English 100 Program Policies and Resources

UW-Madison English 100 Program

The English 100 Program is committed to making our policies inclusive, respectful, and anti-racist in line with course learning objectives and the UW’s commitment to academic integrity.

Class Attendance, Engagement, and Participation

Attendance is required. English 100 is a small seminar course, and the presence of each student matters. You need to be in class, on time, prepared, every meeting. This matters for your own learning as well as for the contributions you can make to the learning of others. If you miss class, it is your responsibility to find out what you missed and to make up any work as required. It is always considerate to notify your instructor by email before an absence. Excessive or habitual tardiness may be counted as an absence.

The program’s attendance policy provides 3 absences without penalty in a MWF course or 2 absences in a MW/TR course. A students’ final course grade may be lowered for absences beyond these. After three weeks of absence, it may not be possible to pass the course, because you will have missed significant learning activities and interactions with other students.

Always stay in touch with your instructor about your absences and speak with them if you are facing challenges with attendance. Your instructor can take into account your reasons for an absence such as an accident or illness, a family emergency or death, a recognized religious holiday, or jury duty. Be sure to talk with them about any circumstances that will adversely affect your attendance. You may also talk with someone in the Dean of Students’ office who may assist you. Too many absences for whatever reason will prevent you from completing the required coursework; in the case of excessive absences, it may be recommended that you drop the class.


Dropping and withdrawing from a course are separate, formal administrative procedures, and it is the student’s responsibility to initiate these procedures. If you simply stop attending class, this is not the same as either formally dropping or withdrawing from the course. Before choosing either option, a student should meet with their instructor and advisor.


The University of Wisconsin-Madison and the English 100 Program expect students to present their work honestly and to credit others responsibly and with care. University policy states: “Academic honesty and integrity are fundamental to the mission of higher education and of the University of Wisconsin system” (Wisconsin Administrative Code 14.01). Plagiarism is a serious offense, and it can occur in drafts as well as in final papers. Because English 100 relies heavily on sharing knowledge and information in the learning and writing processes, it is important that students learn how to work with sources without plagiarizing. Plagiarism includes all of the following:

  • cutting and pasting from another source without using quotation marks and citing the source;
  • using someone else’s words or ideas without proper documentation when quoting or paraphrasing;
  • copying any portion of your text from another source without proper acknowledgement;
  • borrowing another person’s specific ideas without documenting the source;
  • having someone rewrite or complete your work for you (which does not include getting and using feedback from a writing group or individual classmate);
  • turning in a paper written by another person or obtained from an essay “service” or a World Wide Web site (including reproductions of such essays or papers); and
  • turning in a paper that you previously wrote for another course, or turning in the same paper for more than one course, without getting permission from your instructors first.

In all of the above cases, plagiarism occurs when someone else’s words and/or ideas are used without proper citation and documentation no matter what kind of text is the source of the words and/or ideas. That is, material must still be documented even if it comes from a source such as an email, personal writing, oral or written interview, classroom conversation, or formal presentation or lecture—not just from a published source such as a book, journal, popular magazine, or Web site.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison has established a range of penalties for students guilty of plagiarism or academic dishonesty. These penalties include, as appropriate, a reduced grade, a failing grade for an assignment, a failing grade for the course, or even suspension or expulsion from the university. All instances of plagiarism are reported to the English 100 administration. For more information, see the web page for the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards.


English 100 fulfills Part A of the university’s general education requirement in communication (commonly known as “Comm A”). The Comm A general education requirement seeks to prepare students in the communication skills (both written and oral) they will need at the university. Below you will find a description of the Comm A requirement itself and more detailed descriptions of the objectives and learning outcomes expected of a Comm A course such as English 100.

Part A. Literacy Proficiency: 2-3 credits at first-year level dedicated to reading, listening, and discussion, with emphasis on writing. While most incoming freshmen are required to complete course work to fulfill this requirement, students may be exempted from Part A by approved college course work while in high school, AP test scores, or placement testing. Students are expected to satisfy this requirement by the end of their first year.

Purpose: The first course is to be a basic course in communication skills at the college level, developing student abilities in writing and public speaking, for both exposition and argumentation. As such, the course is to serve as a general foundation in the central skills and conventions required for student success in a variety of subsequent course work, as well as in careers after college.

Objectives: The course will advance skills in:

  • The four modes of literacy: writing, speaking, reading, and listening, with special emphasis on writing
  • Critical thinking
  • Information-seeking skills and strategies

These skills should be taught through continuous practice in the process of writing and speaking. Although the items listed below suggest a sequence, many or all of them are simultaneously learned in this process. Courses that satisfy the new University requirement must advance student skills in the following areas:


  • Selecting, narrowing, and focusing topics
  • Identifying and analyzing audience information needs
  • Generating and organizing ideas
  • Comprehending and analyzing texts


  • Learning structures of exposition and argument and the use of evidence
  • Organizing and developing paragraphs, papers, and speeches
  • Adapting writing and speaking for intended audiences
  • Learning conventions of academic writing
  • Mastering elements of grammar, usage, and style
  • Preparing speeches for oral delivery
  • Citing sources, avoiding plagiarism, and compiling accurate bibliographies


  • Developing critical skills for reading and listening — in review of peer writing/speaking
  • Revising and editing essays and speeches — for spelling, punctuation, grammar, style, organization, and logic
  • Critiquing assigned readings and speeches delivered outside class

Information-Seeking Skills and Strategies

  • Develop and adapt information seeking strategies in order to access information effectively.
  • Evaluate information retrieved and select information sources appropriate to the particular research need.

(General Education Learning Outcomes can be viewed on the UW’s website.)


There are a number of English Department and campus resources available to you that may facilitate your transition to college life and your success in English 100. Described below are some services that may be especially useful as you negotiate this large campus and the many demands that you face as a student.

The English 100 Tutorial

The English 100 Tutorial Program offers individualized writing instruction specifically geared for English 100 students. English 100 students of all kinds, including experienced writers, frequently seek extra help with writing assignments beyond what is available in the classroom and during their instructor’s office hours. Since the Writing Center is not funded to provide tutoring for Comm A courses like English 100, the Tutorial provides an opportunity for you to receive one-on-one help from experienced English 100 instructors. These instructors are willing to work with you on any issue related to English 100, from brainstorming ideas for a paper to revising strategies for a final draft. Please visit the tutorial Web site to learn how you can make tutorial sessions an effective part of your writing process!

Design Lab

Located in College Library, Design Lab is a media lab and design consultancy dedicated to improving students’ digital communication skills. Through one-on-one and small group consultations, design consultants help students hone the conceptual, aesthetic, and technical skills they need to work effectively in digital media. If your English 100 class includes multimodal assignments, you will want to consider making an appointment with Design Lab. You can find more information about the tutorial program at the Design Lab website.

The Writing Center

While the Writing Center will not schedule appointments for English 100 assignments, it offers a wide array of free, one-time short classes on specific issues throughout the semester on topics such as improving style, email etiquette, writing literary analysis essays, writing resumes, etc. You can access this semester’s Writing Center class schedule at www.writing.wisc.edu. You can also make an appointment with the Writing Center for assistance with assignments in other courses.

The McBurney Disability Resource Center

If you have a disability or particular circumstances that could impact your academic work, you may want to meet with a counselor at the McBurney Disability Resource Center. The McBurney Center is located at 702 West Johnson Street, Suite 2104 (608-263-2741). Students need to provide documentation of a disability to the center in order to receive official university services and accommodations. Find out more about the process of applying for accommodations at the McBurney Center website or by calling the phone number above.

Other Resources

Other helpful learning resources related to belonging, becoming, and wellbeing can be found through the Division of Student Life. Check out their website at www.students.wisc.edu.

The University Health Service offers a variety of counseling services. To make an appointment or for emergency crisis intervention services, call 608-265-5600 or visit their website at www.uhs.wisc.edu.


Morris Young
Director of English 100 and Professor of English
6187C Helen C. White Hall
(608) 263-3367


Sara Kelm
Associate Director of English 100
6183 Helen C. White Hall


Nicole Ramer and Taylor Dickson
Assistant Directors of English 100
6189 Helen C. White Hall



Tutorial Co-Directors: Elaine Cannell and Helen Smith
6101 Helen C. White Hall



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English 100 Program Policies and Resources Copyright © 2019 by UW-Madison English 100 Program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.