Skip to Main Content

See our latest COVID-19 updates.


First-Year Composition Program

The First Year Composition (FYC) Program at CSU puts learners at the center of learning. Our mission is to help learners develop strategies that will allow them to continue to develop as writers and producers of knowledge beyond first year composition.

The FYC Program begins with ENGL 1101, which is focused around Writing as Inquiry. In this class, students are introduced to academic research and practice identifying, analyzing, and discussing complex ideas. In this class we ask students to explore, to question, and to “listen” with the goal of understanding. In ENGL 1102, which is focused on Writing as Argument, students are asked to tailor arguments to specific audiences and deepen their research skills. In this class, students craft their positions and present them to specific audiences by considering the needs, expectations, and positions of the intended audience. In both sections, there is a heavy emphasis on writing processes such as invention and revision.

Below are the course descriptions and outcomes for each course in our FYC sequence.

ENGL 0999: Learning Support

Course Description: ENGL 0999 is a support section that accompanies selected sections of ENGL 1101. The class functions as a writing lab where students can work with their classmates and instructor as they write and work on projects for ENGL 1101. Only students who place in learning support are required to take this course.

ENGL 1101: Writing as Inquiry

Course Description: ENGL 1101 introduces students to writing as a way to explore and investigate ideas. Through a combination of narrative, analytic, and exploratory writing, students will be introduced to the types of writing valued at the university level as well as the concept of writing as a knowledge-generating activity. Individual sections typically emphasize inquiry and academic exploration, introduce rhetorical concepts, and practice gathering and using evidence.

By the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • utilize writing as a means to explore a subject of interest to you;
  • recognize each writing prompt as a unique rhetorical situation;
  • develop a thesis or line of inquiry that fulfills the requirements of the writing prompt;
  • engage in different brainstorming processes to generate detailed evidence and interpretation to support your purpose;
  • develop organizational structures to support your purpose;
  • gather, discuss, and analyze primary and secondary sources;
  • use writing as a process;
  • respond to drafts and incorporate feedback into your revisions and writing process;
  • begin to incorporate a consistent citation style into your writing and research; and
  • craft sentence-level prose that does not detract from your ideas.

ENGL 1102: Writing as Argument

Course Description: ENGL 1102 builds on the introduction of writing as exploration and investigation in ENGL 1101 by focusing on writing as argument, in effect persuasively sharing the results of your own inquiry with others. Through a combination of guided research, audience analysis, and deployment of rhetorical strategies students will learn to write to specific audiences with specific purposes. Students will read and analyze texts from more than one genre and academic discipline into order to practice crafting persuasive arguments.

By the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • develop a persuasive argument on a topic you have discovered and explored through research and writing;
  • develop a thesis that fulfills the requirements of the writing prompt and is tailored to a specific audience;
  • analyze the viewpoints and needs of different audiences, ultimately crafting at least one essay to a specific audience by making rhetorical choices with that audience in mind;
  • organize thoughts to convey more sophisticated ideas;
  • gather, discuss, and analyze a variety of sources;
  • refine personal and collaborative brainstorming processes to generate detailed evidence and interpretation to support your purpose;
  • respond to and discuss the writing of classmates;
  • incorporate consistent drafting and revision into your writing process;
  • incorporate an accurate citation style into your writing and research;
  • craft sentence-level prose that effectively conveys your ideas.