The Writing Program

As a student of the arts, reading and writing play an important role in your art making, allowing you to think critically about a work of art, one created by you or another artist. What's more, as an artist, you will want to situate your unique voice within a community. Thinking through your ideas on the page reflects the creative process. As a student scholar, you will construct arguments that build on those of previous interpretations and practices, locating your analysis among academics, critics, or thinkers. The Writing Program at the University of the Arts aims to support your artistic goals by giving you the tools you'll need to look at the history and scholarship of your field through a critical lens. These skills can translate not just to your art-making process, but also to your learning and professional endeavors.

Our First-Year Writing classes introduce you to critical reading and writing processes. Ultimately, we want you to participate in a critical conversation about a work of art that intrigues you, to develop an argument and defend it. To that end, we invite you to be a present and active voice by teaching you to critically read and respond to another author’s explanation and in turn create an innovative analysis.

Fundamentals of Compositions I (LACR 009)
LACR 009 develops students' critical reading and writing skills so that they can employ the writing processes expected at the college level. View a detailed course description.

Fundamentals of Composition II (LACR 100*)
LACR 100 emphasizes the reading and writing processes that lead to argumentation, as well as the technical aspects of writing. View a detailed course description.

First-Year Writing I (LACR 101*)
LACR 101 is the first part of a year-long writing, reading and research course that teaches the fundamental aspects of the responsible student-scholar. View a detailed course description.

*LACR 100 and 101 share the same curriculum and thus the same objectives and processes.

Fundamentals of Composition III (LACR 103*)
A continuation of LACR 100, LACR 103 is the second part of a year-long course that builds on and develops the writing and reading processes that lead to argumentation. View a detailed course description.

First-Year Writing II (LACR 102*)
A continuation of LACR 101, LACR 102 is the second part of a year-long course that builds on and develops the writing and reading processes that lead to argumentation. View a detailed course description.

*LACR 103 and 102 share the same curriculum and thus the same objectives and processes.

Through the workshop program, we aim to provide support for instructors who incorporate writing into their classes. In the First-Year Writing (FYW) program, our students learn the writing and reading processes essential to a student of the arts. Through this supplemental programming, we can help instructors refresh FYW lessons. And, we can address discipline-specific writing genres, such as the artist statement.

We have several FYW instructors and Academic Counselors on our team.  A presenter will give the workshop during class time. To schedule a workshop, contact Christa DiMarco, Director of Writing at Please provide your class's room number, the time of your class, and a few dates. We'll need one to two weeks notice.

If you have an idea bout a workshop, but do not see it listed here, let Christa know. Her team may be able to develop a workshop that suits your class.

  • What To Say About What I Made: The Artist Statement
    This 1⁄2 hour workshop will introduce some key steps students can follow when writing about their art. Created by Michele Kishita, FYW Instructor.
  • Yeah, What She Said: Effectively Integrating Source Material
    This workshop will run about one hour. The WS will review how to incorporate source material (introduce, cite, and explain the source). Students will participate in a paraphrasing and direct quoting exercise. Created by Christa DiMarco, Director of Writing and FYW Instructor.
  • Holding it All Together: Constructing Coherent Paragraphs
    In this hour-long workshop, the WS will review paragraph coherence and offer tips for paragraph construction, such as using transition statements, topic sentences and supportive evidence. The students will participate by producing a class "essay" composed of student-generated body paragraphs as part of the workshop. Created by Juliette Lee, FYW Instructor.
  • Source-ry: The Magic of MLA Documentation
    This one-hour workshop will remind students about the importance of how to properly cite sources with MLA in-text citations and a correctly formatted Works Cited page. Students will engage in an exciting group activity: they'll practice citing source material! Created by Michele Kishita, FYW Instructor.
  • Text, Context and Subtext: Analyzing Primary Materials
    This workshop will cover issues in understanding, identifying, interpreting and responsibly using primary sources in various media. It will last approximately one hour, including education, review and an exercise in which students analyze a primary text. Created by Anna Kates, FYW Instructor.
  • To the Crux of the Idea: Developing a Thesis
    In an hour-long active learning session, the WS will explain the nature of a thesis and how to formulate a clear thesis. The prep session will give students the chance to develop a thesis on a subject from popular culture. Created by Tim Appignani, FYW Instructor.
  • The Art of Talking: Presentations
    This 1⁄2 hour workshop reviews basic skills and techniques for students preparing presentations in their liberal arts and seminar classes. Created by Anne Egler, Academic Counselor, Academic Support Services.

Writing dittos are quick reminders about grammar rules or explanations about writing standards. If you have an idea for a writing ditto, please contact Christa DiMarco at