10 Weeks Of Torture- Why English 101 Shouldn’t Be Required

Required. The one word everyone hates. The one word that constantly puts up roadblocks in your life. Once again, this word has proven itself, because in college English 101 is a required class.

You spend four years of high school reading books and writing essays about them. Teachers make you do this because “that is what you have to know in the real world.” Then, when college comes you finally think you’re done . You never have to take another unnecessary English class again. Well, you thought WRONG .

I am not going to lie and say that I haven’t learned anything from taking this class. However, I don’t think that I have gotten enough out of this class for it to be a university requirement. I know that the class was just restructured, but I think that this style of English class is not the one that Freshmen should be required to take. It is important to understand that I am not trying to discredit the class, I am simply explaining why this class should be optional, not required.

Now, not everyone has to take this class, which by itself is unfair. But when looking at the logistics of it, the AP English credit that students are using to fulfill the requirement, is nothing like the English 101 class that the other students are being forced to take. As someone who took two AP English classes in high school, it is very frustrating to have to sit through this class. Many people who took the same classes as me in high school do not have to take English 101. The reason behind this? They got one number above me on the AP exam. In high school, we read books, analyzed them, then wrote extensive essays on them. Considering that AP English credits replace this class, I went into English 101 expecting the same structure. However, I quickly realized that it would be nothing like any other English class I have taken.

The structure of English 101 felt more geared towards someone who would want to major in Journalism or Communications. I understand that the University wants us to extend our thinking and expand our writing style, but I think this could be done in a more traditional English class. For example, the podcast. Something I hope I never have to experience or create ever again. I spent more time trying to figure out how to edit the audio than writing and editing my script. Which in my opinion, defeats the whole purpose of an English project. I sat in my dorm room for hours inserting, clipping, and fading audio on a program I have never worked with. I do not feel as if my actual writing was where I wanted it to be because I had to spend so much time figuring out how to create the podcast episode on my computer. While this may not have been what my professor intended, I could not help but want to make my podcast episode sound thoughtful and put together.

I understand and respect why the English department wanted to restructure English 101, for student improvement in different types of writing. However, I do not think that they were successful in creating a class that freshmen could get the most out of expanding their writing abilities. I appreciate the efforts in attempting to get me to explore my writing in new contexts but I do not feel like my writing has improved.

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