Dear New Frosh – Here’s What You Need to Know to Thrive in Your Writing Class

Write a letter to a brand-new UNE student taking ENG 122 next fall. Your purpose in writing this letter is to help them thrive in the class, avoid any mistakes you might have made, and make an easier transition to college. Tell stories about your experiences to give them a sense of what they can expect, where they might struggle, and how to succeed.



12 thoughts on “Dear New Frosh – Here’s What You Need to Know to Thrive in Your Writing Class”

  1. Dear New Frosh,
    Here is what you need to know to thrive in your writing class. Make sure you complete all the homework assignments even if it may be challenging at times. The first semester in English 122, I struggled with homework assignments and did not complete them and on top of that I did not get help from my professor. This did not help my grade. So if you find yourself struggling with the assignments do not hesitate to get the help you need. Also, make sure you are attending every class and every writing lab. If you are unable to attend a class for some reason, make sure to send an email to your professor. Writing lab may be boring and feel pointless at times, but it is definitely very helpful. Another thing to make sure you do is to not get behind on writing assignments. The homework assignments will help you with the writing assignments. Other than that have a good first year of college!


  2. In this class there can seem like there is a lot of homework however just get it done. You will thank yourself for doing the work in the end because in the end of the class you take assignments that you had already completed and show them to your teacher eventually. You pile up all this evidence of learning that you have done and present it to Mr. Drown. So make sure that you are keeping up with the work otherwise you won’t have any work to present for your final assignment. The assignments that are assigned each night may look difficult and may take some time so don’t save your hw until the last minute otherwise you will be up very late some nights. Overall this is a good class that is really informative and reacts to a lot of interesting topics in our assignments. The class is more busy work than a lot of work. If you just get down to it and bust it out it wouldn’t take long but if you don’t have the willpower to bust it out then expect a long night. You also do these sheets every week that require lots from you. Also show up to class because every week there is standa

  3. Dear new freshman,

    There are merely a few things you need to do to be successful in ENG 122, attend class, complete your assignments, and make time for it. It can be easy to skip class when the weather is nice, which is the first month or so, and the last couple weeks. Skipping class is an easy habit to fall into, especially when you get comfotable doing it. If you have Mr. drown, don’t skip, you will regret it. With the amount of knowledge given in one class period, I highly recommend going to class, especially an english class. Some classes the teacher reads off the exact slides he or she will post on blackboard. This is not that type of class. Completing assignments, I myself got into a bad habit of not completing assignments because of the time consumption it required. Which goes along with time management, which is crucial if you want to succeed. An Assignment is ENG is different than an assignment in other classes. When your assigned homework in this class, it relates to a paper or a bigger project that you will do later on. Large papers are considerably easier when your completing your assignments, because you already have a lot of the information written before the “big paper”. Everything in this class seems so intertwined with itself. If you have poor time management skills and trouble completing assignments on time, then you will have to cram and inevitably put stress on yourself. A reoccuring factor in many students life, like myself. The most important piece of advice is making time for it. With english, theres lots of time consuming tasks, from reading to annotating, to answering questions in a professional form(Triac formula). There will be many instances where you’ll spend a considerable longer amount of time on something than you would have previously predicted, which can conveniently leave less time for other classes. This all has to do with time management. By knowing yourself, and realizing the amount of energy you need to do many hours of work consistently, you’ll be able to gauge the work necesarry to succeed. Work hard, and you will prosper.

    Sincerely, Chris Jones

  4. Dear Incoming Students,
    This is your first year of college. Everything is going to be an adjusting period. You are going to spend a lot more time on homework than you did in high school. A lot of learning comes outside of the classroom. To my surprise and to most of your surprises too, there is a lot more English homework in college than there was in high school. I came into English 122 thinking the class was going to be similar to the other English courses I took in high school, lots of reading pointless stories and articles, and writing an occasional two to three page essay. This class is completely different. In my first and second semester, English 122 and 123 was the class I had the most homework for every week. This course is intense, and you will have to quickly get acclimated to it, but it is nothing you cannot handle. Like I had previously stated, the first year of college is an adjusting period for all, and professors understand that. Your English professor will have some leeway for the first couple weeks of school, but after that, you better learn quick. English 122 and 123 focuses on the critiques of writing, giving you skills that you will need in writing for the rest of your life. These classes also help you thoroughly critique and understand complex pieces of writing among certain topics. These skills that you will learn will help you in understanding almost any piece of writing you will come across in your future career. This class may feel overwhelming at first, and you may wonder why in the world you really need to understand this much English, especially if you major has absolutely nothing to do with English, however, I am at the end of this course, and I fully realize and understand the mechanisms and methods I have learned in this class, and how they are going to be helpful for me in my future. To survive this course, you must keep an open mind and be willing to learn. You are going to be surprised with how much improvement can be done with your writing. Take those learning points, and apply them to your writing, you’ll be surprised how much improvement you will make between drafts and different papers throughout the semester. The best thing I can tell you is that professors are very accessible, and if you ever feel lost, go see them during office hours or ask them questions before or after class; they are going to accept anyone willing to learn with open arms.

  5. In this class you are going to be assigned with readings, and some discussion questions following the readings. To answer those discussion questions you have to fully understand the readings and find out what the main point is. In some cases you are required annotate the readings and you have to write what you understood, some things you might want to challenge, and things you want to know more about. All these assignments can be the sources for your final papers. In this class I could learn how to integrate ideas with others, how to revise more effectively, and find out what I could learn from other peer’s writings.

  6. ENG 122/123 aren’t as bad as they seem. Yeah it is a good amount of work that you’re not going to want to do but you have to. All the teachers teach the same material so don’t worry too much about who your teacher is. At first the course starts off slow and it seems easy; then all of the sudden it’s Thanksgiving break and the course is flying by and starting to get a little difficult. But don’t worry there are easy steps to succeed in the course without a problem.

    2.) Completing the homework on time and thoroughly
    3.) Class attendance
    4.) Getting ahead
    5.) Repeating the previous steps

    Those 5 steps are the easiest way to ensure getting an A and to be a successful student in ENG 122/123. Time management is the most important one because without the time to do the homework and other classes homework you cannot complete the rest of the steps. If you manage your time and get done what needs to get done you will be fine. If you complete the homework on time and thoroughly/ to the best of your ability it will make homework/papers easier down the road because you will already have the work done. It is also helpful to annotate the way you are asked to by your professor because it helps make connections and helps when writing a paper. Attending class is key because not only are there attendance rule’s but it also helps because questions can be answered and it is an easy way to get points towards your final grade. If you get ahead on your work where you can not only in ENG 122/123 but in other classes too, it allows for more “me” time and beach days when the weather is nice (it also frees up your Sunday’s). If you use the steps and continue to use, repeat and share them I can promise you that you will have a good semester and the adjustment to college life won’t be as harsh as it seems.

  7. Dear Incoming Frosh,

    Your first semester of college is all about adapting and learning. You’re in a new environment that most of us are unfamiliar with, by yourself, and finally have a sense of freedom and maybe even rebel as well. Don’t get me wrong I had those same exact feeling when I first came to UNE too, on top of preparing for college athletics and being overwhelmed with the idea of “Wow I’m actually in college now.” College isn’t always as fun as you hope it is especially when you realize the course load and attention you need when it comes to completing your work. When I first came, throughout my whole life I was a procrastinator. I thought yeah whatever I can do this the night before and breeze through it and get a good great and be content with what I get, but that’s not the purpose of this particular class and even some of your other classes. My first piece of advice is never be content. Settling for a B when you have the potential for getting an A on an assignment or even the class is the soul purpose of what you’re there to do. You’re there to grow not only in your English Literature discourse but also as a student and even as a person. Always strive for the best that you can be and never settle for anything less. With that being said, sometimes when you expect a certain outcome and don’t get it you might start to get discouraged or even discouraged about the idea of you having to take a year-long English course while all your friends are taking a semester-long class. That’s okay, it happened to me in the beginning. My piece of advice is there’s always room to improve and that’s what you’re here to do. Improve in some aspect to become the best you can be. Yes, you may be discouraged and that’ll clog your vision when trying to pick up lessons and skills, but once you get past that discouragement you will learn skills and techniques that you’ll be able to incorporate into all of your classes and even life. Just sit down, breathe, and remember you’re here to grow in every aspect of the word and that you will do.
    Freshman year is full of ups and downs and challenging tasks that you may overcome and may not overcome, especially in this class. It is a new experience for all of your peers, but just remember to have fun. Give yourself some credit once in a while and look back at what you’ve accomplished and what you will accomplish in your life. If you’re able to do this then you’re capable of doing anything that is put in front of you in your first year.

    Best of luck

  8. Dear First-years,

    This english class is going to have its ups and downs. Sometimes it will be challenging and sometimes it will be easy. As long as you are able to plan for the assignments you know are going to be challenging ahead of time then you will do great. One of my biggest mistakes was horrible time management. There were times I would be doing my english homework for 3-4 hours because I did not plan my time accordingly for this and start the assignment ahead of time. I don’t want you to make the same mistake. One thing I would highly recommend is to take peer review serious, its going to help out your essays a lot and essays count for a lot of your grade in english here. On top of the peer review make sure you are asking your teacher questions and asking for their opinion on your papers. If you are struggling in the class then don’t be afraid to go to your teacher to ask what you are doing wrong in the class and how you can fix that problem to get the better grade. Over all though you are going to learn a lot coming out of these classes and if you plan ahead for work then you will do great.


  9. Dear Incoming Writing Students,

    Coming to college is probably really intimidating, especially when taking a college writing course. I remember at the beginning of my first year I was nervous thinking that I would be writing those huge papers that you see college students writing in movies and on TV. But that is not the case. This course is as simple as you make it for yourself. The thing that got me by as easily as I did was from having an open mind about everything I learned. Sure, some things may be really boring at times, but this class really is here to help improve your writing and even reading skills along with many others. I know so much more now than I did at the beginning of the school year.
    Keeping an open mind is key to this course. Whether it be during class itself or during your writing lab, you are constantly learning new useful skills along with certain error patterns you may be making. It is important to see these things as ways to improve yourself, so don’t get embarrassed when it comes to others reading your work! Everyone is still learning new skills to improve themselves with.
    Sometimes the workload may seem pretty big or unmanageable, but breaking things down and taking things one step at a time without worrying about anything else can really help you focus on the task at hand. It really helps to not save things to the last minute. Even if you have class on Wednesday and don’t have another until that next Monday it will really help to work on your homework in chunks every day. I could not tell you how many times I waited until late Sunday night to start my homework only to completely regret it every single time.
    Whether it’s in your homework or class time, make sure to keep in mind the learning outcomes! This will make your midsemester and final framing statements so much easier to complete (this will be explained more during class).
    Really just put in as much effort as you can and you will do great. If you are struggling at all do not feel scared to talk to your professor, this goes for any other courses you are taking as well! Most professors are really understanding and can help figure out a plan for you to either catch up or to learn the material a different way. Professor office hours are a life saver for this, you could even just send an email if that makes you more comfortable!

    Good luck, I’m sure you will do great 🙂

    Ashley Argerake

  10. Dear Freshmen,
    I’m not going to lie, this class isn’t easy. It’s a lot of reading and a lot of writing. I didn’t have the easiest first semester of college and I think that was the same for a lot of freshman. Your out of high school, away from friends and family and your trying to adjust to a brand new environment but it does get easier as cheesy as that sounds. It’s true though. The first semester in ENG 122, I had a really small class and even in ENG 123 I have a smaller class, but the first semester in ENG 122, we were able to grow close as friends and it became a safe environment. So really try to get to know your classmates because it makes sharing in class a lot easier and trust me, your going to have to participate at some point. The work in these two classes are a lot and your going to have to spend a little more time on the work given but if you don’t do the work, I promise you that you will be lost. So to sum up everything you need to know, do the homework and readings, get to know your classmates and don’t stress so hard because no matter who you get as a teacher, you’ll always be able to talk to them.

  11. Dear new Freshman,

    At the beginning of this class, you will probably be overwhelmed by the the “work” you have to do. What i mean by that is the readings that you will end up reading and the annotations you might have to do about the readings. My biggest eye opener in the class was the thinking you had to incorporate in those annotations. In high school i didnt have to think so in-depth, so once i got to this class i really had to think in sort of a different way . Its easy to succeed in this class if you keep up with the readings and the homework and honestly just put effort into whatever you are doing. The first couple weeks might be a struggle getting acclimated to everything but after you do, its not hard to be successful.

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