Summer Writing Program

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College Writing Is Different from High School Writing

This summer, The Cooper Union is offering a unique opportunity to get a head start on one of the most important aspects of your college career: writing and thinking at the college level.

The Cooper Union Summer Writing Program is a three-week course that prepares students for college-level writing by giving them the critical writing and thinking tools they need. It is designed for students attending college in the fall or entering their senior year of high school. The course is offered in two formats: on-campus or online.

on campus brochure Online brochure

Why a Summer Writing Program? When you move from high school to college, the expectations change. That’s what’s challenging and exciting about college. But it can also be intimidating. In college writing courses, the old formulas no longer apply, and showing that you understand the basic events or ideas in a text isn’t enough. You’re expected to write analytically, to develop an argument and support it with specific details from the text. When asked to write in a new way, even the most accomplished high school writers can struggle, and less confident writers can feel overwhelmed. But when you have the necessary skills and approaches, these challenges can be exhilarating, rather than daunting. The Cooper Union Summer Writing Program’s expert approach to writing and thinking provides those tools.

How It Works Both the on-campus and on-line classes utilize a workshop format that features a mix of lecture, discussion, and hands-on reading and writing work. Classes are kept small so every student receives extensive individual attention. On-line classes use web conferencing technology to create a real-time virtual classroom that gives students the opportunity for hands-on work and immediate feedback. The only way to learn to write more effectively is to learn new approaches, practice them, and receive feedback. Our classes offer a rigorous and supportive environment that makes this possible.

What You'll Learn

  • How to approach challenging texts with confidence
  • How to use writing to generate and develop ideas
  • How to move past the five-paragraph essay
  • How to develop arguments and support them with evidence
  • How to write more clearly and effectively

Cooper Union's Unique Approach The Summer Writing Program is modeled on the unique work we do at Cooper Union. Our approaches are designed for students with diverse learning styles and are effective both for students who don’t identify as writers and those who enjoy writing. It is useful for students across all interests and potential majors.

The Facts

 On CampusOnline
Start / End DatesJuly 7 - July 24, 2014July 7 - July 24, 2014
WeeklyMondays to ThursdaysMondays to Thursdays
Daily ScheduleTwo hours in the morning and two in the afternoon*Real-time class meets 2-4 EST
Location41 Cooper SquareAnywhere
Class Sizemaximum of 12 studentsmaximum of 10 students
Instructionexperienced college instructorsexperienced college instructors
Deposit of $500due June 1due June 1
Full Payment**due June 15due June 15

* Classes meet for two hours in the morning and two in the afternoon, with an hour lunch break. Typical schedules are 10:00-12:00 and 1:00-3:00 or 11:00-1:00 and 2:00-4:00

**Pay in full by June 1st to receive a 10% tuition reduction.

To sign up, fill out the registration form and return it, along with the $500 deposit payable by check, money order or credit card, by June 1st.

Questions? See the FAQ or write to

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.