Frequently Asked Questions about English Composition

Including the requirements for registering for English Composition I and II

  1. What are the Composition Requirements, and how can I meet them?
  2. I was told that I could test out of taking ENGL 1100 and ENGL 1120. How do I do it?
  3. I received a high score on the CLEP test. Do I have to take ENGL 1100?
  4. I took a course at another university that is supposed to be its version of English Composition. How can I be sure?
  5. I've tried registering for ENGL 1120, but the computer says that I haven’t met the prerequisite. But I did meet the prerequisite, so why can't I get in?
  6. I want to drop my Composition course and get into a different one, but the computer won't let me do it. What do I do?
  7. I think I'm going to have to drop English Composition. How do I do this?
  8. Is there an attendance requirement for Freshman Composition?
  9. What grade do I need to pass the course?
  10. What if I do not receive the grade I believe that I deserve?
  11. Where do I go if I have specific questions or problems with Composition?

1. What are the Composition Requirements, and how can I meet them?

Answer: You are required to take two semesters (or their equivalent)of English Composition to graduate from Auburn University. You can meet this requirement in one of the following ways:

  • Take ENGL 1100 and ENGL 1120 at Auburn University and earn a grade of C or better in each course.
  • Take the equivalent of Auburn's ENGL 1100 and 1120 at another college or university and earn a grade of C or better in each course. (NOTE: If you take one of these courses at another school, you will have to take the other one at Auburn.) You will be able to transfer these courses to Auburn for credit and will be exempt from taking them at Auburn.
  • "Test out" of English Composition I and take English Composition II at Auburn or another university.

2. I was told that I could test out of taking ENGL 1100 and ENGL 1120. How do I do it?

Answer: You can test out of ENGL 1100 in one of the following ways:

  • A score of 30 or higher on the ACT, English
  • A score of 680 or higher on the SAT I: Verbal
  • A score of 4 on the AP test in English Language and Composition or English Literature and Composition
  • A score of 5-6 on the International Baccalaureate English A1 Exam, higher Level

If you make one of these scores, you will receive three semester hours for English Composition I and will not have to take the course. (You will still have to take English Composition II unless you meet the requirements below for ENGL 1120 credit.) If you have any one of these scores and you are blocked from registering for ENGL 1120, see the Coordinator of Composition. You are also exempt from taking ENGL 1100 if you tested out of the equivalent course at another school then took and passed a subsequent composition course.

Answer: You can test out of ENGL 1120 in one of the following ways:

  • A score of 35-36 on the ACT, English
  • A score of 720 or higher on the SAT I Verbal or Written
  • A score of 5 on the AP test in English Language and Composition or English Literature and Composition
  • A score of 7 on the International Baccalaureate English A1 Exam, higher Level

If you make one of these scores, you will receive three semester hours for English Composition II and will not have to take the course. (You are eligible to take Core Literature.) If you have any one of these scores and you are blocked from registering Core Literature, see the Coordinator of Composition.

3. I received a high score on the CLEP test. Do I have to take ENGL 1100?

Answer: Yes. Auburn University does not award credit or advanced standing for the CLEP test. You will have to take ENGL 1100 unless you met one of the test scores listed above.

4. I took a course at another university that is supposed to be its version of English Composition. How can I be sure?

Answer: Some schools have freshman writing courses that don't go by the name of English Composition (or a similar name). If you think the course meets the requirements of Auburn's ENGL 1100, bring the course syllabus or an official university description of the course to the Coordinator of Composition. You can get credit for the course if its primary focus is on writing instruction and if you wrote expository essays comparable in scope and requirements to those written in ENGL 1100.

5. I've tried registering for ENGL 1120, but the computer says that I haven’t met the prerequisite. But I did meet the prerequisite, so why can't I get in?

Answer: If you're transferring Composition I from another school(with a grade of C or higher), or if you tested out of Composition I, the computerized registration system at Auburn will not recognize these as meeting the prerequisite. The Coordinator of Composition will have to place you into ENGL 1120. For this to happen, you will need to complete a waiting list form and give it to the Coordinator of Composition. Be sure that you indicate if you have tested out of or transferred the credit from another university for Composition I. You can get the form in the main office of the English Department, 9030 Haley Center.

6. I want to drop my Composition course and get into a different one, but the computer won't let me do it. What do I do?

Answer: The Coordinator of Composition will move you to another section of English Composition only if these conditions are met:

  • the course you are now in conflicts with another course you need to take as a requirement for your major or the university core, or conflicts with your employment schedule, or conflicts with personal obligations such as child care;
  • there is a seat open in another course; and
  • the change takes place no later than the second day the section you want to get into meets.

You will need to provide the Coordinator of Composition with documentation that the conflict exists. Please note: the Coordinator of Composition will not make the change after the second day the class has met. The Coordinator will also not make the change because you want a different teacher, or because the class meets at a time that is inconvenient for reasons other than those mentioned above.

7. I think I'm going to have to drop English Composition. How do I do this?

Answer: If it's before midterm, you should be able to drop the course through the online drop/add system. If you do so, your teacher will receive notification later, and your grade will be recorded as a W for withdrawal. There is no grade point penalty or benefit for a grade of W. If it is after midterm, you can drop the course only with the permission of your Dean. You will need to get the Dean's approval on a form that your teacher will also sign. Again, the grade will be a W.

8. Is there an attendance requirement for Freshman Composition?

Answer: Your instructor's attendance policy should be spelled out in the syllabus you will receive at the beginning of term. Most instructors will follow the recommended policy given in the Student Guidelines, available online. But some will establish their own policy. Regardless, make sure you know your teacher's policy, because most teachers have a provision whereby a certain number of unexcused absences will result in a grade of FA, failure due to excessive absences.

9. What grade do I need to pass the course?

Answer: The real question is: what grade do you need to meet the requirements of English Composition I and II and to satisfy the prerequisites for the next English course and graduation? The answer is: you need a C or higher in ENGL 1100 to take ENGL 1120, and a C or higher in ENGL 1120 to take Core Literature. (For Core Literature requirements, see the CoreLiterature web site.) A grade of D is, technically, a passing grade, but if you get a D in either Composition course, you will need to retake it. That is a state-mandated requirement.

10. What if I do not receive the grade I believe that I deserve?

Answer: The first thing to do is to thoroughly familiarize yourself with the Academic Grievance Policy given in the current edition of the Tiger Cub. The policy will tell you that your first step is to discuss your grievance with the teacher. If you are unable to meet with your teacher, or if you have met but are not satisfied with the results, your next step is to make an appointment with the Coordinator of Composition, who will meet with you and recommend a procedure to have your work reviewed.

11. Where do I go if I have specific questions or problems with Composition?

Answer: You will need to visit the office of the Coordinator of Composition or Associate Coordinator of Composition, or email to arrange a time to meet.

For more information

Frank Walters

Frank Walters, Associate Professor
Director of Composition
waltefd@auburn.edu
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: July 03, 2014