Writing and English for Academic Purposes Programs

Writing, speaking, and academic inquiry are at the heart of the liberal arts education here at NYU Shanghai. The Writing and English for Academic Purposes Programs play a central role in fulfilling this mission for our students.  

In our two core curriculum writing courses, students learn how to closely read academic and literary texts; how to provide interpretations supported by evidence; how to build logical arguments; how to develop research questions; how to enter into narrowly-defined academic conversations; and how to shape their writing to different genres. Students come to see writing as a process, one that sharpens their thinking and allows them to pursue the questions that feel most urgent to them.

First-year writing workshops are designed to help students encounter and practice critical inquiry and academic expression. By the end of their first year, students should be able to dissect difficult textual material, recognize rhetorical strategies and genre conventions, and build clear and convincing arguments that matter both within and beyond academic contexts. Second-year Perspectives on the Humanities seminars reinforce the work of the first year, while providing students opportunities to consider modes and topics of inquiry in the humanities, including literature, philosophy, history, cultural studies, gender studies, and more.

In our English for Academic Purposes (EAP) courses, we offer students a literacy education which acculturates them into the liberal arts academy. Students learn how to participate in the spoken genres of academic culture, including discussion, presentation, and the interview; how to receive and then utilize academic information in aural form; how to build conclusions and synthesize these conclusions with claims from texts. Through experiential learning projects, students learn how to adapt the academic register beyond the university. EAP seminars, which range over subjects from business ethics to Shanghai’s urban environment, provide students with opportunities to explore their academic interests, test their academic skills, and begin to develop their intellectual identities, all while practicing and refining their English at the academic level.

The habits, dispositions, and skills we teach in Writing and EAP classes may be transferred to communication in a variety of channels -- academic, civic, business, personal, and creative. The capacities for critical analysis and nuanced self-expression developed in these classes will prove useful whatever our students’ future careers.

Our faculty are scholars in a variety of disciplines, including composition and rhetoric, creative writing, applied linguistics, literature, journalism, film, and education, among others. They bring these passions to their classrooms, as well as expertise in expository writing.

In addition to our core curriculum classes, the Writing Program also offers creative writing courses, including a Creative Writing Minor.