Why does writing well matter? At its heart, this course reminds us that the promise of a liberal arts education is the ability to represent yourself to the world on your own terms while also considering your responsibilities to others. If this is so, then writing is crucial to the liberal arts. How can you communicate your ideas or your sense of self—how can you consider your relationship to the world—without attending to the operation of words, form, prose, and language? This first-year seminar offers tools and strategies to help you communicate across the academic divisions of Swarthmore College. While you learn about practical elements of writing—such as genre, citation, and how to compose a concise sentence—you will also approach composition as an exercise in thinking, communication, and rhetoric that enables and conditions learning and ethics. Assignments will provide a balance between control over craft and the expectations of an academic audience. They will include three major writing projects and numerous small assignments that teach transferable skills.