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English 100 Guidelines

Composition Director: Dr. Mary Lenard  |  lenard@uwp.edu

ENGL 100 is the first in a series of university-level writing courses that teaches the academic skills students need to communicate effectively and appropriately for academic purposes.

The primary focus of the course is on helping students to identify and practice the conventions of standard written academic communication. Throughout the course, students will employ these conventions for a variety of purposes in preparation for increasingly sophisticated research, logical reasoning, argumentation, and writing in ENGL 101 and in other courses they will encounter as they progress through their four years in university. 

Students who complete the course with a C or better will have attained competency within the categories listed below by doing the following.

Purpose of the writing task

·      Demonstrate an awareness of the primary purpose of an assigned writing task (e.g. to inform, to describe, to entertain, to persuade, to compare, etc.)

·      Compose essays that employ rhetorical strategies to achieve the primary purpose

Position/Main Point/Message

·      Identify and articulate their position, main point, or message clearly within the essay

Awareness of audience

·      Demonstrate an awareness of the primary audience for assigned writing tasks

·      Compose essays that employ appropriate strategies for addressing the audience appropriately for the assigned writing task

Engagement with Peers

·      Demonstrate familiarity with the process of providing feedback on essays produced by peers

·      Articulate both what their peers have done well and where their peers’ writing may be strengthened

·      Become familiar with using feedback received by peers in the revision process for their own essays


·      Identify and articulate an idea or question for development

·      Become familiar with techniques for prewriting, drafting, and revising (both locally and globally) to demonstrate the recursive nature of the writing process

Organization and development of ideas

·      Construct essays with a clearly delineated introduction, body, and conclusion

·      Articulate the essay’s position clearly and develop the essay to enhance this position

·      Demonstrate an awareness of topic sentences to maintain unity within paragraphs

·      Provide quality examples to illustrate points or reasons

·      Demonstrate awareness of transitional devices

Grammar, Mechanics, and Style

·      Write complete sentences and employ a variety of sentence structures throughout the document (i.e. simple, complex, compound, compound-complex) 

·      Demonstrate an awareness of specificity and correct word choice

·      Demonstrate an awareness of the conventions of standard written English

Use of Source Materials

·      Demonstrate an awareness of library resources

·      Assess the quality of reasoning and credibility within a piece of writing

·      Extract information from sources using paraphrase, quotation, and/or summary in a manner that avoids plagiarism

Document design

·      Demonstrate basic competency with the tools needed for composing in electronic environments


·      Read, view, or listen to texts (including non-fiction works) that model a variety of rhetorical strategies

·      Articulate the main idea, reasons, and evidence used in the text

·      Identify features such as tone, purpose, implicit and/or explicit claim, and the rhetorical strategies of the text

Types of Assignments for English 100:

Generally, English 100 paper assignments should be for short (1-5 page) papers, with a focus on the rhetorical and logical aspects of writing. Students should be able to revise at least some of their papers, either before or after they are graded. English 100 instructors should also be aware that they must prepare their students to write longer papers (5+ pages) in English 101 and in their other college courses, so at least one of the assigned papers will be 5 pages in length.

Students should also be required to do at least one persuasive or argumentative paper in English 100, to prepare for English 101, even if it's only supported with personal experience examples. If they wish, English 100 instructors may choose to have their students do a paper that uses researched evidence, but this assignment should limit the students' choice of topics to those that could be covered adequately in a shorter paper and could not easily be plagiarized.

Grading and course policy requirements for English 100 instructors:

  1. Course policies, including grading, should be clearly  explained in the syllabus. The syllabus should cover issues such as      absences, late assignments, revisions of papers, and how final grades will be calculated. All instructors should follow the ENGL 100 & 101 attendance policy.
  2. For essay assignments, instructors need to give  students written assignment sheets, clearly explaining goals, length requirements, expectations, etc.
  3. Grammar and mechanics can (and probably should) be emphasized more in the grading for English 100 than for English 101, but      grammar should not be emphasized to the exclusion of other aspects of writing, such as rhetorical and logical qualities.
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