Course Descriptions and Placement Guidelines

As part of the University General Education Requirements, all students are required to complete ENGL 1010 or 1011. (Note: ENGL 1010 or 1011 is a prerequisite to all writing (W) courses.) Honors students passing ENGL 2011 (formerly ENGL 3800) will fulfill the General Education First-Year Writing requirement (ENGL 1010/1011) upon course completion.

Placement into First-Year Writing is based on a combination of standardized test scores and written placement exam. Because the SAT scoring has changed, please use this conversion prepared from the College Board Concordance tables; the new score thresholds are the converted match to the old threshold scores. You can use the College Board's SAT Score Converter ("Old Scores to New Scores") to convert your scores to the new thresholds for placement.

The new SAT combines the Writing and Language section with the Critical Reading section for a combined score in the range of 200-800. The Writing and Language section has a range of 10-40, as does the Critical Reading section. Scores must reach the threshold for the section AND the combined score for placement.

New SAT Reading Test with Combined Evidence-Based Reading & Writing Score of  Placement
26 or lower  480 or below (SAT Benchmark) ENGL 1004 Required
27 -29 490-580 ENGL 1004 Strongly Recommended
30 or higher 590 and above ENGL 1010 or 1011


New SAT Writing Test with Combined Evidence-Based Reading and Writing Score of  Placement
25 or lower 480 or below (SAT Benchmark) ENGL 1004 Required
26-29 490-580 ENGL 1004 Strongly Recommended
29 or higher 590 and above ENGL 1010 or 1011

The final decision on placement occurs in the classroom during the first week of classes. If, upon reviewing a writing sample, the instructor and a First-Year Writing Program administrator decide that you would benefit more from support, your placement may be revised and you will be asked to enroll in the course that promises you the best opportunities.

If you have not completed the SAT Critical Reading test, your advisor will suggest appropriate course work taking into account your previous schooling and, if applicable, any credits received in transfer.

Placement in ENGL 1003

All placement for ENGL 1003 is by written placement exam administered during University orientation.  Any student who misses the Orientation writing placement exam must arrange to take that exam at a mutually agreeable time after the Orientation placement exams are administered. The student will be given a different writing prompt from the one given during the group placement testing.

  • Multilingual Students who are transitioning to primarily English academic discourse;
  • Students who have been placed in the course by standardized test scores and written placement test.

English 1003

The course provides students more experience writing extended essays for an American university audience. During the course, students will develop academic writing projects in response to work currently undertaken in the American university community.  Along with opportunities to write several original essays, students will become familiar with in-class writing and follow-up discussion; substantive engagement with texts; and collaborative work including peer review. The work in written, visual, and oral engagement will prepare students for future courses, including ENGL 1004, and the Seminars in Academic Writing (ENGL 1010 or ENGL 1011), as well as other University courses across the disciplines. The course helps students understand and work with the intellectual inquiry, contexts, audiences, genres, and conventions of writing for University. ENGL 1003 is not a language course. Any student who needs to improve basic English language skills should begin by taking courses with UCAELI. Students' home languages are resources for discussing language and rhetoric in a global context.

Class size is limited to 15.

 ENGL 1003 may be repeated if desired or if the instructor recommends further study in ENGL 1003. Repeated course credit in ENGL 1003 counts as "elective" and toward total credits needed to graduate.  The course is open to undergraduate, graduate, and exchange students. 

The Transition from ENGL 1003 to First-Year Writing

Students enrolled in ENGL 1003 must successfully complete that course before attempting ENGL 1004 or other First-Year Writing courses; we do not recommend concurrent enrollment in ENGL 1003 and ENGL 1004.  The ENGL 1003 instructor will help students determine when they are comfortable with moving on to subsequent First-Year Writing courses. Students may be advised to remain in ENGL 1003 another term, or to register for ENGL 1004, ENGL 1010, or ENGL 1011.  While ENGL 1003 is open to graduate students by petition, ENGL 1004, ENGL 1010, and ENGL 1011 are open only to undergraduates.

Other Courses

English 1004: Introduction to Academic Writing

English 1004 is designed to help students gain further experience with expectations of college-level writing in a supportive environment with extra feedback from instructors. This course is a mandatory prerequisite to English 1010/1011 for students who have been placed in it by written exam, or who have a SAT score of 480 or below on the new "Evidence-Based Reading & Writing" test. Students with a combined Reading & Writing score that falls between 490-580 are strongly encouraged to take ENGL 1004 by their advisor or if they feel they would benefit from additional writing experience prior to English 1010/1011. See the table above if you did not take the Writing portion of the "New SAT." If students have been enrolled in ENGL 1003, the instructor will recommend subsequent placement into ENGL 1004.  English 1004 offers a smaller class size than English 1010/1011 (17 students instead of 24). Although texts and writing projects in English 1004 may resemble those of English 1010 or 1011, this work focuses on the foundational aspects of work required in those FYW courses, and does so in an environment that is especially supportive of students who may be unfamiliar with a variety of composition classes. After passing ENGL 1004, students will be able to enroll in 1010 or 1011 to fulfill their General Education First-Year Writing requirement.

English 1010: Seminar in Academic Writing and English 1011: Seminar in Writing through Literature

Either English 1010 or 1011 will fulfill the First-Year Writing requirement at the University of Connecticut. Both are four-credit courses that are prerequisites for upper-level “W” courses at the University. English 1010 and 1011 are designed to introduce students to different modes and approaches to composition and to become aware of, and respond to, a variety of rhetorical situations. The habits of mind students learn here should transfer to writing in a variety of contexts and disciplines: click here to read through our course moves, which are specific composition moves students may make in many rhetorical situations, and click here to view our learning objectives, or fundamental ways our students will think about composition throughout and after the course. Students complete four-to-six major composition projects over the course of the semester, in addition to lower stakes scaffolding and workshop assignments. The courses also emphasize revision: there are separate due dates for drafts, and all drafts are workshopped in writing groups with peers and/or individual conferences with the instructors.

The only difference between the courses is the instructors’ choice of texts.  ENGL 1010 emphasizes “interdisciplinary” texts (mostly essays or other nonfictional texts in a variety of modes) and ENGL 1011 English 1011 may use literary texts (novels, plays, short stories, film, poetry, etc.) as students develop independent lines of inquiry. ENGL 1011 is not a course in literary analysis, although some of the writing moves are related to work students may seem familiar.  In both ENGL 1010 and 1011 students produce academic writing and are introduced to the methods, modes, and practices of academic discourses.  These courses are meant to help students develop a larger repertoire in their thinking and writing projects. Note, however, instructors have wide latitude in text selection, and many will mix texts of multiple types in either class. You may review course topics and titles from the FYW website, in the menu running horizontally across the top.


Click here for full descriptions of our courses.