FYS@Wes is a database and collective informed by contemporary scholarship and the lived experiences of the Wes community. FYS @Wes is meant to inspire just and innovative teaching practices for writing-intensive First-Year Seminars taught at Wesleyan University.
First-year seminars at Wesleyan, as described in the “Academic Journey”, are designed to “introduce” students “to a variety of topics” as well as to “the importance of writing at the university level” and constructing a “scholarly argument.” Students are expected to produce upwards of twenty pages of (polished and unpolished) writing in their first-year seminar. They will also learn how to communicate their ideas and construct claims with evidence – skills that will help them succeed in their four years at Wes and beyond. In this way, the FYS is a uniquely Wesleyan approach to first year composition courses that have long been staples in academic settings (see our bibliography for more history on FYC).
Navigating the Site
The database is organized by topic through the use of tabs. We encourage you to begin with the “Fundamentals of Writing Instruction” page.
You can then explore the “Anti-Racist Writing Pedagogy” page and the “Working with Multilingual Writers” page before looking through the different topics and exercises in the “Database” drop down menu. We have also included a bibliography if you want to read more about writing and pedagogy as well as the larger field of composition and rhetoric. We hope that as you explore the site, you share the tools and insights that have worked well for you!
Ultimately, we hope you will join us in our work to make writing in first-year seminars innovative, exciting, and transformative for our incredible student population at Wesleyan. Please reach out to join the collective either by drafting a blog post, prompting students from your FYS to blog, developing activities or exercises to share, or by sending resources for us to add to our bibliography.