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Information about 'Composition I'

Learning how to do research-based academic writing is a General Education requirement for all undergraduate students. It is called the 'Composition I' requirement. Students fulfill their Comp I requirement by successfully completing the appropriate course or courses in Rhetoric, English as a Second Language, or Communication. The RHET and ESL courses focus on academic research and writing. The two-semester CMN 111-112 sequence, "Oral and Written Communication," focuses on developing critical thinking skills in both speaking and writing and is appropriate for those students who wish to learn (or whose program requires that they learn) public speaking skills in addition to academic writing skills. Please note that credit is not given for both CMN 101 "Public Speaking" and either CMN 111 or CMN 112.

FRESHMEN

If you are a native speaker of English, there is no placement exam for your Composition I course. You have the option of enrolling in CMN 111-112, or you can enroll in the RHET course that you place into based on your highest appropriate ACT or SAT score. For 2020-2021 this means your highest SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing score or your highest ACT English.

If you are an international, non-native speaker of English, you will be informed via email by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions whether you are required to take the English Placement Test (the EPT).

  • If you are NOT required to take the EPT, then you will be placed into a Rhetoric course based on your highest ACT or SAT score, as defined above. You are certainly still welcome to take the EPT if you prefer to be placed into an ESL composition course rather than a RHET composition course. Alternatively, you may also choose to enroll in the CMN 111-112 sequence.

  • If you ARE required to take the EPT, then you must take the EPT even though you submitted ACT or SAT scores with your application. The only exception to this requirement is if you already fulfilled the University's General Education Composition I requirement with transferred coursework from another institution or with test-based credit for RHET 105 from sufficiently high ACT, SAT, AP, or IB scores. The next opportunity to take the EPT will be on Saturday, October 3, 2020. You must register in advance.

TRANSFER STUDENTS

If you are a native speaker of English and you haven't taken any college-level composition course, you will be placed into a RHET course based on your highest appropriate ACT or SAT score. For 2020-2021 this means your highest SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing score or your highest ACT English.

If you are a native speaker of English and you have taken a college-level composition course, then your RHET placement is based on your previously taken, transferable composition courses. Check your DARS report to see how much credit was accepted by Illinois.

  • If you have earned transferable credit equivalent to RHET 105, you have fulfilled the General Education Composition I requirement. You should talk to your advisor about courses that fulfill the General Education Advanced Composition requirement.
  • If you have earned at least one hour of transferable credit for academic writing but not enough to fulfill our Composition I requirement, then you have the option of taking RHET 233 to satisfy both the General Education Composition I requirement and the General Education Advanced Composition requirement. Consult with your advisor to decide which option is best for you.

If you are an international, non-native speaker of English and you have taken a college-level composition course, then you should check your DARS report to see how much credit was accepted by Illinois.

  • If you have earned transferable credit equivalent to RHET 105, you have fulfilled the General Education Composition I requirement. You should talk to your advisor about courses that fulfill the General Education Advanced Composition requirement.
  • If you have earned at least one hour of transferable credit for academic writing but not enough to fulfill our Composition I requirement AND you were told to take the EPT, then you should take the EPT and enroll in the course that you place into. The next opportunity to take the EPT will be on Saturday, October 3, 2020. You must register in advance.

  • If you have earned at least one hour of transferable credit for academic writing but not enough to fulfill our Composition I requirement and you were NOT told to take the EPT, then you should discuss your course enrollment options with your academic advisor.

LEARN MORE

Learn more about the test scores that fulfill the Composition I requirement.