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Guide to First Year Writing

Previous Education

Have you taken a composition course at a previous college or completed ENGL 110 in high school via the College Now program?

YES

Get in Touch

Contact Admissions or FYW@qc.cuny.edu to find out if you are exempt from taking ENGL 110 (and can take a CW2 course in your first semester).

[s]

If you took the ESLD test, please follow the recommendation made on your profile in Navigate about whether to take English 109 or English 110 with 115.1/115.2.

NO

Your Language

Are you more comfortable with a language other than English? Have you recently completed an ESL course? Was your English Regents score over 78 and your SAT verbal score over 480?

YES

Comfort Level

Did you write multiple essays in English in high school? Do you feel comfortable reading essays written in English? See here for some samples of the kind of reading and writing you might do in English 110.

YES

Recommendation: register for ENGL 110 and ENGL 115.1 or ENGL 115.2 in your first semester. If space is available, you can switch between ENGL 115.1 and 115.2 during the first week of classes.

NO
[s]
NO

Recommendation: register for ENGL 109 in your first semester. Take ENGL 110 + ENGL 115.1/115.2 in your second semester.

English as Dominant Language

Do you feel confident about reading, writing, and speaking in English in academic settings?

YES

Recommendation: take ENGL 110 in your first semester and a EC2 course like ENGL 130 in your second semester.

NO

Recommendation: register for ENGL 115.1 in addition to ENGL 110. You can drop English 115.1 during your first week of classes if your English 110 instructor recommends doing so.

In Spring 2022, the following sections of English 109, 115.1 and 115.2 will be offered:

45958 ENGL 109 (1) Introduction to Academic Writing M, W 1:40pm – 3:30pm
46446 ENGL 115.1 (1) VT: Topics In Writing M 12:00pm – 12:55pm
45975 ENGL 115.1 (3) VT: Topics In Writing Th 2:00pm – 2:55pm
45976 ENGL 115.1 (4) VT: Topics In Writing Th 4:00pm – 4:55pm
46438 ENGL 115.1 (2) VT: Topics In Writing T 9:30am – 10:25am
46437 ENGL 115.2 (1) VT: Topics in Writing Th 1:00pm – 2:50pm

How does English 110 fit into the Queens College curriculum?

English 110 is the first of two required courses in college writing and fulfills the English Composition I requirement. The English Composition II requirement is fulfilled with College Writing 2 (CW2), which is offered in a variety of departments in the second semester. Students must fulfill both college writing requirements within their first 45 credits, but preferably within the first 30 credits. Many upper-division courses have CW1 and CW2 as prerequisites.

Students are encouraged to take their second writing course (CW2) in the departments of their majors (or in departments whose methodologies are similar or complementary), so that they learn to gather and analyze evidence in ways that their discipline values most. Thus, students might choose from a variety of College Writing 2 titles such as: Writing about History, Writing about Biology, or Writing in the Social Sciences. Students who become English majors should satisfy the CW2 requirement by taking English 130: Writing About Literature in English.

Ideally, students take ENGL 110 in the first semester of their freshman year, and then take their College Writing 2 course in the following semester. After they complete those two prerequisites, students need to take two writing-intensive (W) classes that are offered throughout the curriculum (e.g., ENGL 151W, SOC 210W).

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What should students take if English is not their dominant language?

If English is one of multiple languages you use and you don’t feel as confident with English, consider these options.

Students who feel more comfortable communicating in a language other than English have the opportunity to enroll in English 109 before taking English 110 OR to enroll in a section of English 115.1 or English 115.2 along with English 110. English 115.1 provides an extra hour of instruction and conference time each week whereas English 115.2 provides two extra hours of instruction and conference time each week. You are advised to consider enrolling in one of these options if you:

  • earned 75-78 on their Regents or have an SAT verbal score below 480
  • recently completed one or more ESL classes
  • have concerns or anxieties about their preparedness to write essays in English

To help you make this decision, we recommend reviewing these materials from the first assignment in past English 110 sections. Keep in mind that the student essays represent strong submissions that were completed in stages over 3 to 4 weeks. In English 110, students receive instructor feedback on drafts, which guide them as they revise and develop their essays into final drafts that are then graded.

ENGL 110: Language & Literacy — sample materials

Reading: YZ Chin, “How I Learned to Claim Space as a Multilingual Author”
Assignment: Essay 1 Formal Draft
Student essay using above reading: “My Asian American Identity”

Taking these courses strongly increases your chances of success in English 110 by providing you with a firm foundation for writing in English and individualized instructor support to complement your pace of learning. You are also welcome and encouraged to frequent the Writing Center (qc.writing.center@qc.cuny.edu) throughout the semester.

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English 109: Introduction to Academic Writing… An Alternative Start to 110

English 109: Introduction to Academic Writing is a credit-bearing course specifically designed for those who want or need additional writing instruction and practice in advance of English 110, which should then be taken in the following semester. You do not need to be an international student or have an official ESL designation to take this course. Those interested in signing up for English 109 can register by emailing FYW@qc.cuny.edu.

English 109: Introduction to Academic Writing (4 hours, 3 credits; Prerequisite: placement by program):

An intensive writing course that aims to prepare emergent bilingual and multilingual students for first-year academic writing practices. Students will develop various academic literary practices and learn to produce writing for different purposes. They will reflect on previous experiences reading and writing in English and in other languages. Specific learning outcomes include developing critical and active reading strategies, engaging in writing as a process and practice, understanding and analyzing various rhetorical situations, developing strategies for revision and editing, and developing a writerly voice. Not open to students who have completed ENGL 110.

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English 115.1 and 115.2: Topics in Writing…For Additional Help in 110

These are credit-bearing courses that provide students who are enrolled in English 110 with additional instruction and tutorials. The small class of 10 or less students ensures that you receive quality one-on-one time with an English 110 instructor who will help you draft and revise the essays you are writing in English 110. You do not need to be an international student or have an official ESL designation to take this course. However, this supplementary course is highly recommended for students who have borderline SAT, Regents or CATW scores, and who are still gaining confidence in using English. You should take English 115.1 or English 115.2 along with your section of English 110 if you completed English 95, English 109, or one or more ESL courses before enrolling in English 110. If you are interested in signing up for a section of English 115.1 or English 115.2, please email FYW@qc.cuny.edu.

English 115.1, Topics in Writing (1 hour, 1 credit),
English 115.2, Topics in Writing (2 hours, 2 credits):

A writing course for students who wish to extend the work of ENGL 110. This course is designed to focus students’ attention on specific topics and issues in writing through extensive reading, practice in a variety of writing techniques appropriate to the topic, and reflection upon the readings and their own written work. Topics will vary from semester to semester and may include cross-cultural analyses of life stories; comparative analyses of different disciplinary forms of argument; sentence and paragraph styles; the art of writing reviews.

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English 130: Writing about Literature in English (College Writing 2)

All Queens College students need to enroll in a College Writing 2 class after the successful completion of English 110: College Writing 1. College Writing 2 is offered in departments and divisions across campus. Students will be encouraged to take their second writing course in the departments of their majors (or in departments whose methodologies are similar or complementary), so that they learn to gather and analyze evidence in ways that their discipline values most. Thus, students might choose from a variety of College Writing 2 titles such as: Writing about History, Writing about Biology, Writing in the Social Sciences, or Writing about Literature. Students who become English majors must satisfy the CW2 requirement by taking English 130: Writing About Literature in English. By completing English 110: College Writing 1 and your selected College Writing 2 course, you satisfy the CUNY English Composition requirement.

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