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The Freshman English Composition Requirement

Students are required to complete six semester hours of English Composition for graduation from Auburn University.  The Composition requirement is also a prerequisite for taking World Literature I and II.

Students may complete the Composition requirement in one of the following ways.  (1) They may take ENGL 1100 and ENGL 1120 (English Composition I and II) at Auburn.  (Students in the Honors College will take ENGL 1107 and ENGL 1127, Honors Writing Seminar I and II.)  (2)  They may take the equivalent courses at another accredited college or university and transfer the courses to Auburn for credit.  (3)  They may test out of ENGL 1100 (1107) by scoring high enough on one of four college entrance exams.  (See table below.)  Students who test out of ENGL 1100 (1107) will be required to take ENGL 1120 (1127) (unless they have transferred an equivalent course credit from another university).

To take ENGL 1120 (1127), students must pass ENGL 1100 (or 1107) with a grade of “C” or better (or transfer an equivalent course credit from another university).  To take World Literature and other upper-division English classes, students must pass ENGL 1120 (1127) with a grade of “C” or better.

Placement in English Composition

Students are exempt from taking ENGL 1100 (1107) and get three-hours of credit toward graduation by attaining the minimum score shown on one of the tests listed below. These students will be placed in ENGL 1120 (1127). If the student has taken more than one of these tests or has taken one of the tests more than once, placement is based on the higher (or highest) score. If a student has any one of these scores and is blocked from registering the appropriate course, see the Department of English Office in Haley Center 9030. Students should make sure that the test score has been reported to the University Admissions office.

Test scores required to exempt ENGL 1100 (1107) and be placed in ENGL 1120 (1127):
Test Name
Enhanced ACT in English 30-34
SAT I: Verbal 680-710
International Baccalaureate English A1 5-6
CEEB Advanced Placement English 4


Test scores required to exempt ENGL 1120 (1127) and be placed in ENGL 2200 (2207):
Test Name
Enhanced ACT in English 35-36
SAT I: Verbal 720 or above
International Baccalaureate English A1 7
CEEB Advanced Placement English 5

The English Department does not recognize CLEP credit in Composition. The CLEP examination has no bearing either on placement or credit. However, transfer students exempted elsewhere on the basis of CLEP should consult the Coordinator of Composition.

ENGL 1100 AND ENGL 1120

Dropping and Adding

Students may withdraw from the course any time before midterm.  After midterm, students may drop only if they have permission from their academic dean.  To do this, students will need to consult their dean’s office for the necessary withdrawal forms.  Instructors will not recommend or approve a withdrawal after midterm, unless the student’s dean has approved the withdrawal.

The English Department does not add students to a Composition class after the class has met for the second time.  Students who wish to add a class before then must go through the English Department; instructors do not have the authority to add students to their classes.

Class Attendance

Students should attend all class meetings and should be in the classroom ready to begin at the designated start time.  Students should also attend all scheduled conferences with their instructor.

Individual instructors are responsible for making their attendance policy clear, and students are responsible for understanding and following their instructor’s policy.  The English Department, however, makes these recommendations:

Students with four or more unexcused absences in a MWF section, or three or more unexcused absences in a TR section, will be assigned a grade of FA: failure due to absences.

Students must inform their instructor of any impending excused absences.  If the absence was unexpected, students must notify their instructors as soon as they are able.  Instructors have the authority to request documentation from a verifiable source before excusing an absence.

Instructors should excuse absences (subject to verification) for the following:

  • Illness of the student or serious illness of an immediate relative.
  • The death of a family member.
  • Trips sponsored by recognized university organizations, including academic units and intercollegiate sports.
  • Religious holidays.
  • Subpoena for court appearance or jury duty.
  • Military duty.

Students anticipating an extended absence (more than three consecutive class meetings) must contact the instructor before the absence begins to determine if the student should remain in class.

Assigned Work

Students are expected to complete all of the assigned work by the dates specified by the instructor.  They are also expected to take the final exam at the day and time scheduled by the University.

Students should keep all work in a file (or on disk) or in other formats as specified by the instructor.  Students should have this material available whenever they see their instructor for a conference.

The due date for any work, writing and reading, is part of the assignment, and failure to meet the due date may result in a reduction of the grade for the assignment or for the course.  Instructors will establish their own requirements for assigned work, but the English Department recommends that work not turned in on time, for reasons other than legitimate absences, not be accepted and be graded zero.  Instructors will determine how late or non-existent work factors into the course grade.

Students who know in advance that they will not turn work in on time, due to a legitimate excuse, must make arrangements with the instructor for a new due date.  If a student misses a due date for a legitimate reason (such as illness), the instructor is obligated to accept the work without penalty, provided the student has presented the instructor with documentation for the absence and the student and instructor have agreed on a new due date for the work.

Students who miss a class, for whatever reason, are responsible for any material covered and assignments made.

Course Grade

The primary factor in determining the course grade is the level of writing proficiency the student has achieved and maintained, as demonstrated in the major essays and other assigned work.  As the semester progresses, students are expected to demonstrate improvement in their writing and greater facility in using the writing process.  Students will also revise papers, and the improvements they make in these revisions will also be a factor in their grade.

By state law, 80% of the student’s course grade will be determined by the grades earned on the major essays.  10% will be determined by the grade on the final exam, and 10% will be determined by other assignments, class participation, and other factors established by the instructor, who will explain these in the course syllabus.

Failure to complete at least 60% of the daily work (readings, quizzes, journal entries, and so on) is sufficient grounds for the instructor to lower a student’s course grade by one or more letter.


The English Department follows policies on academic dishonesty given in The Tiger Cub for 2006-2007. Students should know what this policy is and what constitutes academic dishonesty in a writing class. In general, the English Department considers the following to be plagiarism:

  • Submitting a paper that was wholly or partly written by someone else, regardless of the relationship.
  • Submitting a paper the student did not write, but that was obtained from files or other organizations on or off campus.
  • Submitting a paper obtained from the Internet or other services that supply college papers.
  • Submitting as their own work a paper or parts of a paper copied or paraphrased from other sources, with the intent to deceive the instructor.

Instructors who suspect plagiarism will follow the procedures for reporting cases of academic dishonesty spelled out in The Tiger Cub.

In ENGL 1100 (1107), students will receive basic instruction in using and citing sources, although this instruction is confined to the reading of assigned texts.  In ENGL 1120 (1127), students will conduct research, will present this research in their essays, and will be required to cite and document their research in the correct format called for by their instructor.

Formats for Writing Assignments

Instructors will give specific instructions for submitting papers, but, in general, written work should meet the following requirements:

  • Type the essay or print it from a word processor.
  • Use 8 inch by 11 ½ inch white paper.
  • Set 1 inch margins all around.
  • Use double spacing throughout.
  • On the first page, in the upper left, type your name, the instructor’s name, the course number, and the date. Center the title of the paper.
  • Put your last name and the page number in the upper right of the second and following pages.

Final Exam

The final exam will be given on the day and time assigned by the University. Students unable to take the exam at the scheduled time, for legitimate reasons (such as a schedule conflict with another exam), should discuss the matter with their instructor and should see the Coordinator of Composition.

Accommodations for Students With Disabilities

Students who have registered with the Auburn University Program for Students with Disabilities are entitled to specific accommodations, as determined by the Program. Students who have documented needs should therefore meet privately with the instructor as soon as possible. Information about the Program can be obtained in the Program offices in room 1244, Haley Center, or by phone at 334-844-2096.

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: May 11, 2012