First-Year Composition

First-year composition courses play a central role in the education of Ithaca College students. Our goal is to help students develop or refine the writing and reading abilities that they will need for their work in majors across campus and for successful lives as professionals and citizens. Most degree programs at Ithaca College require at least one first-year composition course. Our curriculum speaks to the needs of students who require instruction in the basics of academic writing as well as those who arrive on campus with a solid background in composition.

The Department of Writing strives to offer a first-year composition curriculum that represents the most current thinking and the best pedagogical practices in our discipline. Our central goal is to produce writers who are “rhetorically aware,” who analyze the social contexts that create occasions for writing, consider the needs of potential audiences, and make wise choices about content, format, and style. We encourage our students to become active participants in ongoing discussions that are taking place in academic literature and public discourse. Our courses emphasize a process approach to writing that involves critical thinking, drafting, and revising. Academic writers typically back up their assertions with support from published sources and follow standard procedures for borrowing and documenting those ideas; they also observe conventions for organizational structure, grammar, usage, and mechanics.  Our courses identify those conventions, but also indicate points where conventions vary according to genre and context. See our course descriptions for details about our approach to writing instruction.

Direct questions about our program to Professor Susan Delaney, First-Year Composition Coordinator, Smiddy 402,, 607-274-5143.


School of Humanities and Sciences  ·  201 Muller Center  ·  Ithaca College  ·  Ithaca, NY 14850  ·  (607) 274-3102  ·  Full Directory Listing