, for revision is required by the course. Through these means, you’ll learn to produce prose that has the complexity and coherence characteristic of academic discourse.  You will also learn to edit and proofread your work to make sure that no grammatical errors or stylistic issues undermine its clarity.  English 1010, however, is not a course in basic skills, and we assume that you enter Tulane with some facility in writing, a facility that this course will allow you to cultivate considerably as you prepare to write your way through the university.  Each section of English 1010 follows the same essential guidelines, and yet instructors choose a distinct theme for each section as a way to create a coherent body of reading assignments, and, in turn, a realistic rhetorical context for student writing.


English 1010 classes are usually limited to 15 students, and thus they fill rapidly. Before you begin to register, make a list of 5 or 6 sections that meet in time-slots that accord with your other time-commitments. This way, when you register, you’ll have a set of options and a degree of flexibility that will help you create schedule that is as close as possible to your ideal.

Writing Intensive Requirement

Courses offered in the English Department that fulfill the university’s writing intensive requirement include ENLS 2630 (Expository Writing), ENLS 3650 (Persuasive Writing), and ENLS 5010 (Capstone Seminar). The writing intensive requirement can also be fulfilled by the 4-credit second semester of the yearlong honors thesis, which in the English Department is ENLS 5000. It cannot be fulfilled by any of the introductory or advanced Creative Writing courses offered in the English Department.