Thursday, January 5, 2012

English Composition Classes At Core Of All College Education

Students are returning to college in droves, whether they have just graduated from high school or are returning to college after several years on the job. Students from every walk of life will be deciding which classes to take, and trying to figure out the ones that will be most beneficial to them. An English composition class may be one of the best classes to take when students first enroll in college, because of all the benefits it provides.
An English composition class is designed to teach new college students how to critically read and write. Students will read a wide variety of literature, from poetry to short stories and novels. They will read works that are considered classics, as well as newer short fiction or poetry. The idea is to expose students to many kinds of literary works.
Students will also be required to write a number of papers analyzing what they read. They will be taught to analyze literature on the basis of a variety of literary conventions, which are standards for criticism and analysis. These standards will include topics such as theme, plot, character analysis, and symbolism, to name a few.
In addition to literary convention, an English composition class will also cover structural topics of importance. For example, grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure will all be covered in this class. These structural elements of English are the glue that holds a paper together.
Students will be taught how to read a piece of literature in a manner that leads them to a thesis, or theory, about the literary work. Often a thesis is derived on a comparison of characters, or thematic elements within a story or poem. It is the student's job to prove their thesis by drawing on the literary elements within a story and creating a coherent piece of work that has meaning.
Students will also learn to write papers and essays that use a particular style or format. English classes generally use the MLA format, but the APA style is also commonly used in a college environment, as well as a professional environment. Students will learn to use the index in each stylebook in order to format their papers according to the necessary format, including spacing, titles, bibliographies, and footnotes and other annotations.
In college, students are usually required to take a minimum of two English composition classes. Two semesters of English composition will give students the tools they need to create papers in all of their other classes. Nearly every class in college will require essays and other types of explanatory papers to show that the student understands the coursework and can write an articulate summation, when needed.

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