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Freshman Composition

The composition program at Western New England University provides a foundation in writing and analytic reading for a diverse group of incoming freshmen and transfer students. The program is designed to sharpen students' rhetorical skills and to teach them how to approach unfamiliar texts with confidence.

The two course sequence begins with English 132, a standard course focused on the analytic reading of prose non-fiction from a variety of disciplines and on the writing of accurate and effective prose using a variety of techniques.

English 133 continues the emphasis on writing and analytic reading with a focus on literature and the three major literary genres: poetry, fiction, and drama. Building on the work of English 132, this course helps students recognize the writer's intention, central ideas, organization, and uses of language. The course also introduces various tools for practicing fundamental literary analysis.

For students who need more extensive practice with grammar, mechanics, and the principles of writing, there is a yearlong sequence, English 130/131, which fulfills the English 132 requirement. Students in this two-semester course benefit from one-on-one support, increased opportunities for workshops and peer review, and the added time required to hone skills. Successful completion of this course sequence prepares students for English 133.

Helpful Links

Dictionaries and Thesauri

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary
This site allows users to search words both in the dictionary and also in the thesaurus.

The American Heritage Dictionary
Access over 90,000 entries with this fourth edition of the American Heritage Dictionary. Users can search for definitions, etymologies, or even articles.

The Internet Rhyming Dictionary
This site explains different the six different types of rhymes and allows users to find rhyming words for all types.

The Internet Etymology Dictionary
This site allows users to see the roots and history of individual words.

Glossary of Literary Terms
This free resource produced by Thomson Learning and The Gale Group, Inc. provides an extremely comprehensive and thorough resource for students. 

Help With Grammar and Style

The Internet Grammar of English
This thorough Internet grammar, produced and maintained by University College London, provides a clear table of contents, glossary of terms, general index, and list of useful exercises. Use the handy search engine to find just what you need. Some basic terms may vary from standard American usage.

The Elements of Style
This classic text by William Strunk, Jr. offers rules of usage, principles of composition, and even a section on commonly misused and misspelled words.

The Writing Process and Citation

WNE Writing Center
Set up an appointment with an experienced peer tutor at WNE. Tutors assist students with all kinds of writing and reading assignments, at any stage in the process.

UNC Writing Center Tips and Tools
Find helpful handouts that cover multiple writing needs, like brainstorming, revising, evidence, analysis, structure, understanding various types of assignments, citation, and grammar.

Purdue Owl MLA and APA Citation Guides
A comprehensive guide to citation guidelines for both MLA and APA. Search around the site for more tips on writing, research, and reading.

Multimedia Presentations

The following presentations require PowerPoint or PowerPoint viewing software.

Writing the World: Sources, Sanity, and Academic Integrity

The Writing Process: An Introduction

The Writing Process: Planning and Drafting

The Writing Process: Organizational Strategies

The Writing Process: Revision

Understanding Literature


Writing from Scratch: Incorporating Sources in Academic Writing

The Practice of Poetry: An Introduction

Introduction to Drama

Introduction to Fiction

Finding Sources

Incorporating Outside Sources

Using MLA Format

Fall Advising Assistance

The English Department assists advisors in finding the most appropriate composition classes for incoming freshmen and transfer students. The summer SOAR recommendations are sent to advisors through the Office of Freshmen and Transfer Students and students are scheduled during SOAR sessions. If you have a question about a student's SOAR recommendation, please call Linda Oleksak at ext. 1691.

Standard Classes

Engl 132:
Most incoming freshmen will receive a simple Engl 132 recommendation. All 132 sections are equivalent.

Engl 133:
We always offer one or two general sections of Engl 133 in the fall for students who have already completed English 132 or its equivalent, with a minimum grade of C.

Engl 139:
This is a one-credit course for students who received a C- in Engl 132 and/or Engl 133. Students may take Engl 139 either before or concurrently with Engl 133.

Sections that Require Specific Recommendations

Engl 130:
This is the first of our basic level two-semester composition courses. These students will take Engl 130 as an elective, and will then take Engl 131 in the spring to fulfill the Engl 132 requirement. Upon successful completion (minimum of a C) of Engl 131, these students will take Engl 133 the following fall or spring. (Please note: students may not move from Engl 130 to Engl 133).

LA 150:
This is a one-credit, By Arrangement support lab. Students who show significant weakness in writing, reading, or both, will have a recommendation for this lab. [Please note that we have now combined the writing and reading labs, so that students will no longer be required to take two labs in order to receive assistance in both areas; they need only register for the one LA 150 lab. Also, students who are just above the cut-off for the LA 150 lab will receive a "Student Should Seek Writing Center Assistance as Needed" recommendation. Advisors should encourage these students to visit the Writing Center early on in the semester.]