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Frequently Asked Questions


How do I know which English classes to sign up for?


Your placement test results should indicate which English classes you need to take. If you are unsure about which English classes are best for you, please visit the Counseling Center to make an appointment with one of the counselors on the TCC Portsmouth campus.

Q. How does college English differ from high school English?

Writing in college requires students to use academic writing style , a particular method with special rules that may not be taught in high school language arts classes . College English classes emphasize writing as a means for learning and critical inquiry . College writing requires critical thinking to develop a thoughtful and informed perspective about any subject. Your English classes at TCC will help you learn the academic writing style and prepare you for your future writing endeavors.

Q. Why is ENG 111 required?

English 111 serves as an introduction to the intellectual, critical approach required for academic writing. Of course, as you progress in college, you will continue to develop your reading and writing abilities. English 111 does not teach you all the specific conventions of reading/writing used in each different course/discipline. However, students leave ENG 111 understanding that different conventions, rules, rituals, and routines exist in different areas of academia.


Why do I have to take a developmental English class after receiving A's and B's in high school English?


Your placement test scores determine your placement in English classes. It is not uncommon for students who performed well in high school English to be placed into developmental English classes. When students have not studied English grammar, formal essay writing, or communication to specific audiences recently, they can benefit greatly from a developmental writing class. A developmental English course is an excellent refresher and preparation for ENG 111, 112 and beyond.

Q. What is plagiarism and what are the penalties for plagiarism?

Plagiarism is an act of academic dishonesty .

Plagiarism can include any or all of the following:

  • Turning in a paper that contains other people's words or ideas and without indication that the words/ideas are not original writing.
  • Using the exact words from an outside source and not placing the exact words in quotation marks.
  • Having another person write an essay, whole or in part, for you.
  • Buying an essay from an internet website and turning it in as original writing.
  • Copying and pasting sections of an online essay or website into a paper and turning it in as original writing.
  • Taking ideas or words from a book, magazine, encyclopedia, CD-ROM, lecture, TV show, song, poem, play, movie, ad campaign, newspaper, newsletter, sermon or any other source and pretending the words/ideas are original writing.

The Academic Misconduct Policy

from 2006 2008 TCC Student Handbook provide detailed information about plagiarism at TCC, including a range of penalties.