ESL Workshop in Composition

Some students choose to take ESL Workshop in Composition followed by Seminar in Composition.This is a two-course sequence, with the first course specifically designed for students for whom English is not a first language. Students in this two course-sequence typically  take ESL Workshop in Composition in Fall Term and then register for a 200-level ENGCMP course or FP 0006 in Spring Term.

In ESL Workshop in Composition, you can expect to

  • Study the topic of writing as a process
  • Discuss conventions of American academic writing 
  • Study topics related to culture and identity to explore writing in English
  • Develop stronger personal writing habits and processes
  • Write in response to challenging readings
  • Devote class time to reading and writing, as well as evaluating the writing of others
  • Experiment with writing strategies 
  • Have 15 students in your class

You do not have to choose ESL Workshop in Composition just because English is not your first language. Choose your course based on the kind of learning experience that would be most helpful to you. ESL Workshop in Composition is most appropriate for students in these circumstances: if you are not completely confident in academic reading, writing and discussion because English is your additional language even though you have received some education in English-speaking countries, and/or if you are interested in more intensive support for your acquisition of academic English and if you would like to work with faculty who understand your possible challenges and know how to help you appropriately. If English is not your first language, and you found the DSP's reading and writing activity difficult and/or time consuming, consider ESL Workshop in Composition. 

If you want support as you are working on your writing projects, you can register for ENGCMP 0151 Workshop Tutorial, a two-credit tutorial course that allows you to meet with a faculty consultant in the Writing Center each week. This is a good option if you feel unsure about the writing process or want a reader for your work. It’s also a good option for those who have questions about sentence-level writing issues.

If you have questions or would like to discuss the option of ESL Workshop in Composition in more detail before making your decision, please email

Zhen Wu"The skills I got from this course improved the precision and fluency of my writing as well as inspired my thinking. From it, I strengthened my abilities and also gained confidence as a writer. I learned the conventions of quoting, summarizing, and paraphrasing. I practiced using others’ ideas appropriately and incorporating them into my context fluently. I also formed the habit of revision in this course, which helps my writing in the long run." Zhen Wu

Anastasiia Rudenko"As an international student, I learned a lot about not just writing but English writing. I learned about the American style of essays, the English structure of writings, new idioms and fixed phrases that I have never heard about, and many other details of the English language that separate the native speaker and a foreigner. I enjoyed this course with a friendly atmosphere of small classes, open discussions, and indeed interesting and important knowledge covered in it." Anastasiia Rudenko

Yanchen Ge"Taking ESL Workshop in Composition class was the luckiest thing in my college years. I learned that writing is not just putting letters onto the paper; it is a self-reflection process. I also did close-reading that allows me to connect with different authors. I kept using what I’ve learned in this this class in writing my film scripts and filmmaking. I learned that showing is a more effective way to deliver meanings than telling, which is also essential in my film classes. I also remembered that imagery directly connects with the readers' and audiences’ imaginations to create unerasable memories." Yanchen Ge

Manquin Jin"I feel very lucky that I had such an impressive experience, not only because this course prepared me for academic reading and writing skills, helped with my language fluency and accuracy, but also because this course equipped me with enough courage and confidence that I can be successful in English writing as a non-English speaker. Though interested in literature from my first language, I thought I should maximally utilize my "inherited talent" in STEM fields, and tried to run away from my inferiority in English by taking no other writing courses besides what were required for me to graduate. But now, I am actively and confidently taking writing-intensive literature courses, where the rest of members in the classes are all native-speakers. All of this journey traces back to ESL Workshop in Composition, the course that inspired me to take that leap of faith." Manquin Jin