Academic Writing Requirement

Strong reading, writing, and research skills are essential to academic success.

Regardless of whether you are a native speaker of English or have learned English as an additional language, everyone needs to develop writing and communication skills to meet the expectations of advanced literacy associated with university-level academic studies.

To ensure that students are prepared to meet these expectations, the university requires all undergraduate students enrolled in a degree program to satisfy one of the following two requirements.

  1. Successful completion of a 1.5 unit AWR-designated course (ENGL 135146147ENGR 110).
  2. One of the following qualifications.
    • A score of at least 86% on the B.C. English 12 Provincial Examination, or English 12 First Peoples Provincial Examination, within the three years immediately prior to admission.
    • A final grade of at least 86% in an approved English 12 equivalent course from other Canadian provinces within the three years immediately prior to admission.
    • 1.5 units of transfer credit for ENGL 135146 or 147ENGR 110, or AWR-designated level credit.
    • A degree from a recognized English-speaking university.
Selecting your AWR course

All students who have been admitted to the university may register in the first-year English course of their choice. The English department offers four courses that satisfy the AWR.

  • ENGL 135 Academic Reading and Writing (1.5 units).
  • ENGL 146 Introduction to Literary Genres, Themes and Styles (1.5 units).
  • ENGL 147 Great moments in English Literature (1.5 units).
  • ENGR 110 Design and Communication I (2.5 units), for Engineering students only.

To increase their proficiency, students may also benefit from registering in one or both of the following preparatory courses prior to receiving credit for an AWR-designated course.

  • ENGL 101 Fundamentals of Academic Literacy (1.5 units).

Note that these two courses do not satisfy the Academic Writing Requirement.

Which course is right for you?

The course that’s right for you depends on your academic goals and needs. If you’re interested in studying literature, you will want to look at ENGL 146 and ENGL 147 (both of which fulfill the academic writing requirement (AWR)).  If you’re interested in analyzing academic language, you will want to look at ENGL 135 (which also fulfills the AWR).  And if you think you need review, consider ENGL 101. 

If your program requires 3.0 credits of English, you would normally take any two of the courses that fulfill the Academic Writing Requirement; please check with your own department as to its specific program requirements.  If you are unsure which course you may need, you can start by taking the University's voluntary self-placement questionnaire for first-year writing classes.

You may also see our first-year courses on the Academic Calendar or watch the informational videos.

See the videos below to hear instructors and students talk about each of our first year courses.