Composition Sequence

Francis Marion University’s Composition Program mission is to prepare students for both academic and public contexts, enhance critical thinking and rhetorical awareness, and foster students’ abilities to communicate effectively in various writing situations.

Our composition sequence provides students with an introduction to the skills needed for academic success at the college level while offering small class sizes to enhance students’ writing experiences. These small classes, capped at 15 in each section, help to create stronger writing communities inside classroom walls while creating opportunities for more feedback on writing and for more teacher-student interaction. Throughout our composition courses, students will develop reading, writing, critical thinking, and research skills that will transfer to other writing situations beyond these classes.

All students at Francis Marion must fulfill the university writing requirement by successfully completing our first-year composition sequence, which consists of two semesters of composition:

The sequence begins by guiding students through the skills of analysis and argumentative writing during their first composition course; it concludes with a course designed to enhance students’ academic writing and research skills as well as students’ ability to transfer knowledge of composition techniques to future courses and writing situations.

The course sequence supports various levels of student preparation by offering two options for the first course: students will self-place into either English 101, a three-credit course, or English 101E (plus English 101L), the four-credit “extended” version of English 101 that includes a corequisite writing studio (or lab) component. This self-selected writing studio, ENG 101L, is a one-credit elective hour that meets twice a week and provides supplemental individualized attention from professors and undergraduate tutors; it is assessed with the designation of satisfactory or unsatisfactory. Students must receive a C or higher in English 101 (or in English 101E and a satisfactory in English 101L) to move to English 102. To fulfill the general education English Composition requirement, students must receive a C or higher in six hours of composition courses, ending with ENG 102.

The goals of the Composition Program are as follows:

      • To prepare students to use language and styles for writing in a variety of rhetorical situations
      • To deepen students’ understanding of the power and influence of written, digital, and visual texts, both those they read and those they compose themselves
      • To develop students’ information literacy
      • To guide students through processes of reflection so they can evaluate and improve their current and future reading and writing practices