Freshman Composition

"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


Mission Statement

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 

  1. 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.
  2. To achieve Goal 1, EH 101 and 102 should train students in rhetoric.
  3. 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.

Composition Contest

Each academic year, the Freshman Composition Program within the USA English Department hosts a best paper contest for all Comp I and Comp 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.

Here is a copy of our Composition Contest Release Form for Students. The form includes instructions on how to enter.

2018-2019 Composition Contest Winners

2017-2018 Composition Contest Winners

2016-2017 Composition Contest Winners

USA Writing Center

  • The USA Writing Center offers free one-on-one consulting to all USA students wishing to improve their writing.