FAQ for Incoming Students
Why does CSU require us to take composition courses?
Writing is a life-long process that requires continual practice. Because writing is not a “one and done” skill, our composition courses build upon your existing writing, research, and communication skills so you are successful in the writing you will do at CSU, in your jobs, and during your career. Our composition courses are designed to build upon your knowledge of academic and public genres, audience awareness, research skills, and writing processes. You can learn more about CSU’s composition requirement here.
How can studying composition prepare me for my future career?
Our composition courses aim to help you become well-rounded and competent writers by developing close and critical reading, writing, research practices to understand differing viewpoints and approach arguments critically. In your composition courses, you will practice finding and evaluating scholarly and popular research, composing different genres, writing to various audiences, drafting and revising your writing, and workshopping your writing through peer review. These are all important workplace skills.
How do I figure out if I need CO130 or CO150?
To learn more about what lower-division composition course you need to take, visit the CSU Composition Placement Program here.
Can I transfer credits from other institutions?
Yes. And you can review your transfer credit by logging into RamWeb and then following these steps:
- On the home page, find the link called “View My Transfer Credit” under Records.
- To view how your prior coursework applies towards your degree, use the “Degree Progress Audit” link to run a degree audit.
- On your Degree Audit Report, check whether the All-University Core Curriculum (AUCC) Category 1A Basic Competencies – Intermediate Writing requirement has been completed or needs to be completed.
If you still have questions, send an email to email@example.com and one of our program administrators will reply.
I heard composition courses use a rhetorical approach to writing. What does that mean?
A rhetorical approach to writing means we focus more on the communicative situations in which we write than on the grammar and writing style of written English. All of our composition classes take a rhetorical approach, which means students learn how to refine their own purpose for writing while considering the needs of their intended audience. The relationship between writer and audience also impacts the genre selected, the content development, the document design, and the research conducted. The rhetorical approach gives you tools that you can use in all writing situations, whether it’s writing for social media, CSU classes, the workplace, or elsewhere.
I’m not good with grammar. How does composition help me with that?
Composition courses will give you experience in reading, peer-reviewing, and editing your own work to help you improve your writing style, grammar, and proofreading.
What if English is not my native language? Are there sections of Composition for non-native speakers of English?
We do offer sections of CO150 for non-native speakers of English. You can learn more about those sections here.
FAQ for Current Students
What is expected of me as a CSU student in composition courses?
Our classes are designed for your fullest engaged participation in courses with a maximum of 24 students per class. Our faculty don’t just lecture. Instead, you can expect you will actively learn through regular in-class discussion, building your writing process skills, participating in individual and group workshopping, receiving written and/or oral feedback from faculty, and content-based peer review. To get the most out of our classes, we encourage you to regularly engage and contribute to each class through your critical reading skills, reflection, research, and experiences.
To read CSU's Student Conduct Code, go here.
Are there resources that will help me write better and succeed in my composition classes?
CSU’s Writing Center is free and offers writing support to all CSU students at all stages of the writing process—brainstorming, developing ideas, organizing paragraphs, researching, etc. Students can sign-up for an online or an in-person Writing Center consultation.
How do I get help with my research?
The Writing Center can help you with research. We also encourage you to use the CO130 research guide, the CO150 research guide, the CO300 research guide, and the CO301X research guide. If you need additional help, visit the Composition Program and English research librarian's website here.
How do I do a “repeat/delete”?
Go to the Registrar's Repeat Delete webpage for more information.
Who is my professor and how do I reach them?
You can find your professor and their email address here.
What is the difference between CO301A, CO301B, CO301C, and CO301D?
CO301A, CO301B, CO301C, and CO301D are “writing in the disciplines” upper-division composition courses tailored more closely to students’ disciplines. The CO301* courses help focus students’ writing toward their disciplines and potential careers. You will want to select the course that most closely aligns with your major and/or is required by your department. More information on these courses can be found in the CSU catalog.
What if I want to appeal a grade?
If the grade you receive is different from the grade listed in Canvas, such as a grade entry error, please email your professor to alert them of the error. For other concerns, email the Composition Program administrators at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What if I have concerns about grading or instruction? Who do I contact?
Please email your concern and the course number and section to the Composition Program administrators at email@example.com.