Skip to content
Cornell University School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions

The information on this site pertains to the Summer College 2016 program. If you would like to be notified when 2017 information and applications are available, please join the Summer College announcement list. We also invite you to become a fan of our Summer College Facebook Page.

Please see our Upcoming program dates page for 2017 programs.


Focus on Writing

Dates: June 22-August 6, 2013 (6 weeks)
Credits: 6-8 credits
Eligibility: current sophomores, juniors, seniors
(see eligibility requirements)
Apply by: May 17, 2013


This six-week program is offered with the John S. Knight Institute for Writing in the Disciplines, one of the nation's oldest and most comprehensive writing-across-the-curriculum programs. Its excellence was recognized when the Time/Princeton Review chose Cornell as its private research university "College of the Year" on the basis of its teaching students "how to use writing as a way to learn and think."

During this program you'll gain intensive writing experience while considering a variety of topics. Previous years' topics have ranged from Shakespeare and film to civil disobedience and personal experience.

The three writing classes highlighted on the Courses page feature small sections (eighteen students or fewer) and personalized instruction by faculty in the planning, composition, and revision of papers based on assigned readings and discussions.

Two of these classes (ENGL 1131 and ENGL 1132) are considered first-year writing seminars and are accepted for undergraduate credit in Cornell degree programs and/or also apply toward Cornell's first-year writing requirements.

The third class (WRIT 1011) is designed especially for students whose schooling has been in languages other than English.

In addition, you'll have access to individual tutoring through the writing program's summer walk-in service.

What students say

"I loved my professors! I felt that they truly had a passion about what they were teaching."  — Stephanie Friedman
"I think the writing course not only taught us how to write, it also encouraged us to talk about our ideals."  — Yuqing Zou


Select one of the courses below and pair it with any other (except another writing course) from the more than forty-five on this website (see the six-week course roster). If you're prepared for a demanding summer, you may also enroll in the career exploration component of Biological Research and the Health Professions.

First-year writing seminars
Academic writing for international students


All sections are led by Cornell faculty. See individual section descriptions for names.

Your Typical Day

Check out a typical day in a six-week program.


  • Thursday, July 4: In observance of Independence Day, we will not have classes.
  • Mondays, July 8 or 15: College Admissions Workshops, 2:30-3:45 p.m.
  • Monday, July 22: College Fair, 4:00-6:00 p.m., Robert Purcell Community Center, Multipurpose Room

Student experiences