"Every time I read Pride and Prejudice, I want to dig her up and hit her over the skull with her own shin-bone."
- Mark Twain on Jane Austen
EH 101 and 102 are committed to preparing students to write effectively in diverse situations. Because academic writing should reflect students' best thinking and should promote learning, EH 101 and 102 help students by enhancing thinking skills as well as the ability to put ideas into words.
Goals for English Composition
- EH 101 and 102 should prepare students, first and foremost, for the academic writing they will do at USA and, second, for the writing they will do in their careers and personal lives.
- To achieve Goal 1, EH 101 and 102 should train students in rhetoric.
- EH 101 and 102 should focus students' attention on the writing process as well as the written product.
Description of the Program
The English Composition Program consists of the two Freshman English classes, EH 101 and EH 102, which are offered every semester, and are required of all USA students. These Composition courses are also prerequisites for all subsequent English courses. The courses are taught by full-time professors as well as staff and graduate assistants. Some students with certain ACT scores may be exempt from taking EH 101. To find more about exemption and scores as well as to see the CLEP requirements for being exempt from EH 102 see the Bulletin. For further information about the English Composition Program, please contact Dr. Patrick Shaw, head of the English Composition Program.
Each academic year, the Freshman Composition Program within the USA English Department hosts a best paper contest for all Composition I and II students. The essays below are the winners and honorable mentions. Recipients receive a cash prize, a certificate of honor, and a banquet is held to reward them for their exemplary essays. All submissions are assessed by the Freshman English Committee, based on USA’s “Shared Criteria for Evaluating Writing” (see see pp. xv-xvii of The Little Penguin Handbook with Resources for Composition at the University of South Alabama, 8th ed.).
Here is a copy of our Composition Contest Release Form for Students.
2016-2017 Composition Contest Winners
- EH 101 winner (tie): Sabrina Hamilton
"Birds Are Really Dinosaurs"
- EH 101 winner (tie): Nolan Ricketson
"A New Hope"
- EH 101 runner-up: Devin Johnson
"Where Should I Live?"
- EH 102 winner: William Lowe
"The Innovation of H.L. Hunley"
- EH 102 runner-up: Aaron Capes
"Analysis of 'Just Take Away Their Guns'"
2015-2016 Composition Contest Winners
- EH 101 winner (tie): Anthony Jackson
"Understanding the Real Backpack Backstabber"
- EH 101 winner (tie): Steely Holmes
"No More Idling"
- EH 102 winner: Sarah Dvorak
"Why We Remember"
- EH 102 runner-up: Lacey Day
"Violent Media is Good for Gerard Jones"
2014-2015 Composition Contest Winners
- EH 101 winner: Maggie Kuhn
"No More Swallowing the 'R' Word"
- EH 101 runner-up (tie): Rebekah Miles
"Just a Normal Day"
- EH 101 runner-up (tie): John Barr
"A Coming of Age"
- EH 102 winner: Alex Wentz
"David Farragut, the Hero of Mobile Bay"
USA Writing Center
- The USA Writing Center offers free one-on-one consulting to all USA students wishing to improve their writing.