Texas Tech University

Frequently Asked Questions

The following are questions which are frequently asked by students and/or parents about the TTU First-Year Writing courses. If your question is not answered below, please email Dr. Monica Norris, Director of First-Year Writing, with your question.

Q: Is it true that both ENGL 1301 and ENGL 1302 meet only once weekly?

A: Yes, these courses meet once weekly for 80 minutes to provide students with more time to work on their writing. In lieu of a second meeting, students are asked to submit at least one substantial writing assignment each week, and instructors spend additional time responding to and evaluating student writing. These class meeting days are essential for students, and attendance is required and expected at all class meetings. Classes are rarely canceled, and only in case of an emergency or a university-wide closure.

Q: Who are the instructors of these courses?

A: Instructors include current M.A. and Ph.D. students in our graduate programs, recent graduates of those programs, lecturers who hold either an M.A. or a Ph.D., or tenure-line faculty.

Q: Why does more than one instructor grade a student's writing?

A: Reallocating instructional responsibilities serves several purposes. First, having some instructors focus on grading and others mainly on classroom instruction enables more response to individual writing assignments. Second, our instructors are assigned workgroups which are responsible for four to six sections of a course each semester. These workgroups pair senior instructors with newer instructors to build in mentoring throughout the semester. By having all members of the group (usually four to six instructors) evaluate student writing, students are receiving the benefit of several readers.

Q: If a student has a question about his or her progress in either course, with whom should the student speak?

A: As with any other course, the student must start with the classroom instructor. If the student and classroom instructor are not able to resolve the question, they should consult with one of the Assistant Directors or the Director of the program. Please note that if a student is having difficulty with a course, the best time to talk with an instructor is early in the semester. Waiting until the last few weeks of the course is almost always too late.