2020-2021 Catalog

Academic Writing

The Academic Writing Program offers a sequence of theme-based courses that serve as the cornerstone of our general education curriculum, introducing students to academic writing, interdisciplinary study, and college-level research. In these courses, students cultivate critical reading, writing and thinking skills, as well as develop fundamental academic research and oral presentation skills. In Writing Seminar I (WRIT 101), students develop thesis-driven arguments through a series of formal and informal writing assignments. The course emphasizes writing as a process, and students engage in substantial revision, discussion and peer review exercises as they learn to compose organized, developed, creative and clearly-written essays. Writing Seminar II (WRIT 102) builds on the skills introduced in Writing Seminar I by asking students to practice critical analysis, comparative analysis and academic argument. In addition, in this course, students are expected to conduct independent academic research, and there is a focus on evaluating, documenting and integrating sources in support of formulating claims. Students who meet specific criteria are placed in Advanced Writing Seminar (WRIT 201), which is a one-semester course that combines the goals and curricular requirements of WRIT 101 and WRIT 102. After completing their required writing seminars, students are well prepared to engage in the type of advanced-level critical analysis, research, oral presentation, and writing that will be expected of them across the MMC curriculum.

The Academic Writing Program also offers introductory courses, including Introduction to Writing (WRIT 009), Effective Thinking (WRIT 010), and Writing Lab (WRIT 011), to assist students in mastering the skills they need to succeed in college. Students are placed into these courses by the Office of Academic Advisement, in conjunction with the Center for Academic Support and Tutoring and faculty in the Academic Writing Program.


Division: Humanities and Social Sciences
Division Office: The Faculty Center 301
Phone: 646-393-4111
Division Chair: Jennifer Brown, Ph.D.
Administrative Assistant: Alexandra Dill

Department Faculty:

Diana Epelbaum

Assistant Professor of Academic Writing

Director, Academic Writing Program

B.A., New York University

M.S., Pace University

Ph.D., The Graduate School & University Center of CUNY

The Faculty Center 401,

Phone: 646-393-4112



Julie Ann Huntington

Associate Professor of English and World Literatures

B.A., Eastern Michigan University

M.A., Vanderbilt University

Ph.D., Vanderbilt University

The Faculty Center 500

Phone: 646-393-4117


Magdalena Maczynska

Associate Professor of English and World Literatures

B.A. & M.A., Wroclaw University

Ph.D., The Catholic University of America

The Faculty Center 300

Phone: 646-393-4123


Tahneer Oksman

Associate Professor of Academic Writing

B.A., The University of Pennsylvania

M.A., University of Chicago

Ph.D., The Graduate School & University Center of CUNY

The Faculty Center 401

Phone: 646-393-4142


Kenton Worcester

Professor of Political Science

B.A., University of Massachusetts at Boston

M.A., M.Phil., & Ph.D., Columbia University

The Faculty Center 100

Phone: 646-393-4137


Learning Goals for the Writing Sequence:

After completing the Writing Sequence, students will be able to:

  • Develop well-structured and thesis-driven argumentative essays
  • Design an original academic research project, which will include relevant and appropriate sources and will be structured in accordance with the current standard of academic dialogue.
  • Deliver an organized and effective oral presentation.

Writing Courses (WRIT)