Advanced Writing in the Disciplines

Advanced Writing in the Disciplines (AWD) is a requirement for all Northeastern undergraduates. Many AWD courses are discipline specific—for instance, Advanced Writing in the Health Sciences—but there is also an interdisciplinary AWD course (ENGW3315). AWD can be taken online; this option may be ideal for students on co-op. Additionally, students can petition to enroll in sections of ENGW3315 designated for students for whom English is not their first language (for petition information, contact Ms. Linda Collins: Whether discipline-specific or mixed-discipline, face-to-face or online, AWD courses have the following in common:

  • AWD is advanced: When a student enrolls in AWD, she or he should have fulfilled the First-Year Writing requirement, should be undertaking intensive study in a major, and should have accrued 64 academic credits (including the semester for which the student is enrolled for AWD). Many students find it best to take AWD after they have completed their first co-op. Prior co-op experience is recommended, but not required.
  • AWD focuses on writing: Though students do read and discuss writing produced by professional and scholarly writers, the main object of attention is student writing. AWD students write a lot and frequently spend class time sharing and discussing each other’s work.
  • AWD focuses on writing in the disciplines: The writing produced within each discipline is unique. Taking this proposition seriously, the AWD program encourages students to enroll in the course most compatible with their individual aspirations. (If in doubt, students should consult their advisors.) Once in an AWD course, students learn how writing and research function in their specific disciplines. This focus on discipline-specific writing makes AWD unique.