What can you expect of your students?
Many instructors wonder what experiences and capabilities their students will bring with them to the First-Year Seminar classroom. All students entering a seminar have taken either Writing 2-3, Writing 5, or Humanities 1. In Writing 2-3 and Writing 5, students will have written at least three papers in which they offer thoughtful responses to legitimate academic questions. Students in Writing 2-3 and Writing 5 have also been introduced to library resources. They have had experience revising their work, guided by comments from their instructors. In sum, your students have begun to build the capabilities that will serve them in their future academic pursuits.
Still, you should assume that your students will need to practice and polish these abilities in their seminars. Moreover, it's likely that your students have never before worked within your discipline. They may not know how knowledge is constructed in your field. They may not be aware of what your discipline counts as evidence, or how arguments are structured. Moreover, although Writing 5 and Writing 2-3 cover proper citation protocol, citation styles differ among disciplines. You therefore should not assume that your students know how to cite in your field. Finally, while students are aware of the Academic Honor Principle, they will not know how you expect them to conduct themselves in your course. For fuller explanation, see Writing 5 Guidelines for Faculty and Writing 2-3 Guidelines for Faculty.