Introductory English: FAQs

Here are the answers to questions frequently asked about our introductory English courses.

What courses should I take in Year One?

As an English Major, your goal is to register for 30 credit hours, 15h in the fall term and 15h in the winter term. In addition to enrolling in 6h of introductory English, you should complete as many of the following Arts Core requirements as possible:
6 credit hours in one language other than English
You may choose from French, German, and Spanish. Latin and Ancient Greek are also offered some years. Remember that you must enrol in 6h of one language.
6 credit hours in the Social Sciences
You may choose from Economics, Law and Society, Politics, Sociology, and Women's & Gender Studies. You are allowed to mix and match by taking 3h in one discipline and 3h in another.
6 credit hours in the Humanities
You may choose from Art, Classics, Comparative Religion, History, Law and Society, Philosophy, Music, and Women's & Gender Studies. Please note that only academic Art and Music courses—not studio courses—will count for this requirement. Again, mixing and matching is okay.
6 credit hours in Science
You may choose from Applied Science (APSC), Biology (BIOL), Chemistry (CHEM), Computer Science (COMP), Environmental Science (ENVS), Geology (GEOL), Math & Stats (MATH), Nutrition (NUTR), Physics (PHYS), or Psychology (PSYC). Mixing and matching of disciplines is allowed.

Who takes introductory English?

Students from across campus take introductory English.  The Arts Core requires that the students take 6 credit hours of English, and many students pursuing degrees in the Faculties of Science and Professional Studies choose to study English.

When should I take introductory English?

As there is considerable focus on learning to read critically and to write well, it is a good idea to take introductory English in your first year.

Which English course should I take?

Here's a printable page that explains the difference among introductory English courses so you can figure out which best suits your needs.

Is the content the same in every section?

No. There are multiple sections of each introductory English course and every instructor designs her or his own course content so readings and assignments vary considerably.  You will find a general description of each English course on the Acadia Timetable and specific descriptions prepared by individual instructors here.

Course or Class - What's the difference?

Courses can be one term (3 credit hours) or full year (two consecutive terms, 6 credit hours).  A course consists of one, two, or three class meeting(s) per week.  Weekly classes are 3 hours long (often in the evening); twice-a-week classes meet for 75 minutes each; and three-times-a-week classes run 50 minutes each.

Can I take creative writing?

Yes. Creative writing is not typically a component of introductory English courses, but successful completion of ENGL 1483-1493 (or 1413 & 1423) will make you eligible to take an upper-level creative course.  Also, all creative writers are encouraged to contribute to estuary, the department's creative arts magazine.

Can I take upper-level English courses?

Students who have successfully completed ENGL 1483-1493 (or 1413 & 1423) or an equivalent with a C- or higher may take upper-level English courses.

Where can I learn about upper-level courses?

Click on the Programs button at the left of the screen to learn more about studying English beyond the introductory level.

How much reading should I expect?

The number and length of reading assignments varies by instructor.  Assigned readings must be completed in full on the day for which the reading is assigned, unless otherwise specified.

Do I need to be good at essay writing?

One of the primary goals of every introductory English course is to help you become an effective and confident academic writer.  We don't expect you to have mastered this skill before you get here.  Just come ready and willing to learn through trial and error.

What kinds of assignments should I expect?

Assignments vary by instructor and can include grammar exercises, quizzes, tests, midterms, draft work, paragraphs, in-class and take-home essays, oral presentations, peer editing projects, final exams, and many others.