More than 600 students take English 110 in any given year. The policies described below help to ensure that students have a relatively consistent experience across dozens of sections and make clear a number of important course expectations.

Written Work

Students write for every class. Some of the writing will be informal, occurring in class or being assigned as homework. Other writing will involve the development, drafting, and revision of formal papers.

Students in English 110 produce 15-18 pages of formal, revised writing over the term. Instructors have flexibility in determining the number and length of papers, but students can expect to write three formal, revised papers, in addition to a range of less formal written projects.

Electronic writing environments are an important part of communication in the twenty-first century. Students may also be required to prepare a slide presentation, blog in the course, produce a podcast or short video, or engage with other electronic media. Students in English 110 prepare an electronic portfolio (ePortfolio).


Each instructor establishes the specific evaluative criteria for assignments in his or her section of English 110. Overall performance in English 110 consists of a student’s performance on formal, revised writing, engagement in the writing process, an ePortfolio, attendance, in-class participation, and performance on informal writing assignments throughout the term.

At least 55% of each student’s final grade is based on the formal, revised writing completed over the term. Instructors penalize work that is submitted late or that does not meet the page or source requirements of an assignment. It is not uncommon for a B-level paper to receive a C if it is not submitted on time.

Much of the writing process occurs through informal writing in English 110. For this reason, instructors generally reserve a significant portion of the final course grade for engagement in this aspect of the course. It is common for actively engaged, conscientious students to earn a final course grade that exceeds their performance on formal papers.

Students concerned about their performance in English 110 should talk with their instructor about his or her expectations.


English 110 is a workshop- and discussion-based course that employs collaborative and active learning pedagogies. Students who miss class are not participating in these central elements of the course. For this reason, attendance is mandatory.

Students who miss more than two weeks of classes should not expect to pass English 110, and students who miss more than one week of classes should anticipate a reduction in their final course grade. Instructors in English 110 do not make a distinction between “excused” and “unexcused” absences and do not involve themselves in weighing the merits of an absence.

Students who experience a significant medical or family emergency that requires many absences should be in touch with their instructor as soon as possible. These students may be counseled to withdraw from the course and supported in ways that minimize the academic implications of withdrawal.

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