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Department of English Language and Literature

  • Students walk across a bridge leading to the Horseshoe at the University of South Carolina, Columbia.

First-Year English

The First-Year English Program coordinates all sections of English 101 and 102, the only academic courses that every undergraduate student must complete before graduation.

Each semester, we offer more than 125 sections of English 101 and 102, taught by approximately 100 instructors, serving more than 3,000 students, more than any other course on campus. With so many instructors, we still manage to provide individual attention in small classes. You can access our FAQ webpage for questions others have asked or our staff webpage for contacts.

These Skills Are for Everyone

We emphasize small class sizes, interactive teaching, and challenging curricula. Our goal is to help you develop the strong writing, critical thinking, research, and analytical skills you’ll need to succeed in future college coursework and beyond. Writing is a valuable life skill that contributes to overall academic and career success. Teaching students to write well is also an essential part of the liberal arts goal at the University of South Carolina.

English 101: Critical Reading and Composition

English 101 is designed to offer you structured, sustained practice in critical reading, textual analysis and composing. During the semester, you'll read challenging texts in a variety of genres and then write expository and analytical essays in response to them. Through these reading and writing assignments, you explore the interconnectedness of reading and writing and learn how to use both reading and writing as venues for inquiry, learning, interpretation, and communication.

English 102: Rhetoric and Composition

English 102 builds on English 101 to help prepare you for the writing you'll do in future college courses and beyond. While English 101 hones your ability to critically read and closely analyze a text, English 102 emphasizes developing well-reasoned argumentative papers that draw on multiple sources and viewpoints. During the semester, you'll learn to identify the elements of an effective argument and to apply those principles in composing researched essays about academic and public issues. This course also strengthens your skills by teaching strategies for finding, assessing, using, citing, and documenting sources.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.