Department of English

First-Year Composition

plant banner

First-year writing, part of Clemson University’s general education core curriculum, is a required course because good writing is vital to the success of Clemson graduates. The English Department recognizes that good writing is the result of learning to think in a variety of forms of written expression for diverse rhetorical situations and audiences. ENGL 1030, Accelerated Composition, provides the foundation for understanding writing conventions that are appropriate for both print and digital platforms using both classical and contemporary approaches to writing. We call it Accelerated because composition in college should help move students forward from the first-year through graduation with steadily improving ability to think in writing. In addition, as all English 1030 students come to appreciate, writing expectations for college-level coursework differ from writing in high school. 

Grades are assigned based on the quality of argument, the thoughts expressed in the appropriate language for a general audience, and not merely for turning in a paper without any comma splices or major grammatical mistakes. We focus on argument because learning to craft an effective and persuasive piece of writing means taking a topic that is meaningful to the student and helping them formulate a clear purpose for writing (thesis/claim) that is supported by researched evidence from a number of credible sources. Persuasive writing is crafted in clear and correct Standard English that results from rhetorical grammar choices. English 1030 trains students to write polished argument essays using sources obtained from a variety of texts in both print and digital forms, including images, sound, and performed persuasion. Argumentative writing and audience awareness is what distinguishes the rote instrumental skill of information communication from writing as a creative process of expression and critical thinking. These skills help students in all kinds of writing situations for the coursework at Clemson, but also beyond graduation as they face high-stakes writing situations in the job market and finally in the workplace.

Readings in ENGL 1030 focus on intellectually challenging non-fiction prose about contemporary cultural, ethical, and political issues as well as interactive, digital, visual treatments of these issues. Writing assignments train students in the fundamentals of analyzing visual rhetoric, research writing that integrates visual design principles, and the ability to produce visual and multimodal compositions that blend traditional writing with composing in various media. 

This website is designed to provide general information about English 1030 for incoming and current students.