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Department of Literature and Language

College of Arts & Sciences

In order to develop consistency in freshman composition instruction,
we offer the following guidelines for course content and classroom policies for Composition 1:

Course content:

  • Students should learn the writing process, including revision, impromptu writing, focus and thesis, organization, style, and adapting to different audiences.
  • Students should learn how to read and think critically and to incorporate information from other texts with proper quoting, summarizing, and paraphrasing.
  • Students should learn the principles of grammar and mechanics.

Classroom policies:

  1. Students should produce at least 5,000 words in revised, graded compositions over the course of the semester. 
  2. In addition to writing a graded in-class essay during the scheduled final exam time, students should write a minimum of one graded in-class essay early in the semester. The early essay provides an example against which instructors can compare out-of-class essays.
  3. Students must earn at least a C (2.0) in ENGL 1010 before moving into ENGL 1020 and a C (2.0) in 1020 before advancing to English courses of the sophomore level and above.
  4. Instructors should not record the overall minimum C grade to any student whose writing, by the end of the term, demonstrates serious patterns of error or shows consistent lack of organization. Objective tests, such as vocabulary, grammar, and reading exams, may not determine whether a student earns a C in the class or must take the class again.
  5. Instructors should not award a majority of credit for duties not directly associated with composition, including attendance at functions and service-learning activities.
  6. Instructors must comply with the department's absentee policy.



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