Take this Class: College Composition

Like other courses at Wayne Valley, College Composition is a Dual Enrollment class, allowing students to earn credit through the Passaic County Community College. College Composition can be taken as two half-year courses, Comp I and II, and both are essay-focused. If you loved APLAC, or if you want to improve your writing skills, this class is definitely for you. Ms. Solomon believes that, “To have the opportunity to take this as a junior or senior in high school not only potentially saves time and money for the student entering college — either through transferable credits or fulfillment of these required courses — it also prepares the student for the level of writing that will be expected in higher education.” She also adds,  “[This course] closes the gap that some college freshmen may feel as they leave high school and enter this next chapter by sharpening their academic writing skills.

Often, Ms. Solomon starts the class period with an automatic writing exercise, where you just write without stopping for at least ten minutes. By letting the thoughts flow as they are spawned and ignoring the hand-cramps, you can find a voice you might not have known you had. It’s such a simple exercise that will allow you to write fast or slow, reflect when you want, and elaborate on what’s important to you.

Because this is a college class, the PCCC Comp textbook is used as a part of the curriculum. The essays that we read in class help you to model your own writing; recognizing techniques for argument presentation, for instance, and applying it to your own writing is incredibly helpful.

Ms. Solomon also focuses on the thesis of the essay, teaching you how to narrow the focus of a paper. Even in descriptive essays, you will learn how to incorporate a deeper meaning into a “zoomed-in” moment or description of an object. Some essays are more research-oriented, and while you work, you will learn to use library databases and academic sources. All essays that you will write are on topics of your choice: you can argue what you want to argue, describe what you feel needs describing, research the topics you want to understand. It’s great to have the ability to write argumentative, expository, and descriptive essays on topics that you are passionate about—that really make you want to compose something great.

Overall, Ms. Solomon loves “teaching this course because it allows for more focused work and a higher level of discourse with students. We all work together toward a common goal. In addition, the results are not only applied to their college courses, but students also feel the immediate impact on their work in their high school English classes as they apply their sharpened writing skills in real time.”