Every Harvard College student is required to take a course in expository writing during their freshman year, a requirement in effect since 1872. In Expos courses you learn how to write the kinds of persuasive papers you will need to write throughout college, in disciplines as varied as literature, anthropology, government, and the life sciences. The ability to write clearly, truthfully, and convincingly will serve you well outside of Harvard and after you graduate—whether as consumers, family members, friends, employees, or as citizens of a democracy. Those who write well are especially empowered to transform the many worlds they navigate, both big and small. This life-long project begins with mastering essay writing in college.
The Writing Exam that freshmen take over the summer allows the Writing Program to advise you on whether you should enroll directly in Expos 20—which meets the Expository Writing requirement—or whether you might be better served by enrolling first in the elective course Expos Studio 10 in the fall. (Note that students placed in Expos 20 on the basis of their Writing Exam have the option of fulfilling their Expository Writing requirement by enrolling in Humanities 10a and 10b. Admission to this course is by application. To fulfill the requirement, students must complete both terms of Humanities 10a and 10b sequentially during freshman year.)