Composition Tutorial

Composition Tutorial (CT) is a series of once-a-week tutorial sessions designed to help students with their writing in Seminar in Composition (SC). CT (ENGCMP 0201) is a one-credit course of study that is only available to students who are also registered for Seminar in Composition or Freshman Seminar (ENGCMP 0200, 0203, 0205, 0207, or 0208 or FP 0003). CT is an elective—not required—course. You may choose to take CT because you want extra support as you are writing for your SC or Freshman Seminar course. Or your SC teacher may suggest that CT could be helpful for you as a writer. 

You can add CT just like you add any other class, through the Student Center on the Pitt portal. Here is a pdf from the registrar that may help.

CT is taught by faculty consultants in the Writing Center. After an initial orientation meeting with a group of several other CT students, you will meet with your assigned CT consultant in a weekly individual appointment at the Writing Center. Most of what goes on in CT sessions is determined by the specific needs of each student writer. You can expect CT to support your work on the goals of Seminar in Composition: engaging in writing as a creative, disciplined form of critical inquiry; addressing challenging questions about the consequences of your own writing; composing thoughtfully crafted essays that position your ideas among other views; and writing with precision, nuance, and awareness of textual conventions.

You and your consultant will discuss the specific reading and writing assignments of your Seminar in Composition section, so it is important to bring your SC materials with you when you come to the Writing Center.

CT is taken concurrently with Seminar in Composition (this means that you have to be registered for SC the same term you take CT). The grading for CT—based on performance, attendance, and a portfolio review at the end of term—is satisfactory/no credit. 


  1. Attendance is essential, and being prepared to work on your writing is crucial. Since CT only meets once each week, any absence is detrimental to your progress. If you must be absent, you are responsible for cancelling your appointment ahead of time and for scheduling a makeup session in the Writing Center with your consultant. Students who don’t show up for appointments will lose their standing CT appointment and their ability to make appointments. After that, they will have to drop in to see if a consultant is available.
  2. You will need to buy A Pocket Style Manual (7th edition) by Diana Hacker and Nancy Sommers (available at the University Store) and bring it to CT sessions.
  3. You will also need to bring your Seminar in Composition essays and handouts to every CT meeting. Please buy a folder for CT and bring it with you.
  4. Every time you turn in an assignment to your Seminar in Composition teacher, you must give a copy to your CT consultant. When you get your writing back from your Seminar in Composition teacher with comments, you should share those comments with your CT consultant as well. The essays you write for Seminar in Composition will be what you work on in CT.
  5.  There are three key elements to passing CT: you need to attend regularly, submit a complete portfolio on time, and demonstrate that you can compose, revise, and edit satisfactory essays.

Evaluation of Your Portfolio

Compiling and submitting a satisfactory portfolio is a major requirement of CT. Your final portfolio is due to your CT consultant via email no later than noon on the last day of undergraduate day classes during the term you are taking CT. 

To create your portfolio, you will choose three of your Seminar in Composition essays, revise, edit, and proofread them, and email them to your CT consultant for review. The objective is to demonstrate your ability to compose, revise, edit, and proofread your own work. Your final portfolio will be read to determine whether your work meets the standards necessary to pass CT, and if it does, and if you have attended CT regularly, you will be given a Satisfactory (S) grade for the course. If your portfolio doesn’t meet those standards or if you have been excessively absent, you will be given a No Credit (NC) grade for the course.

Special Needs

If you have a disability for which you are requesting an accommodation, speak with both your CT consultant and the Office of Disability Resources and Services (DRS) as early as possible in the term. You can call them at (412) 648-7890 or (412) 383-7355 (TTY) and you can visit their office at 216 William Pitt Union. DRS will verify your disability and determine reasonable accommodations for this course.