First-Year Writing: What Class Do You Need?
In the first-year writing program we have an exciting and rigorous program of writing classes that will introduce students to contemporary social issues through reading and discussion, and which will support students as they begin to develop their abilities to write academically, that is, to write thoughtful, carefully constructed arguments that are supported by evidence and articulated with care, even grace.
Given the challenges of our academic programs at Montclair State University, it is essential that students are provided with the coursework in writing that is needed to best succeed in their academic careers. Therefore, during the first week of the fall semester first-year writing professors will work to find exactly the right class for each student – ENWR100 Introduction to Writing or ENWR105 College Writing I: Intellectual Prose.
At the point of registration, however, students need to know for which class they should register. For that purpose, for preliminary placement we are using the SAT Critical Reading and Writing assessments that students took prior to their acceptance at Montclair State. Students with either an SAT Writing score greater or equal to 410 or a SAT Critical Reading score greater or equal to 520 are conditionally placed into ENWR105. Students with scores lower than these will be conditionally placed into ENWR100. For most students, this conditional placement will become the final placement.
However, final placement will not be determined until students have arrived on campus, submitted the spring writing assignment, and attended the first two writing classes. We extend the placement process into the beginning of the semester because we want to be sure to place each student at the best advantage for a successful academic career – quite simply, what we can learn about students from a week in class is immeasurably greater and more important than what we can learn about students from their performance on a few standardized tests. If a student needs to have a class changed, we will work carefully to make such a class change minimally disruptive.
What Do You Do Now?
- For now, register in the class as determined by the SAT assessments, and as explained to you by your advisor. Most of you will stay in these classes throughout the semester.
- Look out for an email that will be sent to you in early August from the First-Year Writing Program. This email will direct you to the essay assignment that you will need to complete for the first day of class (whether it’s ENWR100 or ENWR105). If you are enrolled in ENWR100 or ENWR105 for Fall 2013, as of early August you will be able to access this assignment online here.
- Complete the essay assignment due on the first day of class. Working carefully and thoughtfully on this assignment will be the best way to begin your college career.