2022-23 Undergraduate Catalog 
    Jul 18, 2024  
2022-23 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

English Composition and Writing-Intensive Courses

Kati Ahern, coordinator
English Department 
Old Main, Room 113-C

English Composition Requirement for Freshmen

SUNY Cortland requires students to complete an English composition program designed to help them develop the ability to write acceptable English prose. Two courses are required:

  1. either CPN 100: Writing Studies I (3 cr. hr.) or 
    CPN 102: Writing Studies in the Community I (4 cr. hr.) 
  2. either CPN 101: Writing Studies II (3 cr. hr.) or 
    CPN 103: Writing Studies in the Community II (4 cr. hr.).

Students must complete both writing courses, except for those who are exempted through an accepted qualifying examination. Students must pass these courses with grades of C- or better. D grades are passing grades and will count in overall credit hours; however, D grades in CPN do not satisfy the College's bachelor's degree requirements. Students must retake CPN courses in which their grade falls below C-, especially before registering for any course for which successful completion of CPN is a prerequisite. Courses in which students receive D grades must be retaken at SUNY Cortland.

Students may choose to retake CPN 100 (3 cr. hr.) by enrolling in CPN 102 (4 cr. hr.) and vice versa. Likewise, students may choose to retake CPN 101 (3 cr. hr.) by enrolling in CPN 103 (4 cr. hr.) and vice versa. In the event that the first enrollment is in a four-credit-hour class and the second enrollment is in a three-credit-hour class, students who pass the three credit-hour-class will incur a net deduction of one credit hour from their cumulative credit total.

In addition, all students must complete a minimum of two Writing-Intensive (WRIT) courses that must be taken at Cortland. Students must successfully complete CPN 100 or CPN 102 and CPN 101 or CPN 103 with a minimum grade of C- or better before enrolling in a Writing-Intensive course. The WRIT requirements are described below.

Advanced Placement of Freshmen

Placement and credit on the basis of examinations sponsored by the Advanced Placement Program of the College Entrance Examination Board are determined on the following basis





Advanced Placement Credit

Language and Composition


Six credit hours in composition (CPN 100 and 101)
Three credit hours of English at the 200 level (ENG 2xx)

    4 or 3   Three credit hours in composition (CPN 100)

Literature and Composition

  5   Six credit hours in composition (CPN 100 and 101)
Three credit hours in introductory literature (ENG 200)
    4 or 3   Three credit hours in composition (CPN 100)

Composition Requirements for Transfer Students

Writing courses passed at other institutions will be assigned credit as follows:

  1. For a one-semester composition course equivalent to CPN 100 or CPN 102, students will receive three credit hours and will not be required to take CPN 100 or CPN 102 but must take CPN 101 or CPN 103.
  2. For a two-semester composition course sequence equivalent to CPN 100 or CPN 102 and CPN 101 or CPN 103, students will not be required to take CPN 100 or CPN 102, or CPN 101 or CPN 103. They will be eligible to enroll in a 200-level English course.
  3. Students who transfer credit hours equivalent to the CPN 101 or 103 level will not be required to take CPN 100 or 102.
  4. Transfer students are strongly urged to complete the composition requirement during their first year at Cortland.

Transfer students also are required to complete six credit hours of Writing-Intensive (WRIT) courses at SUNY Cortland. This must include at least one course in the major; the other course can be in or out of the major. WRIT requirements are described below. Writing courses from other institutions cannot be used to satisfy the WRIT requirements.

Writing-Intensive Course Requirements for Freshmen and Transfer Students

Most college courses involve a certain amount of writing. However, the extent of writing assignments will vary from class to class. To ensure that students receive a minimum amount of writing experience and writing instruction while at Cortland, several courses have been designed as Writing Intensive (WRIT). Students are required to take a minimum of two WRIT courses at Cortland (six credit hours), at least three credit hours of which are in their major.

WRIT courses are offered in all academic departments. These courses are intended to help students think critically and write effectively while they are learning course content. No WRIT course may enroll more than 25 students. Although they differ widely in content, WRIT courses require the equivalent of at least 15 pages of assigned writing and adhere to the following guidelines:

  1. Students compose at least two written assignments that are reviewed before the end of the semester. In some upper division courses, students may compose a single assignment that is written and reviewed in multiple drafts.
  2. Instructors respond to students' work with written comments, in conferences or both. Students use this feedback to revise their written assignments.
  3. Classroom time is spent on work directly related to discipline-specific writing genres, strategies and conventions.
  4. The writing component of the course forms a significant percentage of the course grade (30 percent or higher).

Course offerings may change from semester to semester. Each term's WRIT courses are specially designated and may be found under the writing intensive attribute on the web.

Writing Assistance

The Writing Center offers support for student writers, from brainstorming for an essay, negotiating new and different rhetorical situations and genre expectations, or giving students a new perspective about a piece of writing. The writing consultants at the Writing Center include trained graduate students and Composition Program faculty members, and they tailor each tutoring appointment to meet each student's individual writing needs. To schedule an appointment, students should log in to myRedDragon, go to the Student Tab, and follow the WCOnline link (under Academic Resources). Students can also visit the Writing Center's website at cortland.edu/writing-center to get more information and schedule an appointment. The Writing Center is located in Brockway Hall, Room 216.

NightOWL offers online tutoring, including writing tutoring, during the evening hours. NightOWL is part of the STAR-NY Consortium, and the service is staffed by trained professional and peer tutors who work at SUNY campuses.

The Academic Support and Achievement Program offers professional assistant to students across many disciplines, including help with study skills, time management, and writing. For more information, contact ASAP, Van Hoesen Hall, Room B-205, 607-753-4309.