Academic and Professional Writing

“Little Red Schoolhouse”

Academic and Professional Writing (ENGL 13000/33000) is designed to offer principles for writing that allow you, the expert on your topic, to anticipate and influence how readers respond to your work — whether professors, professionals, or the general public. We approach writing not as a collection of arbitrary rules, but as a study of readers.

LRS is offered every academic quarter. During the traditional academic year (Autumn, Winter, and Spring quarters), the course meets twice weekly: once in a plenary lecture session on Thursdays from 2:00-3:20pm, and once in small-group seminars that meet on Tuesdays (starting in Week 2), during which students exchange, analyze, and critique each other’s papers, led by a trained graduate student Lector.

In Summer Quarter, both lectures and seminars meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:30am-12:20pm. For more information on Summer Quarter, please refer to the Summer Programs webpage.

Check our registration page for more information on schedules and discussion section times. We update our course schedule quarterly.

To ensure that students receive individualized attention to their writing, enrollment is strictly limited so that there are no more than 7 students per small-group seminar. No exceptions!

We also do not allow University of Chicago students, students from outside institutions, and non-students to audit the course.

Who can benefit from LRS?

We may be be biased, but we think everyone should take a course like this! More specifically, LRS is for anyone who engages in “expert writing” – from academic papers, to technical manuals, to legal briefs – and wants their audience to comprehend and respond to complex ideas.


PhD and Master's Students

Graduate students in any of the divisions and professional schools will benefit from LRS. The course is designed to prepare graduate students for the demands of writing at the level of the dissertation, the academic or professional article, and the academic or professional book. Graduate students may take the course any quarter, including Summer. Law, Booth MBA, GSAL, and SSA master’s students must wait until Friday of Week 1 to register and should join the waitlist in the meantime.


3rd/4th-Year Undergraduates

We welcome students in the College who are in at least their 3rd year of study, because it takes at least this long to have the requisite amount of writing and expertise under your belt to get the most out of this course. Undergraduates may take the course in Winter, Spring or Summer quarter. Many an alum has come back to say that LRS was one of the most practical and valuable courses in their UChicago career.


ESL/EAL Students

Students who are native speakers of languages other than English often benefit from LRS; however, LRS is not substitute for specialized training in English writing. LRS does not directly address many important ESL/EAL concerns such as the use of idioms, definite/indefinite articles, and the complexities of English verb tenses. For courses explicitly oriented toward these matters and the conventions of North American academic writing, please visit the English Language Institute

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