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First-Year Writing

What is First Year Writing?

Western Oregon University recognizes the key role that writing plays in your success, both in college and your future career. To promote your long-term development, WOU is a writing-intensive campus, which means that you will be writing in most of your classes. With this in mind, we view your time in WR 115 and WR 122 as just a beginning: our instructors will help you to develop writerly habits of mind, which will support you as you tackle a range of writing assignments you will be given in your major and minor.

NOTE: You must complete WR 122 (or its transfer equivalent) within your first two years at WOU and prior to enrolling in upper-division writing-intensive courses.

What Can I Expect to Learn in WR 115

WR 115 will introduce you to a variety of writing strategies with emphasis on critical reading and thinking. This course prepares you for the LACC writing requirement, WR 122.

What Can I Expect to Learn in WR 122?

WR 122 is an intensive writing course that focuses on critical analysis, argumentation, and documentation. This course meets the LACC writing requirement when passed with a grade of C- or better.

How is my Placement into a First Year Writing Course Determined?

Your SAT or ACT score determines the the path you will take to fulfill the first-year writing general education requirement.

FIRST YEAR WRITING PLACEMENT GUIDE

 

 

NEW SAT

WRITING/READING

 

OLD SAT

 

ACT

SMARTER
BALANCED

ESSENTIAL
SKILLS RETEST

 

ENROLL IN WR
115

 

 

0-550

 

 

0-490

 

 

1-20

 

 

2583-2681
(Level 3)

 

4

ELIGIBLE TO
CHALLENGE WR 115

PLACEMENT

 

540

550

 

480

490

 

20

 

2649,

2665, or
   2681*

 

5 + HS grade
(B) or better

6 w/o HS grade

 

ENROLL IN WR
122

 

 

560-800

 

500-800

 

21-30

 

2682-2795

minimum
(Level 4)

 

not eligible

ELIGIBLE TO
CHALLENGE WR 122

COURSE

 

750

 

700

 

31

 

2796

minimum

 

 

not eligible

 

Notes:

 

*2649, 2665, and 2681 score between 90-95% within Level 3.

 

Maximum score: 3000  [A scale score is the student’s overall numerical score. These scores fall on a continuous scale (from approximately 2000 to 3000) that increases across grade levels. http://www.smarterbalanced.org/assessments/scores]

 

Based on Smarter Balance percentiles table (http://www.smarterbalanced.org/assessments/development/percentiles)

How do I Challenge my Placement into WR 115 or WR 122?

If you have been placed in WR 115 but believe you are prepared for WR 122, you may be eligible to challenge your placement by participating in a challenge exam. The Writing Placement Exam gives you the opportunity to write an argument essay during a 2-hour supervised session, addressing tasks similar to those encountered in first year writing classes. See the table in “How is My Placement into a First Year Writing Course Determined?” above to check for eligibility.

To schedule an exam time, email Dr. Schmidt: schmidtk@wou.edu.

On the day of the exam, you must bring photo identification and proof of your test score.

 

Phi Kappa Phi First-Year Writing Award

For First Year Writing Instructors

  • Common FYW Syllabus Components
  • Signature Assignment
  • General Education Assessment

FYW Program Student Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to

1. assert and defend a thesis that argues a position in response to a task or for a purpose, while anticipating counterclaims;

2. integrate relevant evidence for the audience, context, and purpose, including reliable documented sources;

3. use syntactically fluent and lexically appropriate language that adheres to the conventions of Standard Written English to develop and support ideas; and

4. reflect and document procedural knowledge gained in the area of writing strategies that minimize challenges and maximize strengths (e.g., invention, organization, revision strategies, language decisions).

Trait Based Rubric

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“While enrolled in my writing class, I gained a lot of confidence in myself as a writer. I discovered my ability to express my thoughts and claims in a more effective, scholarly fashion.” ~Hailey, Community Health Major
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“Let’s enter the writing classroom with compassionate, empathic, and open hearts. Our students come from many different places, cultures, and experiences, and it is our privilege to be among them.” ~NTT Professor Matt Haas