FAQ: Composition (C) Requirement

What are the requirements for a course to get the C designation?

Composition (C) courses must fulfill the following requirements:

  • C courses require at least 20 pages of expository writing.
  • The course must include a longer paper of at least 7 pages or at least two papers of at least 5 pages.
  • For these longer papers, a process of revision with instructor feedback (not just peer feedback) is mandatory. One paper of at least 5 pages must undergo a substantial revision process.
  • At least 50% of the course grade must be based on writing.

Are there any restrictions on the size of the course?

C courses should be limited to 25 students per class when taught without teaching assistants. Larger courses may be designated as C courses so long as they divide into regularly scheduled discussion sections in which composition and/or oral communication is emphasized. In such courses teaching assistants assigned to lead multiple discussion sections should be responsible for no more than 50 students in all.

Can the writing assignments in C courses be completed in a language other than English?


Can creative writing assignments be used to fulfill the C requirement?

No. The C requirement mandates expository writing. Assignments in poetry, fiction, or creative non-fiction may not be used to fulfill this requirement.

Can blog posts or discussion board posts count towards the pages required for the C?

No. The course may include these forms of writing, but they cannot count towards the work required for the C.

Can exams count towards the pages required for the C?

Sometimes. The UUCC allows take-home exams to count for a portion of the pages, but not for the entire 20 pages of required writing.

Can revised pages count towards the pages required for the C?

No. The 20 pages of writing must be unrevised, original writing.

Can revision be optional in a C course?

No. All students must revise at least one significant assignment in the course.

What is the difference between a C course and a W course?

The W is a Harpur College Writing requirement, not a Gen Ed requirement. According to the Harpur College section of the University Bulletin, Writing (W) courses provide considerable experience in and feedback on writing as a tool of college-level teaching and learning. Written assignments in W courses constitute 30 to 100 percent of the basis for the grade in the course and typically consist of a minimum of 10 pages of writing.

Last Updated: 6/27/14