Composition Program/First-year Writing

The first-year writing curriculum prepares you for dynamic environments. We expose you to a range of written, spoken, and visual forms of communication, both as audience and as author. Our courses lay the foundation for you to be a critical thinker, an active learner, and an effective communicator. 

As part of the university's Curriculum for Liberal Education, first-year writing courses are taken by all Virginia Tech students. We want you to thrive in academic and professional environments, where you will engage with a variety of texts, including reading, analyzing, and writing. Our classes reflect the variety of modern writing and communication to prepare you for your work as a student, intern, and future professional.

First Year Writing Experience

ENGL 1105, ENGL 1106, OR ENGL1105 or ENGL1106

We do not force add students who are already enrolled in the appropriate course unless there is a demonstrable schedule conflict. Please contact Jennifer Mooney with requests. Include your student ID number and details of the need.

ENGL 3764 AND ENGL 3774

As a department policy, we do not grant force-adds for ENGL 3764 or ENGL 3774 except in cases of a graduating senior in their final semester needing the course. As is often the case, seats of ENGL 3764 and 3774 (both online and lecture format) always open up after the first and second day of classes as students adjust their schedule. We recommend you watch the timetable for openings.


Request permission to force add from the course instructor. If the instructor agrees, get a force-add slip in or outside 329 Shanks and take it to the course instructor for a signature. Then return the form to 329 Shanks for processing. Instructors are not required to force add students beyond the course capacity. Force-adds are due no later than the 5th day of classes.



Our services are free to students, faculty, and staff. We also serve the Language and Culture Institute, Virginia Tech alumni, and local high school students. We're located in the Learning Commons on the second floor of Newman Library.

If you need help with any reading or writing assignment or project, come see us.

While we try to accommodate walk-in sessions when possible, we strongly encourage you to make an appointment.

Schedule your session online! For other inquiries, email us at


Each year the composition faculty and graduate students produce Writing at Virginia Tech: Written, Spoken, and Visual Composition, a book which then becomes one of the primary texts for English 1105, 1106, and H1204.

The book features essays and projects by more than 15 Virginia Tech students, as well as writing, speaking, and visual exercises that are designed for the program's goals. It is produced and published by Pearson Education which also furnishes prizes to student authors included in each edition.

You can watch video compositions featured in the textbook and explore podcasts and audio essays in the companion website. 



Related Programs

Derek N. Mueller
Associate Professor of Rhetoric & Writing
Director of Composition

Julie Mengert
Senior Instructor 
Assistant Director of Composition

Katie Beth Brooks
GTA Assistant to the Director of Composition

Steve Oakey
Senior Instructor
Director of GTA Education

Jennifer Mooney
Senior Instructor
Assistant Department Chair