English & Modern Languages

Composition Courses

Students come to CPP with a broad range of writing and reading experiences. To help each one succeed, we tailor composition courses to students' individual needs. We have designed two course sequences with that in mind: Stretch Composition and First-Year Composition. And we offer sections for both monolingual and multilingual English speakers. While each option concludes with students achieving the same learning objectives, how to get there is determined by students' Directed Self-Placement (DSP) survey results.

Click through the links below to learn more information about each course.

In the Stretch Composition sequence, the 15 learning outcomes for first-year composition are are stretched out over two courses. Ideally, students will take the same instructor and have the same classmates at the same days and times across both semesters. If this is not possible for whatever reason, though, students can count on the continuity of the same course expectations.

The Stretch Composition sequence offers students more time to read, write, and revise. This also means more time to draft, more time to get feedback and to learn from giving feedback to others, and more time to assemble and edit the course portfolio. More time with the same instructor and classmates means more time to learn how to communicate effectively, to learn more deeply what is being taught and why, to learn more deeply what kind of communicative help others need and how to give it.

Students must earn a minimum passing grade of "C-" (as of Spring 2016) to move on to the next course in the sequence. Students who complete the two-semester stretch sequence receive 6 units of credit hours that (a) count toward the 120 units needed to graduate and (b) fulfill the General Education, Area A2 Written Communication requirement.

The Learning Outcomes for each course are listed here. The letters correspond to the Composition Learning Outcomes table below.

  • ENG 1100/M: A-H, plus O
  • ENG 1101/M: A-H and I-N, plus O

ENG 1103/M is a good choice for students who are confident in their ability to work independently and quickly and well; who are able and willing to do lots of careful, effective reading and writing each week; who keep a good calendar and turn in work when it is due; who have reason to believe this challenge will motivate them, perhaps even bring out their best; and who in addition will be able to assemble and edit their work for the course portfolio. Even for such students, the University Writing Center is available in case extra help is needed. And it's free.

ENG 1103/M is a 3-unit, single-semester class in college-level composition. Those 3 units both (a) count toward the 120 units needed for graduation and (b) satisfy the General Education, Area A2 Written Communication requirement. A single instructor in ENG 1103 will be teaching 25 students; in just one semester, each student will write about 10,000 words; a grade of "C-" (as of Spring 2016) or better is needed to pass.

The Learning Outcomes for CPP's first-year composition course will all be covered in ENG 1103/M. These outcomes can be found in the list below.

Multilingual and ESL speaking-students have unique strengths and skills when it comes to writing and reading. To leverage that linguistic knowledge, we have sections specifically for multilingual and ESL speakers. These courses are offered in both the Stretch and First-Year Composition sequences, and the sections are designated with an "M" (ENG 1100M, 1101M, and 1103M).

These sections have the same kinds of readings and assignments as the monolingual sections. The major difference is that they are taught by faculty with a strong background in linguistics and language acquisition, in addition to rhetoric and writing. M-designated sections will not add time to the completion of your composition sequence.

Students whose DSP results indicate taking an "M" section should do so. Students whose results do not indicate taking an "M" section should not do so.

Composition Learning Outcomes




Develop fluency in quickly externalizing ideas on paper and computer screens, and in moving from such notes to rough drafts of possible essays.


Explain in clearly written English the rhetoric of others.


Develop written arguments in response to others' arguments.


Write reasonably lucid, well-organized essays that address purpose, audience, and situation — in response to timed-exam prompts.


Reconstruct and revise the connections between claims, reasons, and evidence in their own writing, their peers', and published authors'.


Discern how the style of their own writing, their peers', and published authors' creates an appeal that pulls the audience closer to the material in question.


Analyze texts to apprehend more fully the relations among language use, power, and social hierarchies.


Create texts that respond to the language, discourse, and power dynamics in given contexts.


Discern the various ways that generic strategies and formal, stylistic, tonal language, and discursive conventions can be manipulated to contribute to meaning-making in particular contexts.


Generate their own texts by making use of various generic strategies and particular language conventions for particular contexts.


Read difficult, research-based texts with critical understanding.


Design their own academic inquiries and develop strategies for finding, evaluating, and integrating information purposefully in a given context.


Critique their own ideas, form, and style in light of the contexts for which they are writing and with awareness of the generic choices they are making, and revise their own writing to improve form, style, and generic/institutional strategies to intervene more effectively in a given rhetorical situation.


Develop rhetorical strategies for effectively handling writing-related problems in discourse communities throughout the university.


Proofread for correctness and clarity.