Student FAQs | LSU University Writing Program | LSU University Writing Program

Some Frequently Asked Questions For The University Writing Program


Unfortunately, no. The student can get onto the waitlist if there is still space, but there is a chance that no students will drop the course, and often the best course of action is to try to make progress towards the degree. Writing classes are capped at a certain ideal size based on researched best practices that come from the National Council of Teachers of English. Controlling class size protects both the instructor and the students so that we can keep writing classes small and equally distributed so that we can offer the best possible writing instruction at LSU and also maintain our national rankings. The computer-based course sign up system allows at least for an equitable chance for all students to sign up for whatever classes are first available to them.

At the beginning of the semester following the final course grade in question, the student has 30 days to begin resolving a grade dispute. The student should first contact the instructor to try to make inquiries regarding any discrepancies in grades that the student may think have occurred. If the grade discrepancy is a simple matter, the instructor can submit a grade change form. If a resolution cannot be reached with the instructor, the department has a Grade Appeals process that is conducted by a committee of third-party instructors who ultimately take descriptions from the student and instructor and make a recommendation to the Director of the University Writing Program and the Chair of the English Department. Generally, disagreements about matters like missed classes or late papers are not considered unless they are carefully documented. Students considering a formal appeal must save all papers and other relevant documents that will help the committee make a decision. However, in an effort to respond to student concerns, the department is always interested in listening to complaints about other kinds of problems with faculty and teaching practices, even if they are not formally linked to a grade appeal. Only the final grade may be appealed; individual assignments are only examined in the context of the final grade. You can download the full Student Guide for Grade Appeals here. You can begin the process by going to Allen 260 and asking to talk with an administrator about filing a grade appeal for a writing class or emailing the completed form and any supporting documentation to the director of the University Writing Program, Jimmy Butts, at

As part of the General Education requirement, everyone has to obtain course credit for both English 1001, typically during the first semester, and English 2000, typically taken in the second semester of a student's sophomore year.

Missing class and not following through on the course assignments is the number one reason why students fail composition courses. Showing up to a writing class is important. Research shows that if students attend classes, they perform better (See Brocato, 1989 and Devadoss and Foltz, 1996).

The instructor refers the paper to Student Advocacy and Accountability as a moderator. This protects the student and the instructor so that a fair and appropriate measure of action can be taken for the unique case. In our writing classes, some unique times when plagiarism must be taken into account are self-plagiarism where work is reused from another course or using outside sources without citing them appropriately. Lack of proper citation of another person’s writing is technically plagiarism and can be cause for action.

Sometimes it takes time. You can check with to see what credits have transferred in so far. You can also look at the Tiger Transfer Tables to see what courses from other universities will transfer in to LSU. If you have the pre-requisites and need to be overridden into a class in a timely manner, you can email the Director of the Writing Program, Dr. Jimmy Butts, at with your 89 number and which course you’d like to try to get into.

Probably, depending on how long ago it has been. The best thing to do is to contact the instructor who taught the class. If you cannot get in touch with the original instructor via email, you can contact the Director of the University Writing Program to try to get a copy or at least a comparable syllabus for the new institution to evaluate for transfer credit.

According to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (or FERPA), only the student, the instructor of record, and the administration can see a student’s grades or other records. Parents and other students may not access any educational record for any student, this includes grades, addresses, and any other records connected to the student being in the class. One caveat, is that students in the same course in the same semester are allowed to read each other’s work for peer review, for example. See the Department of Education’s Guide on FERPA for more information.

Yes. All faculty at LSU are mandatory reporters. This means that if sexual abuse or the potential for harm is possible with any student, faculty are obligated to report it to Student Advocacy and Accountability or an appropriate authority. The goal is to do our best to protect students whenever and however we can.

There are public computers in the library, and laptops can even be checked out of the library for a period to be used in class or to finish writing a paper if you need one. You can find out what they have available at the Borrowing from LSU Libraries page.

A handful of our writing classes either have special topics or have a unique service-learning component. Because writing is always about something, these classes offer a unique opportunity to think about writing through a particular lens. The university also strongly supports the hands-on perspective that service-learning courses offer to students. Our service-learning classes count towards the Engaged Citizen Certification through The Center for Community Engagement, Learning, and Leadership (or CCELL). The special topics and/or service learning courses will be listed below the course in a description on the course scheduling screen.


For any and all other questions, feel free to email the Director of the University Writing Program Dr. Jimmy Butts at