The College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences offers students a traditional liberal education to meet the needs of the 21st century, allowing them to compete for a variety of careers in an increasingly complex and evolving world.

About the Composition Program


What We Do

  1. Keep our curriculum dynamic by seeking regular feedback from students, instructors, and outside advisers (and researchers) to see what works and doesn’t work—then adapting. This means that the texts and approaches may change every few years.

  2. Teach writing and critical thinking strategies, and stamina, then techniques for using appropriate grammar and mechanics through review and revision. Students write every day in class and every week outside of class.

  3. Follow and adapt the nationally recommended Outcomes Statement for First-Year Composition created by the Writing Program Administrators’ Council, the National Writing Project, and the National Council of Teachers of English. These are the basis of our grading rubrics for each writing class.

  4. Teach the habits recommended by the same groups in #3 above in the following document: Framework for Success in Postsecondary Writing. We encourage all teachers and students to focus on how habits of mind can profoundly and positively affect writing experiences.

  5. Recommend all teachers in ENGL 1020, English Composition II, help students achieve information literacy by consulting the Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education created by the Association of College & Research Libraries, a division of the American Library Association: Learning how to research and how to evaluate sources is one of the most important skills writers can learn as they embark on their college writing careers.

  6. Expect all faculty will mentor students, post-composition. to ensure they are helping students become apprentice writers in a chosen field by the time students are ready to graduate and enter the work force or additional education.

What We Don't Do

  1. Allow students to skip ENGL 1010 or ENGL 1020 if they get a B or higher in an upper-division writing class, such as ENGL 3060.

  2. Allow students to take upper-division classes without adequately fulfilling ENGL 1010 and 1020 prerequisites.

  3. Accept credit from universities for courses that are not exactly the equivalent of our composition 1 and 2 courses.

  4. Make exceptions for entrance to composition courses.

For more information, please contact Dr. Elizabeth Woodworth, the Director of Composition, at