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Boston College University Libraries

FWS (First Year Writing Seminar) Portal: Home

Starting points for First-Year Writing Seminar students


O'Neill Library EntranceWelcome to the FWS Portal, your personal entry point to the resources of the BC Libraries.

To the right above are links to helpful research guides designed by BC Libraries' reference staff.

Below that are links to useful search interfaces for a variety of source materials.

Click on the "FWS Guides" tab to find a guide adapted to your course. If there is no guide listed for your course, use the "Step by Step" guide listed on this page, or feel free to browse other course-specific guides.

Bookmark this page in your browser, and use it as an entry point until you become more familiar with the structure of the library website.

For Instructors

Library Instruction Sessions can now be scheduled online through LibCal. Please note, there are different links for FWS instruction sessions and all other instruction sessions.

Though we prefer 2 weeks’ advance notice, we will do our best to accommodate shorter notice when possible. We encourage you to be present during the instruction session so that the students can also benefit from your perspective and input. If this session will be tied to an assignment - something that has proven to be very effective for student learning in this setting - please share it with the Librarian who will be teaching the class. We look forward to working with you!

For more information about the FWS Library Instruction program contact Kwasi Sarkodie-Mensah ( or Syed Khan (

Research Guides & Tools

Key Resources

Click on the  to learn why to use a resource.

Get Help

Fresh Ink: Essays from Boston College's First-Year Writing Seminar

Your instructor has likely informed you that there is an avenue for publishing your writing in FWS: Fresh Ink. It is an annual publication, in print from 1998 to 2010, and electronic since then.

Check out the remarkable range of subjects in the most recent edition, for inspiration in in your own writing - from an analysis of stereotyping of women in advertisements, to a researched report on Singapore's rise to power, to a narrative about growing up Hispanic without Spanish.