The Composition Program

Freshman composition courses are designed to meet the general writing requirements of all undergraduate academic programs at Mississippi State University. Regardless of major, all students must earn six hours of composition credit in order to graduate; campus wide, academic programs of study indicate that students should complete their composition requirements during the freshman year.

Composition courses are taught by instructors, lecturers, and graduate teaching assistants under the supervision of program director Ann Spurlock. In the interest of teaching effectiveness and fairness to all students, the Department of English has adopted uniform course requirements and textbooks for its standard composition courses (EN 0103, EN 1103, and EN 1113).  Although class sections will vary in accordance with an individual instructor’s academic interests, all sections will meet certain uniform requirements.

Placement in a Composition Course

Students with no earned credit for college composition will enroll in specific classes based on their ACT English or SAT Verbal sub-scores. The department does not automatically award course credit based on ACT score, SAT score, or CLEP.

CourseACT-E ScoreSAT-V score
EN 0103< 16< 420
EN 1103> 17> 440
EN 1173> 28> 630
EN 1113H> 32> 720

Course Credit

Advanced Placement Test (Literature and Composition or Language and Composition) – Students who earn a 3 receive three hours of credit for EN 1103, Composition I. Those who earn a 4 or 5 receive six hours of credit for EN 1103, Composition I; and EN 1113, Composition II. A grade of Satisfactory (S) appears on the transcript for courses in which advanced placement credit is earned.

EN 1173 or EN 1113H – Students who earn a C or higher receive six hours of credit for freshman composition, thus satisfying the university’s core requirement. A grade of Satisfactory (S) appears on the transcript for EN 1103; for EN 1173 or EN 1113H, the letter grade earned appears on the transcript.

Freshman Course Offerings and Standard Requirements

EN 0103 – Basic Composition is a non-credit course that stresses the fundamentals of composition, particularly paragraph and essay development. Focusing on specific rhetorical strategies, students write three paragraphs and multiple drafts of three essays in response to readings and class discussion.

EN 1103 – Composition I is a three-hour course that stresses the fundamentals of analysis and argument.  In response to assigned readings and class discussion, students write multiple drafts of four essays. In addition, students write a reflective essay as part of the final examination.

EN 1113 – Composition II is a three-hour course that focuses on the researched argument.  Students pose a research question and complete multiple assignments as part of an entire project. Additionally, EN 1113 covers the fundamentals of short fiction and poetry.  Students write a total of four essays.

EN 1173 – Accelerated Composition II is typically a literature-based composition course.  Standards and requirements are set by the instructor.  Students who complete

EN 1173 with a final grade of C or higher earn six hours of credit for composition.  If a student’s final grade is below a C, he or she must take EN 1103 and EN 1113 in order to satisfy the university’s composition requirement.

EN 1113H – Honors Composition II is typically a literature-based composition course.  It is usually taught by members of the English Department’s graduate faculty, who set the standards and requirements for the course. Students who complete EN 1113H with a final grade of C or higher earn six hours of credit for composition.  If a student’s final grade is below a C, he or she must take EN 1103 and EN 1113 in order to satisfy the university’s composition requirement.