English 098: Preparatory Composition

The University of Nevada, Reno's foundational basic writing course, ENG 098 is the composition course that freshmen are placed in if their ACT English score is below 18 or their SAT Verbal/Critical Reading score is below 440. The writing process course includes paragraph development, sentence structure, usage and grammar. Credit does not apply to any baccalaureate degree program.

English 098 emphasizes techniques of pre-writing, writing and revising. Students work on building fluency and focus in essays through paragraph development, revision techniques and critical reading of both professional and student essays. Over the course of the semester, students produce 10 to 15 pages of polished writing, usually collected in a portfolio comprising four or five major assignments ranging from narratives to arguments (the exact assignments chosen by the instructor). Readings are assigned from a variety of sources. It is usually 10 to 20 pages per week, depending on the balance of reading and writing their instructor has selected. A mandatory University Writing Center component is included, both to introduce students to the facility and to ensure individual attention to writing projects.

Students are placed in English 098 based on test scores, but they can be moved into English 101 as a result of a portfolio submitted before the beginning of classes. English 098 is taken for "S" (A, B, C) or "U" (D, F). Students who show marked improvement in the course may, with the instructor's and department's approval, enroll directly to English 102.

Learning objectives

Students in 098 are expected to achieve the following outcomes:

  • Build understanding of writing context by writing for and within a community
  • Become familiar with the writing process and the difference between revision and editing
  • Practice the writing process, including pre-writing, writing and revising, and editing
  • Develop a sense of using different writing voices for different purposes
  • Learn to write with authority
  • Build fluency and focus
  • Develop familiarity with the conventions of written language
  • Develop rhetorical awareness of using audiences and purposes to stimulate and focus the writing process
  • Use narrative, description and explication to write about personal experiences