Department of English

Cara Cilano's ENG 101 class talking to OLLI learners - Photo by Rory Laverty

Photo above: Dr. Cara Cilano's ENG 101 class talks with the lifelong learners of OLLI (people 50 and older) about the importance of saying 'yes' to the value of learning over a lifetime. Nine of the OLLI learners were panelists who talked about their experiences. -- Photo by Rory Laverty

Composition Program

For Students

Our program helps prepare you to write in other courses, in other academic fields, and in the professional, public, and personal contexts you will enter after college. It exists because effective communication-whether you want to head a corporation or start a revolution-is an essential skill. Much of the writing you will do in Composition courses is commonly known as academic discourse, but you also will explore multiple genres inside and outside of the university environment. You will conduct library research, use digital technologies, and work collaboratively with your classmates. You will address a variety of writing occasions, paying particular attention to aspects of the rhetorical situation (including audience, context, purpose, and medium). Although no single class or course sequence can fully prepare you for every communicative situation you will encounter, Composition courses will help you gain important skills to use when navigating all of them.

Devin shows his English in Action Showcase project in fall 2013. - Photo by Rory LavertyMost students at UNCW will take two Composition courses. First they will take either ENG 101 (College Writing and Reading I) or ENG 100 (College Writing and Reading I Global Emphasis). Both these courses fulfill the same Composition requirement and students may choose which one to take. After successfully completing either ENG 101 or ENG 100 and achieving sophomore standing, students will take either ENG 201 (College Writing and Reading II) or ENG 200 (College Writing and Reading II Global Emphasis). Both these courses fulfill the same Composition requirement and students may choose which one to take. Some students with extraordinary scores on a placement exam will take only one Composition course, ENG 103 (College Writing and Reading [Advanced]).

Some helpful student resources are linked below. If you have any questions about the composition program, please contact the Writing Coordinator, Sarah Hallenbeck (

Student Resources

For Instructors

The Composition Program is proud to include some of the best educators in our award-winning department. As articulated by UNCW's University Studies curriculum, our mission is to cultivate students' abilities to read critically and write effectively. Composition courses should encourage individuated, recursive writing processes that include researching, planning, drafting, revising, and participating in peer review. These aims should be reflected in course syllabi, materials, assignments, and classroom practice.

Instructor Resources