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Foundations - Written Communication (FW)

With the Foundations-Written Communication (FW) course, students will be introduced to the rhetorical, conceptual, and stylistic demands of writing at the college level; courses give instruction in composing processes, search strategies, and composing from sources. The FW course also provides students with experiences in the library and on the Internet and enhances their skills in accessing and using various types of primary and secondary materials.

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FW Hallmarks and Explanatory Notes
FW courses

Related links:
Foundations articulation
Foundations assessment
Fulfilling the FW requirement
FAQs about FW
Choosing an English 100 section
Alternative FW credit: The Writing Collection

FW Hallmarks and Explanatory Notes

(Foundations Board approved 04/21/06)

To satisfy the Written Communication (FW) requirement, a course will (Hallmarks in bold; Notes in italics):

  1. introduce students to different forms of college-level writing, including, but not limited to, academic discourse, and guide them in writing for different purposes and audiences.
    • The primary goal of W Foundations classes is learning to write. Course reading should serve as a basis for writing rather than as a body of material to be mastered per se.

    • The primary reading focus should be on expository texts. The course should consider a variety of college-level readings (e.g. summary/abstract, narrative, analysis, argument).
  2. provide students with guided practice of writing processes–planning, drafting, critiquing, revising, and editing–making effective use of written and oral feedback from the faculty instructor and from peers.
    • There should be a coherent sequence of various types of writing studied and assigned in the course. Generally, such a sequence will move from presumably simpler to more complex rhetorical tasks (e.g. from summary to analysis/interpretation to argument, or from narrative/serialization to comparative analysis to research-based inquiry).

    • Types of interaction concerning student writing will vary and may include in-class collaborative group work (including online or hybrid instruction), instructor/student conferencing (in person and/or online), student/student peer review, and tutorial feedback as available.
  3. require at least 5000 words of finished prose–equivalent to approximately 20 typewritten/printed pages.
    • “Finished prose” is defined as writing which has received peer and/or instructor feedback, has usually undergone student revision, and has been formally evaluated by the instructor. Writing such as journal entries, e-mail letters, pre-writing exercises, unrevised in-class writing, or feedback to peers should not normally be considered “finished prose.”
  4. help students develop information literacy by teaching search strategies, critical evaluation of information and sources, and effective selection of information for specific purposes and audiences; teach appropriate ways to incorporate such information, acknowledge sources and provide citations.
    • “Information literacy” includes knowledge of and competence using Internet as well as print materials.
  5. help students read texts and make use of a variety of sources in expressing their own ideas, perspectives, and/or opinions in writing.


Approved FW Courses at UHM

  • AMST 111, Introduction to American Studies Writing F16-SS19
  • ENG 100, Composition I F02-SS22
    Restricted to freshmen during the Fall and Spring semesters
  • ENG 100A, Composition I Honors F02-SS22
    Restricted to freshmen during the Fall and Spring semesters
  • ENG 190, Composition I for Transfer Students to UH Mānoa F09-SS22
  • ESL 100, Composition I for Second Language Writers S14-SS22
    Formerly ELI 100 F02-F13
FW courses no longer offered at UHM
  • ENG 101/101L, Composition I/Composition Lab F02-S09


last modified December 18, 2017; report errors to gened@hawaii.edu