CompFAQ/First-Year Composition

From Gerald R. Lucas
📝 English Composition Writing FAQ 11011102📖

A Primer for First-Year Composition
What You Should Already Know about Writing

Welcome to ENGL 1101, Freshman Composition: the class that will prepare you to learn and gain a fluency with college-level writing skills. While each major will have its own special considerations when it comes to writing, ENGL 1101 is designed to teach you the general skills necessary to write a competent college essay.

That said, you should already be entering college with some writing literacy—and you might already know more than you think. Most ENGL 1101 instructors will expect students to have a general understanding of the following writing skills:

  • Grammar: Students should have a solid understanding of basic grammar rules, including sentence structure, punctuation, subject-verb agreement, and verb tense. See Grammar Questions »
  • Vocabulary: Students should have a good command of vocabulary and be able to use words effectively in their writing.
  • Organization: Students should be able to organize their thoughts and ideas in a clear and logical manner. This includes using appropriate transitions between paragraphs and ensuring that the essay flows well. See Structural Questions »
  • Research: Students should be able to conduct research and incorporate sources into their writing. This includes using appropriate citation styles, such as MLA or APA. See Research Questions »
  • Revision: Students should be able to revise and edit their writing for clarity, coherence, and correctness. This includes proofreading for spelling and grammatical errors, as well as making substantive changes to improve the overall quality of the essay. See Revision and Editing Questions »
  • Critical thinking: Students should be able to analyze and interpret texts critically and thoughtfully, and use evidence to support their arguments. See Reading Questions »
  • Audience awareness: Students should be able to write for a specific audience, and use appropriate tone and language to engage their readers.

Again, while many student might fluent in some of the above skills, you should at least be familiar with the above. ENGL 1101 will help you hone these skills a bit more, providing with advanced strategies for writing more persuasively. Writing is a continuous process—you don’t just wake up one day with a mastery of the skill. Like anything else worth doing well, writing takes continual practice not only to learn the skills in the first place, but to keep them fresh.

The best way to become a strong writer is to read and write on a consistent basis.

Written: 2002, 2022; Revised: 04-8-2023; Version: Beta 0.7 💬