First-Year Writing Program

At Lake State, all students may sign up for ENGL 110 First-Year Composition I (3) and begin earning college credit their very first semester in English. Students who need extra help are encouraged to sign up for an additional course, ENGL 105 First-Year Composition I Workshop (2). Honors sections are also available; acceptance into the Honors Program or instructor permission is required.

How do you know if you need extra help? Research shows that a range of factors must be considered in order to predict whether you are ready to take ENGL 110 without the workshop. Some of these factors are writing and reading experience, self-confidence as a writer and reader, high-school GPA, proofreading ability, and understanding of grammar. Many universities force students with low test scores or low GPAs to take college prep courses that do not count toward graduation. At Lake State, ENGL 105 is for credit, and taking it is your choice.

The purpose of this website is to give you the information you need in order to make the right decision. Below are a summary of writing assignments at Lake State, program goals, and descriptions of our first-year writing courses.

Goals of the Program

By the end of the first-year composition program, students must be prepared to independently find and evaluate sources, conduct academic research, and write papers of ten or more pages using a recursive writing process. Some students are ready to do this after six credits of study. Others take eight. Ultimately, these courses are intended to prepare you for success with the sort of advanced writing assignments required in upper-level courses at Lake State, such as research papers, case study analyses, critical analyses, case studies, annotated bibliographies, reviews of the literature, and senior theses.

Composition I

ENGL 110 (3 credits, graded)
First-Year Composition I introduces students to the discipline of writing through an exploration of their own writing processes and products. Students think critically about their own writing and address issues of coherence, grammar, mechanics, organization, clarity, and content. They also consider the role of literacy in society, the ways in which readers engage text, and the role of writing at the college level.

ENGL 105 (2 credits, credit/no credit)
First-Year Composition I Workshop is limited to 10-11 students per section and held in a computer lab. During workshop hours, students will consult with the ENGL 110 professor and one another to write and receive individualized feedback on ENGL 110 writing assignments. Students will learn to wriite clearly, control surface features, practice effective peer-editing strategies, improve writing self-confidence, and independently apply the writing process, with emphasis on development, revision, editing for clarity and meaning, and proofreading final products. Corequisite: ENGL 110.

Composition II

ENGL 111 (3 credits, graded)
First-Year Composition II prepares students for the complex demands of academic literacy and research. These require students to be able to critically observe personal and public knowledge; ask questions of reading and research; formulate hypotheses; design and conduct research projects, both in the library and in the field; and identify further avenues of inquiry. To help students develop these abilities, the course also teaches the basic skills of analysis, interpretation, critical thinking, and documentation. Required coursework includes completion of an extended 10-page research project. Prerequisite: C or higher in ENGL 110.

How do you decide whether to add ENGL 105 to your schedule?

Research shows that standardized tests alone cannot predict whether students are ready to take English 110 without help. In deciding whether to add ENGL 105 to your schedule, you should consider a range of factors. ENGL 110 is designed for the student who agrees with five or more of the following statements:

 I regularly read the news and other periodicals, such as magazines.
 I read biographies, novels, story collections, comics, or poetry for fun.
 I wrote 3 or more essays per year in high school.
 I wrote a research paper in high school.
 I see myself as a good reader and writer.
 My ACT English score was 18 or above, or my new SAT Writing and Language Arts was 25 or higher.
 My high school GPA was above a 3.0.
 I earned As or Bs in all of my high school English courses.
 I understand the rules of grammar, punctuation, and mechanics.
 I am good at proofreading my work.

If you agree with five or fewer of these statements, please consider choosing an ENGL 110 section with an affiliated ENGL 105 section and adding both to your schedule.

Questions about how to choose? Talk to your advisor.

How do you register?

  • If you want to register for traditional ENGL 110, look for a section with no “W” in the section number (e.g. ENGL 110-001).
  • If you want to register for ENGL 110/105 Workshop, look for an ENGL 110 and 105 pair with matching “W” section numbers (e.g. ENGL 110-0W1 and ENGL 105-0W1).
    • Please note that to register for an ENGL 110/105 pair, you must sign up for an ENGL 110-0W section and the matching ENGL 105-0W section simultaneously (e.g., if you register for ENGL 110-0W1, you must also enter the CRN for ENGL 105-0W1). Otherwise, you will get an error message.
  • If you want to register for Honors ENGL 110, look for a section with an “H” in the section number (e.g., ENGL 110-H01).
    • Acceptance into the Honors Program or Honors Director permission is required. For permission, contact Dr. Jason Swedene,

Copy down the CRNs for the sections you want. Enter them into the registration screen in Anchor Access.

Questions? Contact Mary McMyne, Chair (, X2327) or Jillena Rose, Administrative Head (, X2091).

Acknowledgments: The LSSU Department of English would like to thank Royer and Gilles, authors of the article “Directed Self-Placement: An Attitude of Orientation” in College Composition & Communication, and Nicola Blake, author of “Embedded Remediation: A New Paradigm” in NADE Digest, for their important contributions to the field of composition pedagogy.