ENGL 1100 - Objectives, Requirements, and Grading

Objectives for ENGL 1100

  • Develop students' abilities to understand the socially transformative power of writing and to use writing practices and processes for inquiry, learning, critical thinking, and communicating.
  • Develop students' abilities to comprehend, critically evaluate, and appropriately address rhetorical situations.
  • Develop students' abilities to analyze and create arguments, including the abilities to identify basic rhetorical features of an argument and to situate their own arguments in relation to those of others.
  • Develop students' abilities to flexibly use methods of rhetorical invention, approaches to drafting, and strategies for substantive revision.
  • Develop students' abilities to critically evaluate their own and others’ work and to collaborate effectively with other writers throughout the writing process
  • Develop students’ abilities to understand and act with the affordances available for both print and electronic composing to draft, review, revise, edit, and share texts.
  • Develop students' knowledge of genre conventions and abilities to control the surface features of their writing, including sentence structure, syntax, grammar, and punctuation.

Course Requirements for ENGL 1100


The instructor’s supplemental syllabus will list the textbooks students are required to buy.  Instructors with one or more year of experience teaching composition at Auburn may select their own texts, provided that these include a handbook, an anthology of nonfiction readings (commonly called a reader), and a text that provides instruction in the writing process (a rhetoric). A single text that combines two or more of these functions can also be used.

Instructors teaching composition for the first time at Auburn are required to select their textbooks from the following list:


Lunsford, Andrea A. Easy Writer: A Pocket Reference. 3rd ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2006. ISBN: 0312433093

Reader and/or Rhetoric.

NOTE: Some of the texts below include rhetorical and handbook parts. Instructors may want to review these books, since some of them could be used in place of The Easy Writer or other texts listed below.

Axelrod, Rise B. and Charles R. Cooper. Reading Critically, Writing Well. 6 th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2002.

Cooley, Thomas. The Norton Sampler: Short Essays for Composition. 5 th ed. New York: Norton, 1997.

Mauk, John and John Metz. The Composition of Everyday Life: A Guide to Writing. 2 nd ed. Boston: Thomson/Wadsworth, 2007.

Rottenberg, Annette T. Elements of Argument. 6 th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2002.

Silverman, Jonathan and Dean Rader. The World is a Text. 2 nd ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2006.

Writing Requirements for ENGL 1100

Students will write between 3500-4500 words for graded work. This will be divided among the following writing assignments:

  • Four essays to be written out of class.  These essays will count for 80% of the course grade. Instructors should require students to practice drafting and revision for all essays.
  • Writing that supports the four essays.  This may include short papers, journals, and responses to reading assignments.  Instructors will generally score or grade this work, and the details for doing so will be explained in their syllabus. This writing counts for 10% of the course grade.
  • A final exam, to be written during the university-mandated exam time, and counting for 10% of the course grade.

The major assignments in this course are described below:

  • Essay #1 - Close analysis of one text (3-4 pages). Students focus on one text for an extended analysis of that text.
  • Essay #2 - Close analysis of two related texts (4-5 pages). Students focus on analyzing two texts and establishing a meaningful relationship between them.
  • Essay #3 - Close analysis of an explicitly argumentative text (5-6 pages). Students focus on analyzing how an argument or arguments are made in that text.
  • Essay #4 - Close analysis of two explicitly argumentative texts (7-9 pages). Students focus on analyzing how an argument or arguments are made across two texts, how two texts are part of a larger discussion, the relationships between those texts and their arguments, etc.

Final Exam Project - A comprehensive writing activity to be submitted at the conclusion of the semester. Students will demonstrate the ability to apply and reflect on an analytical strategy or strategies that they learned throughout the course. 

Grades in ENGL 1100

General Grading Policy

Instructors of ENGL 1100 use their experience and professional judgment to evaluate and grade a student’s writing.  The criteria for separate grades given below help guide them in their evaluation and can help students understand what will be expected of them in the course. As the criteria show, instructors evaluate more than the grammar and formal correctness of the essay. They’ll take into account support and evidence for claims, the quality of the prose, and other rhetorical features that aid the reader in understanding the essay.

Students are encouraged to read these criteria carefully and to ask their instructors to explain anything they don’t understand. As students will find, these criteria differ in many ways from those they might have become familiar with in high school.  Just as importantly, students should not use their grades in high-school English as a predictor or indicator of their performance in college composition.  Nor should they count on the opinions of former teachers or parents to overrule the evaluations of their ENGL 1100 instructor.

Instructors may build additional requirements into their assignments that will factor in to the grade a student gets. These factors should be consistent with the philosophy and objectives of the course.

Challenging a Grade on a Paper or for the Course

Students who wish to challenge the grade of a paper or for the course must follow the procedures for filing an academic grievance, as spelled out in The Tiger Cub. Before doing so, students should know specifically what kinds of grievances are possible.  Merely believing that one should have gotten a higher grade does not usually qualify as a legitimate grievance.  Students who believe they do have a legitimate grievance should first contact their instructor.  If the instructor is unavailable (or upon referral from the instructor), they should come to the English Department and ask to speak with the Coordinator of Composition. After speaking with the Coordinator of Composition, they may be referred to the Department Head.

Grading Criteria for Essays in ENGL 1100

The “A” Essay

The “A” essay demonstrates the writer's ability to address rhetorical situations in innovative, creative, and perceptive ways. The writing is more than above average; it is exceptional.  The purpose is distinguished by some depth or breadth of insight; all support offered is interesting, relevant, and boldly thought-provoking. The organization is not only coherent but marked by appropriateness to the specific rhetorical situation, and the transitions show sophistication and originality. The writing exhibits finesse on the writer's part in matters of style, diction, and usage. There are no grammatical errors.

The “B” Essay

The “B” essay demonstrates the writer's ability to address the rhetorical situation beyond mere competency. The writing goes beyond the basics in the following ways: the point is original and/or more exciting for the reader; the organization is clear and appropriate, the transitions are sophisticated and/or original, and the support offered is more than adequately substantive and/or relevant. The style and tone reflect more attention to rhetorical concerns and the readers' needs; the writer has used a more sophisticated and varied sentence structure throughout. The work is relatively free of distracting grammatical errors.

The “C” Essay

The “C” essay demonstrates the writer's ability to address the rhetorical situation competently. There is adequate support of a recognizable point; the paper meets the minimum page requirement of the assignment. The organization is logical but may at times be formulaic or not appropriate for the audience. Transitions may be formulaic in nature. The tone and style are appropriate though not exceptionally engaging to the audience. The papers are readable; the reader does not encounter awkward sentence structures or wording. There are few errors in usage and mechanics. A grade of "C" means that your writing is "good" in the sense that you are able to write at the level of competency expected of you by the University..

The “D” Essay

The “D” essay indicates the writer's ability to address rhetorical situations somewhatcompetently, but the writing contains weaknesses and/or errors that mark it as less than what is expected in one or more of the following ways: The purpose is confused or too general; the support offered is vague, unconvincing, inaccurate, irrelevant or too narrow in focus; the organization is confusing or unsuccessful; the style, voice or tone is inconsistent or inappropriate; the sentence structure is difficult to read or inappropriate. Numerous mechanical and grammatical errors hinder the readers’ ability to understand the text.

The “F” Paper

The “F” essay fails to address the assignment or contains weaknesses in one or more of the following ways: there is little or no awareness of the rhetorical situation or purpose; there is no support; the essay is unorganized and logically flawed. There is no sense of tone or voice. The sentence structure is very difficult to read or inappropriate. There are substantial errors in grammar and usage.

For more information

Frank Walters

Frank Walters, Associate Professor
Director of Composition
9012 Haley Center
(334) 844-9012

Office Hours

  • Monday 10:00-11:00
  • Tuesday 10:00-12:00
  • Wednesday 10:00-11:00
  • Friday 10:00-11:00

Last Updated: August 19, 2013