Program Description

First-Year Composition is a course in critical thinking, reading, and composing, with an emphasis on integrating academic research and documentation. Students read and produce work for a variety of purposes and audiences, focusing on strategies for researching, organizing, drafting, sharing, and revising.

First-Year Composition (any variation of English 100) is a general education requirement at UMBC, which students must pass with a grade of C or higher.

How We Teach Composition

Because effective writing and composing practices are essential to our students’ academic and professional success, at UMBC we teach First-Year Composition using an innovative approach that combines increased face-to-face contact with the instructor, peer-to-peer learning, collaboration, and technological enhancements that support learning in and out of the classroom.

In English 100, a trained peer facilitator, called a Writing Fellow, may join the class on certain weeks during the semester, typically working with small peer review groups. Writing Fellows are UMBC students with experience as Writing Center tutors, In addition to their work with peer review groups, Writing Fellows can provide one-on-one assistance in the classroom. This model allows students to discuss, share, and consider their work in progress in a variety of important and useful ways.

Many of our faculty use innovative approaches to providing feedback on student work; as well, faculty may put together a thematic class for ENGL 100. Some faculty focus on topics- ecocriticism or happiness- while other faculty focus on specific texts: 1984, Frankenstein, and Maus are all recent examples.

Course Placement

Students may fulfill their ENGL 100 requirement with any of the following courses::

ENGL 100: Composition is the standard three-credit course.

ENGL 100H: Honors Composition is a three-credit course for Honors students. Honors identification required.

ENGL 110: ESL Composition is a four-credit course for students who are English-language or dual-language learners.

For more information, please contact: Director- Dr. Tanya Olson; Assistant Director- Carol Fitzpatrick