Skip to Content

What to Expect

What to Expect in the Classroom

  • Expect to attend and engage with the class. Attendance is integral to your success in a composition class. Composition classes emphasize the communication of ideas both in writing and in discussion, so engaging with the class materials in some fashion will be necessary.
  • Expect to hear new ideas that do not match your own. In order to determine whether a question is at issue, the members of your discourse community (including assigned readings) should have, and often will have, opinions and ideas different than your own due to different experiences, backgrounds, and assumptions, as well as familiarity with the topics under discussion.
  • Expect to turn in all assigned work on time. Composition teachers may or may not accept late work. Those who do may assign a penalty for work submitted after the deadline. 
  • Expect to catch up on work you miss if you are absent. Be responsible for any work and material you miss. Don’t expect the teacher to recreate the class session you missed or to provide one-on-one tutoring. Try to consult your classmates for class notes and information about the class you missed. Then, check in with the teacher during office hours with follow-up questions.

What to Expect outside of the Classroom

  • Expect to consult your syllabus on a regular basis. The course syllabus explains the requirements and expectations of the class. As a result, attending the class means that you have read and agree to abide by the policies and expectations described in the syllabus. Most questions about class policies and assignments can be found in the syllabus.
  • Expect to spend 8-10 hours each week outside of class working on reading, writing, and preparatory assignments for your Composition class. This time commitment reflects the UO Registrar’s expectations for student time spent on work for a 4-credit hour class.
  • Expect to attend office hours. This is time set aside for students to meet with teachers in order to ask additional questions, to discuss their assignments one-on-one, and to discuss their progress in the course. Each week, Composition teachers hold at least four office hours. The times and location will be included in the course syllabus.
  • Expect to seek extra help as needed. Meeting with your teacher during office hours is an important component of your success, but your teacher is not your only resource for asking extra questions. You can also receive help from tutors in the Writing 121 Tutorial program offered by the Center for Teaching Writing at the or at the Teaching and Learning Center (TLC).
  • Expect to revise your writing with peer and teacher feedback. Essays in composition classes are written in cycles. This means that they are submitted first in an early version, commented on, revised, and submitted again in a second version. Because the quality of teacher and peer feedback is a function of the quality of the first version of an essay, first versions are to be complete and written in formal, academic prose.