The ACT exam results for the 2010 high school graduating class are being released. The ACTs are used as part of admissions to colleges and universities, and the results show that barely 25 percent of high school graduates are prepared for entry level English Composition (ENC 1101) courses alone. At the same time, not all colleges and universities require that students take English Composition – or subjects such as math and science that are also on the ACT.

The American Council of Trustees and Alumni believes so strongly in the value of subjects such as English Comp that its members graded institutions on their core requirements. ENC 1101 courses provide students the ability to write clearly and accurately, enabling them to better participate in the workforce and society, according to the council’s “What Will They Learn?” website. The site also mentions a survey where employers reported that having excellent writing and reading skills that are a part of English Comp to be important.

For What Will They Learn, the Council gathered information on more than 700 institutions throughout the United States and found that 77 percent of them made ENC 1101 courses a requirement. Even fewer require courses in the other subject areas. Lamar University made the council’s “A” list. This Beaumont, Texas, institution is one of sixteen four-year colleges and universities requiring that students take six to seven of what the American Council of Trustees and Alumni considers core courses: math, science and English Composition, as well as literature, economics, foreign language and US government/history.

Students who take the ACTs are graded on a scale of 1 to 36 in the subject areas of English Composition, algebra, social studies and biology. The ACT also provides a means for determining the “college readiness” of students. ACT results varied among states and demographic groups, with 71 percent of West Virginian students and 59 percent of New Mexican students prepared for college level English Comp, reports from KRQE News 13 and the Huntington Herald Dispatch showed.

In Abilene, Texas, students scored above the statewide college readiness level in this English course and social studies and below it in biology and algebra, according to an article in the Reporter-News. ACT results also suggested that a little more than one-third of Iowa’s African-Americans are prepared for ENC 1101, the Des Moines Register noted. In Minnesota, a representative of one institution told of a new testing and English placement policy where students have to meet certain requirements in order to take required English Composition courses.

With the number of international students attending American colleges and universities on the rise, English Composition courses might take on added significance. International students who are non-native English speaking students particularly often participate in English as a Second Language programs. To help Tulane University’s international students succeed in their educational pursuits, English professor Kathleen Carlin offers an advanced English Comp class, the student newspaper, Tulane Hullabaloo, noted.

The University of Southern California requires that all students take at least two English Composition courses. Depending upon scores for placement tests taken at the institution, the university might also require that they take Introduction to College Writing or its non-native English speaker version, Introduction to College Writing in a Second Language. As part of the University of California’s American Language Institute, students can also gain the skills they need to write dissertations.

The topic of English Composition generally refers to the essays and other types of written prose used in the English language. The subject is typically first taught to students in elementary school at an early stage, in order to properly prepare students for more advanced English courses in their scholastic futures. It will then continue to be taught as they move onto high school and college levels.

Freshman English Composition, also commonly known as ENC 1101, is really all about arguing…as strange as that sounds. Providing strong arguments in writing to prove a point and properly communicate that point, is pretty much the basis of good English Composition. Also, there is nothing better than coming out on the upside when you are able to prove your points through writing.

Logical argument is one matter that is part of ENC 1101. It focuses on reasoning and the correct way to prove your argument and points via your writing, and it is an imperative part of English composition. Forming strong points and then following them up with more valid points is necessary in order to provide clear essays and understanding of your writing.

There are two main types of arguments used in English Composition. The types include both deductive and inductive arguments. Both are not only great in the use of ENC1101, but they are a great skill to have for down the road post graduation. They are helpful also in the manner that they build a sort of character in the way of the writer’s thought process.

Deductive arguments are those which use the outside evidence and facts to come to a conclusion about the argument being explained. The source used to form deductive reasoning is from outside sources. You would take a look at different things like facts that impact the situation you are discussing. Deductive reasoning relies on these outside sources in order to prove that point in your writing.

Inductive arguments are formed by the use of inductive reasoning. This means that you can readily form a valid conclusion based on the inference of things, rather than a solid fact that may have already happened. It’s kind of like using an “if this, then that” sort of solution solving mindset. You are steadily basing points off of inferences and probability, which are also points of inductive arguments within English Composition.

The use of such proper reasoning while forming and proving the points of your argument is certainly a necessity when dealing with the learning process behind ENC1101. There is a certain bit of excitement in properly proving yourself to those reading the essays and such that you have prepared in English Composition.

If you are a student who loves reading and writing, you will definitely enjoy English Composition. Advisors encourage students to take English Composition during their freshman year, mainly because subsequent advanced level English courses will be required, and the successful completion of English Composition is the prerequisite. There are several components to the curriculum. One of the more challenging subjects is poetry.

One of the first things you learn about poetry is that it requires a lot of critical thinking and understanding of words. It is not easy to sum up an expression, opinion, or message in a few verses. Words must be carefully deliberated to ensure the correct words convey the exact message. One way to develop word vocabulary is to study word origins. This exercise broadens your scope of words and language.

When exploring poetry, students will learn about the various forms of poetry. The most common type is the rhymed verse. These are familiar to us because we learned them first at home either through reading time with Mom or while watching educational programs on television, and we learned them in elementary school. Rhymes are pleasurable to read and listen to when read aloud, but still require work to create. Limericks, a type of rhymed verse, are typically studied at the middle-college level. A limerick is a short verse that includes both rhyme and rhythm and contains a funny or surprise ending.

Narrative poems will also be explored in the English Composition course. These are poems that tell a story. Perhaps the best-known narrative poem is the holiday classic, “The Night Before Christmas.” Writing narrative poems require a great deal of imagination. After all, the purpose of a narrative poem is to tell a complete story, with a beginning, middle, and end.

Haiku is a Japanese poetic form. The verse contains only 17 syllables arranged in three lines. Haiku poems are interesting because they are subject specific. Haikus deal with nature, and the verse must paint a clear image of what the poem is about. Haikus are famous because of their concise form, much like that of a telegram. Because Haikus are short in form, they are ideal for elementary aged children to create.

Free verse is unrhymed poetry, and rhythm is not an important component of free verse. Good free verse poetry is reliant upon word choice and visual images. As you learn about free verse poetry, you will learn to choose words to describe something and then put them together to express a thought or tell a story without concern for rhyme or rhythmic sound. Students learn to write free verse poetry by working with lists of words or phrases they have collected over a period of time.

To prepare for the poetry component of the English Composition course, go to the library and start reading various works. Explore the various types of poetry formats and determine ahead of time which one you enjoy reading and which one you are confident creating. Also, take the time to research famous poets and understand why they are famous.