Information about Writing Courses
offered at Oberlin College
for Faculty Advisors
Currently four departments or programs at Oberlin College list courses that provide students an opportunity to learn more about writing. In recent years all four have significantly changed their curricular offerings, which can sometimes make it difficult for students to choose the best course for their needs or interests. We offer the attached chart to assist you in helping your advisees determine which courses are best for them.
if students' native language isn't English they will be given a placement test when they arrive at Oberlin. They should then consult with Katerina Grim in the Dean of Studies Office (Peters 205) to determine what class to take. if first or second year students have little experience or confidence in writing, they should be encouraged to enroll in RHET 113 or 115. If juniors or seniors fit this profile, they should be encouraged to consult the instructors to determine if they can receive special permission to enroll in the course.
if students would like to develop their writing skills in a variety of disciplines, they should take a WR or WRi First-Year Seminar
if students want to study literature, they should enroll in an English Gateway course at the 200-level. The prerequisite for these courses include the completion of at least half of the Writing Requirement (link to that page)
if students are interested in studying the techniques of poetry or fiction writing in a historical perspective with some opportunity to try out the techniques, they should be encouraged to take Technique and Form in Poetry (CRWR 110) or Technique and Form in Fiction (CRWR 120). Of the 60 spaces in each of these courses, however, 35 are reserved for first year students and 15 are reserved for sophomores.
if sophomores are interested in producing literary writing (poetry, fiction, and some playwriting), they should be encouraged to apply for Poetry/Prose Workshop (CRWR 201). Especially promising first-year students may be admitted to CRWR 201 during their second semester. Admission to all Creative Writing Program courses 201 and above is based on an application process that includes submitting writing samples. Application forms are available outside the Creative Writing Program Office (Rice 13) in late fall and late spring; the deadlines are usually in June for the fall semester and in January for the spring.
If you have any further questions about what our departments or programs offer, feel free to contact us.