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April 23, 2014

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English Composition With Essay

This English Composition course meets the requirements for both the Excelsior College and the CLEP exams.

The Excelsior College exam is the equivalent of a two-semester, introductory English composition course. (Taken from "Excelsior College Examination Content Guide for English Composition," Excelsior College Examinations, ©2008, [July 14, 2008].) It measures your ability to do the following:

  • To organize knowledge, ideas, and information
  • To adopt rhetorical strategies (such as narration, illustration, explanation, description, comparing and contrasting, division, classification, and cause and effect) in appropriate ways
  • To adopt and maintain a tone and point of view appropriate for a specified audience and rhetorical situation
  • To develop and maintain a controlling idea and coherent organization
  • To write within the rhetorical, syntactic, and mechanical conventions of Standard Written American English

The Excelsior College examination will consist of three essay questions called writing prompts, and you will have three hours to complete the test.

The CLEP English Composition exam assesses writing skills taught in most first-year college composition courses. Two versions of the test are offered. (Taken from "English Composition," CLEP: English Composition, ©2009, [March 4, 2009].) One exam is all multiple-choice, and the other is multiple-choice with an essay. The multiple-choice version contains approximately 90 questions to be answered in 90 minutes. The version with the essay has two separately timed sections. Section I contains approximately 50 questions to be answered in 45 minutes, and Section II is comprised on one essay question to be answered in 45 minutes.

The CLEP multiple-choice questions measure students’ writing skills both at the sentence level and within the context of passages.

In skills at the sentence level, the exam measures your knowledge of a variety of logical, structural, and grammatical relationships within a sentence relating to

  • Sentence boundaries
  • Clarity of expression
  • Agreement of subject and verb, verb tense, as well as pronoun reference, shift and number
  • Active/passive voice
  • Diction and idiom
  • Syntax; namely, parallelism, coordination, subordination, dangling modifiers, etc.
  • Sentence variety 

The following kinds of question format assess sentence-level skills:

  • Identifying sentence errors: The type of question requires y

The required textbook(s) for the Traditional course are listed below.

  • College Writing Skills 7th   
       by Langan, John - McGraw Hill, 2008
    ISBN 978-0-07-338409-2
  • Literature for Composition 8th   
      8th by Barnet, Sylvan, Burto, William, Cane, William E. - Pearson, 2007
    ISBN 978-0-321-45096-8