Contact

Ann Spurlock, Composition Director

Ms. Ann Spurlock
Director of the Composition Program

206 Howell Hall

email

Faculty

Composition Class Descriptions

 

The Composition Program

  • Overview
  • Placement
  • Textbooks
  • Resources
  • About the Composition Program
Composition Instructors at the Annual Fall Workshop

The offerings in English Composition are designed to meet the general requirements of the various academic programs at this university and comparable institutions. It is advantageous to students to complete these classes during the freshman or, if necessary, sophomore year.

Many of these classes are taught by Graduate Assistants under the supervision of program director Ann Spurlock. Others sections may be taught by instructors or lecturers, or members of the graduate faculty, with Honors sections taught exclusively by members of the graduate faculty.

Placement

All students enrolling in English Composition classes must meet certain requirements in order to be placed at the appropriate course level.  A student's placement is based on the English score of the ACT exam or, alternatively, on the SAT exam.

English ACT Score

English SAT Score

Course Eligibility

under 17

under 440

English 0103 (Basic English). Students scoring 17 or 18 on the ACT or 440 or 450 on the SAT are also urged to consider taking Basic English before taking Composition I.

17 or above

440 or above

English 1103 (Composition I): the first semester of the two semester composition requirement that must be fulfilled by all students.

28 or above

650 or above

English 1173 (Accelerated Composition II): credit for Composition I and course credit (total 6 hours) awarded upon successful completion of the class. (2-for-1 requirements) Class requirements are set by the individual professors and are consistent with the writing goals of Composition II and the performance quality of well-qualified students.

Shackouls Honors College enrollee or 32 or above Shackouls Honors College enrollee or 720 or above English 1103H (Honors Composition). Honors credit for completion of Composition I. Class requirements are set by the individual professors and are consistent with the standards expected of honors students.
32 or above 720 or above English 1113H (Honors Composition II): credit for Composition I and course credit (total 6 hours) awarded upon successful completion of the class. (2-for-1 requirements) Honors credit for completion of Composition II. Class requirements are set by the individual professors and are consistent with the writing goals of Composition II and the performance quality of honors students.

Textbooks:

The Freshman Composition Committee selects textbooks for English 0103, 1103, and 1113. Each student must acquire the standard adoptions listed below. Reproduced materials may be used on a very limited scale. Newspapers, magazines, and other periodical publications may be used as supplementary materials for instruction; however, subscription must be on an entirely voluntary basis for the individual student.

Texts required for advanced levels of composition (EN 1173, EN 1103H and EN 1113H) are chosen by the instructor, as are any supplementary materials.

Basic English (EN 0103)

These books are generally available as a single bundle.

Focus on Writing, 2nd edition
Basic Survival Guide

Composition I (EN 1103)

Forming a Critical Perspective
Edited by Ann Spurlock, et al
Mississippi State Custom Publication
Pearson

The Little, Brown Handbook, 4th Custom Edition for MSU with MyCompLab
based on the 12th. edition
H. Ramsey Fowler and Jane E. Aaron
Pearson/Longman.

Guide to Freshman Composition, 5th. edition
2013 MSU custom edition  
Fountainhead.

Composition II (EN 1113)

MSU Reader: Selections for EN 1113 - Comp II
Pearson
New edition fall 2011.

The Curious Researcher: A Guide to Writing Research Papers
7th. edition
Bruce Ballenger
Pearson, 2012.

The Little, Brown Handbook, 4th Custom Edition for MSU with MyCompLab
based on the 12th. edition
H. Ramsey Fowler and Jane E. Aaron
Pearson/Longman.

Guide to Freshman Composition, 5th edition
2013 MSU custom edition.

 

The Mississippi State University Libraries

The Mitchell Memorial Library at Mississippi State contains more than a million volumes and subscribes to thousands of periodicals. In addition, full interlibrary loan facilities and Computer Assisted Information Retrieval Service give students access to millions of other research sources. The library's Special Collections division, which houses the University Archives, rare books, and manuscripts, has a number of holdings of particular interest to the student of Southern literature and culture, including the John C. Stennis, Turner Catledge, and Hodding Carter Collections.

Tutoring Session in The Writing CenterThe Writing Center

The Writing Center on President's Circle is staffed by English Department teaching assistants and faculty and provides free tutoring in writing to all Mississippi State students.

MyCourses

Mississippi State University utilizes a Blackboard Learn system, locally called MyCourses, for online instruction. Many professors utilize MyCourses to enhance their efforts in traditional classes.

Recommended Resources

  • Some recommended general writing and literary resources.

Resources for Instructors

Statement of Purpose

Various pictures from the Composition Fall Workshop

The Department of English has adopted this statement of the general aims of the first and second composition courses:  "The purpose of freshman English is to improve the student's ability to use language effectively in reading and writing and to improve his or her reading comprehension.  The effective use of language is an art, not merely a skill.  It can be learned and improved.  All arts involve the adaptation of means to ends. Continued human experience with an art involves following certain procedures effectively and efficiently to achieve these ends. These procedures then are formulated into a body of knowledge governed by a set of standards that must be followed if success in that art is to be achieved. The criteria for the effective use of language can be classified into the rules of grammar, rhetoric, and logic. The general aim of all freshman courses is to familiarize the student with the standards of contemporary American usage and to provide her or him with opportunities for putting these standards into practice in writing."

Curriculum and Goals

Program History