Writing helps to develop thoughtful reading, sound reasoning, and clear communication; therefore, it is an essential aspect for liberal arts education and life-long learning. Composition and Research promotes strong thinkers and resourceful writers who can construct convincing arguments written in effective prose for a variety of audiences. The general education requirement in writing seeks to help students learn how to write persuasively, clearly, and concisely; engage in critical thinking and reading; organize material with regard to audiences; undertake research using library resources and computers; and demonstrate competency in foundational editing skills.
Students should fulfill this requirement in their first year so that they will be introduced to ideas and skills that will be crucial for their progress through their liberal arts education. All students must complete the writing requirement by the end of their sophomore year. Since writing is a life-long skill, students are encouraged to take additional writing courses beyond Composition and Research. Successful completion of the freshman writing requirement is a prerequisite for enrollment in any upper division writing course.
Meeting the Writing Requirement
You may satisfy the writing requirement by taking ENGW 103 Composition and Research (4) and earning a grade of C or higher. You may satisfy the writing requirement by taking ENGW 104 Composition and Research (2) and earning a grade of C or higher if:
- You score a 3 on the LANGUAGE/Composition Advanced Placement.
- You score a 10, 11, or 12 on the SAT Essay or ACT Writing Test subscore.
Options to Waive the Requirement with Academic Credit
- If you score a 4 or 5 on the LANGUAGE/Composition Advanced Placement exam, you earn 4 semester hours of writing credit and have completed the writing requirement.
- If you score a 3 on the LANGUAGE/Composition Advanced Placement exam, you earn 2 semester hours of writing credit. You may complete the 4-hour requirement by taking ENGW 104 Composition and Research (2) or passing the Writing Competency Exam ($30 charge for the exam) that is given each semester to freshmen or transfers only during their first year at Wheaton. No academic credit is given for passing the exam.
Option to Waive the Requirement without Academic Credit
The Writing Competency Exam is given each semester (on a date to be announced in the Broadcaster) and is open only to freshmen and to transfer students. Students have one opportunity to take the exam in the fall or spring of their first year at Wheaton. Students must pass the first part of the exam (Library Research Skills) to qualify to take the second part of the exam (Research Essay). Students must pass both parts of the exam to waive the writing requirement. The total cost of the exam is $30.
If students do not qualify to waive the requirement, they will be placed in ENGW 103 or ENGW 104 based on their score. Students who have not taken the exam during their first year at Wheaton MUST take either ENGW 103 or ENGW 104 also based on their score. No advanced standing credit will be awarded to students taking ENGW 104.