First-Year Writing Program Information

The information in the links below is also available as pdf file: Writing Program Information.

Overview of Courses
Placement Information
Student Outcomes

Overview of Courses

The First Year Writing Program at the University of Michigan-Flint is designed to help you study and practice critical writing, critical reading, and critical thinking.  The First Year Writing Program consists of the following courses (see UM-Flint’s current Catalog for additional information):

English 100: College Reading and Learning Strategies

ENG 100 provides intensive work in reading for comprehension and associated learning strategies.  ENG 100 is designed to help students be better prepared for academic work at the university.  Some students might be required to take ENG 100 on the basis of test performance, other students, including transfer and returning students, who desire to improve their reading and learning skills may elect to take ENG 100. 

English 109 Section One: College Writing Workshop, 1 credit

ENG 109 provides directed writing instruction to students who need extra practice with their writing work. It can be taken for one to three credits. Most often, students are placed in ENG 109 through their Writing Placement Exam (WPX), though students may elect to take the course.  When a student registers for ENG 109 for one credit (section one), he or she must visit the Marian E Wright Writing Center (308 Lib) to sign up for a weekly writing workshop. Students who fail to attend their weekly workshops will not earn credit for the course.

ENG 109 Sections 2 and 3: College Writing Workshop, 3 credits

English 109 is designed to give students the opportunity for extra, quality writing practice in a small class atmosphere.  Students write in class daily– from informal discovery drafts with little to no structure, to more formal, presentable polished drafts in essay format.  Student confidence, recognition of various rhetorical situations, and various writing strategies are emphasized to prepare students for the kinds of writing and critical thinking they will be expected to do in the First Year Writing Program (English 111 and 112) and across the curriculum. [For a more thorough description of the goals and procedures of ENG 109 go to http://www.umflint.edu/writingcenter/eng109.htm]

ENG 110: College Writing Workshop II

ENG 110 is an independent study held in the Marian E. Wright Writing Center for only ESL (English as a Second Language) students. The course is designed to give second language learners additional practice with their writing work in English and should be completed concurrently with other courses at the University where essay assignments are common. Students may elect to take ENG 110 for one credit and repeat the course for up to three credits. When a student registers for ENG 110, he or she must visit the Marian E. Wright Writing Center (308 Lib) to sign up for a weekly meeting time. Students who fail to attend this weekly workshop will not earn credit for the course.

English 111: College Rhetoric

ENG 111 emphasizes the development of the student as a confident writer and an academic thinker.  English 111 lays a foundation of writing practice and critical rhetorical awareness which is further developed and expanded in the context of academic writing and research in English 112.  All students of the University of Michigan-Flint must complete ENG 111 or transfer the equivalent with a C or better before taking English 112.

English 112: Critical Writing and Reading

ENG 112 focuses on critical, analytical and researched writing and the thoughtful, informed reading that makes academic inquiry and research possible.  ENG 112 is designed to help students strengthen the academic reading and writing skills needed in the university curriculum.  All students of the University of Michigan-Flint must complete ENG 112 or transfer equivalent with a C or better.


Placement Information

Overview

All of our students are required to complete English 111 and English 112 or their equivalents (Transfer Credit for ENG 111 and/or 112, AP Credit for ENG 111 or CLEP credit for ENG 111).  To help faculty, advisers and each student identify the best starting course to satisfy this requirement, the University uses a placement testing system for Writing and Reading.  All students will be placed in a beginning writing and/or reading course before they are allowed to register. Those few students who somehow register for a course before the placement is confirmed must register for the course that the placement scores indicate, even if this means dropping one course to register for another. Students can be administratively dropped from a course if they do not have any placement history, or if their placement score does not align with the course in question.

 

Reading Placement

New students must have a Reading placement on file before they are allowed to register for ENG 112.  A Reading placement is achieved in a variety of ways.

  • ACT Reading score satisfies the Reading placement: Students who have scored 19 and above on the ACT Reading portion are not required to take ENG 100. Students who have an ACT Reading score of 18 or below are placed in ENG 100: College Reading and Learning Strategies.The course description is available on page one of this guide.
  • SAT Reading score satisfies the Reading placement: Students who have scored higher than 390 on the SAT Reading portion are not required to take ENG 100.Students who scored 390 or lower are placed in ENG 100.
  • SAT Reading and Writing: Students who have scored higher than 480 on the current version of the SAT are not required to take ENG 100.  Students who score lower than 480 are placed in ENG 100.
  • DRP test: Any student who does not have an ACT or SAT Reading score or other Reading placement on file, first year students who place directly into ENG 100 via their ACT or SAT Reading score, or International students who place directly in ENG 111 via the International Writing Placement Exam on campus must take the DRP READING placement exam in the Student Success Center to ensure that they have a proper Reading placement. Students who score 70 or higher are not required to take ENG 100. Those students who score 69 or lower on the DRP are placed in ENG 100.

Students are permitted to retake the DRP test after 60 days.

Students who are placed in ENG 100 must complete the course before enrolling in ENG 112.  It is a prerequisite.

 

Writing Placement Exam (WPX)

New students must have a Writing Placement on file before they are allowed to register for ENG 111 or ENG 112.  A Writing Placement is also achieved in a variety of ways.

  • ACT COMP score of 22 or higher satisfies the Writing Placement.Students who have this score are placed directly in ENG 111.
  • SAT Writing score of 510 or higher satisfies the Writing Placement, and the students who have this score are placed directly in ENG 111.
  • SAT score of 29 or greater on the current version of the SAT Writing and Language places a student directly in ENG 111.
  • SAT TOTAL score of 1110 or greater on the current version of the SAT places a student directly in ENG 111.
  • Transfer credit for BOTH ENG 111 and ENG 112 satisfies the Writing Placement. These students have technically completed the UM-Flint first year writing sequence.They do not need to be placed. However, transfer students who have credit for ENG 111 but NOT ENG 112 must have a placement on file. (See below on taking the Writing Placement Exam (WPX) or the International Writing Placement Exam (IWPX)).
  • Writing Placement Exam (WPX): All domestic students who do not meet the above Writing placement criteria must complete the WPX through Blackboard to satisfy their writing placement.The essay students write for the WPX is read by faculty readers, and scores are reported to the Student Success Center.Students completing the WPX are placed in one of the following courses or course combinations to begin their Writing sequence.
    • ENG 109: Students who demonstrate a significant need for further practice with their writing work may be placed in ENG 109 for three credits. This course must be completed before registering for ENG 111.
    • ENG 111/109: Students who show a less significant need for practice with their writing work, but still demonstrate some difficulties may be placed in ENG 109 for one credit to be finished concurrently with ENG 111.
    • ENG 111: Students who show a basic competence with writing are placed in ENG 111.

Students placed in ENG 109 for three credits must complete ENG 109 section two or three before enrolling in any section of ENG 111.

Students placed in ENG 109 for one credit, should complete ENG 109 section one in combination with any section of ENG 111.

Students placed in ENG 111 must complete the course before enrolling in ENG 112. It is a prerequisite.

The WPX does NOT place any student out of ENG 111. Only students with transfer credit for ENG 111, AP credit for ENG 111 or CLEP credit for ENG 111 are placed directly in ENG 112.

 

Writing and Reading Placements for Non-Native English Writers

Because the number of non-native English writers attending the University of Michigan – Flint is significant and growing every semester, the University has implemented a placement procedure to better serve those writers’ needs. Our non-native English writers must also have a Reading and Writing placement on file, and these placements, just as the placements described above, are also to best help them identify a starting course for their Writing sequence. For more information on international student placement procedures go to the Bridge Program website: https://www.umflint.edu/english/um-flint-bridge-program

Writing and Reading placements for our non-native English writers are achieved in a few ways. Several are identical to native English writers’ placement procedure.

 

Reading Placement

Reading placements for International students are explained above under Reading Placement.

 

International Writing Placement Exam (IWPX)

New non-native English writing students must have a Writing Placement on file before they are allowed to register for ENG 111 or ENG 112.  A Writing Placement is also achieved in a variety of ways.

  • ACT COMP score of 22 or higher satisfies the Writing Placement.Students who have this score are placed directly in ENG 111.
  • SAT Writing score of 510 or higher satisfies the Writing Placement, and the students who have this score are placed directly in ENG 111.
  • SAT Reading and Writing: Students who have scored higher than 480 on the current version of the SAT are not required to take ENG 100.  Student who score lower than 480 are placed in ENG 100.
  • SAT score of 29 or greater on the current version of the SAT Writing and Language places a student directly in ENG 111.
  • SAT TOTAL score of 1100 or greater on the current version of the SAT places a student directly in ENG 111.
  • Transfer credit for BOTH ENG 111 and ENG 112 satisfies the Writing Placement. These students have technically completed the UM-Flint first year writing sequence.They do not need to be placed. However, all transfer students who have credit for ENG 111 but NOT ENG 112 must have a placement on file, even if this means finishing the International Writing Placement exam (IWPX).
  • International Writing Placement Exam: All students who do not meet the above Writing placement criteria must complete the written exam administered by the Bridge Program director, Dr. Emily Feuerherm.This exam is given during the International Student Orientation and on a few other select dates here on campus.Students finishing the IWPX are placed in one of the following courses.
    • LIN 101:Students who show a need for more intensive work developing academic English skills through paragraphs and short essays that Non-Native English (NNE) writers will need to succeed at the university will be placed in LIN 101.This course must be completed before LIN 102.
    • LIN 102: Students who show a need for more experience in writing in recognized rhetorical modes, particularly focusing on developing grammar and vocabulary Non-Native English (NNE) writers need for writing more established persuasive essays. LIN 102 must be completed before ENG 111.
    • ENG 111/109: Students who show a greater command of the English language, but still demonstrate a need for practice with some elements of academic writing may be placed in ENG 109 for one credit to be finished concurrently with ENG 111.
    • ENG 111: Students who show confidence with writing and experience with those skills that non-native English writers need to succeed in an academic environment are placed in ENG 111.

NOTE: Students who complete LIN 102 are NOT REQUIRED to also complete ENG 100.  However, those students who are placed directly in ENG 111 or ENG 111/109 may still need to take ENG 100 based on their test scores, the ACT, SAT or the DRP. For instance, a student scores 520 SAT Writing, but only 380 Reading. This student would be placed in ENG 111 and ENG 100.  Another student who takes the IWPX and places directly in ENG 111 must then take the DRP (or have a sufficient ACT or SAT score on file) to also waive the ENG 100 requirement.

The LIN 101, LIN 102 sequence was developed to better serve our non-native English writers. These students will not be placed in ENG 109 or other basic writing courses. So, these courses are not in addition to courses previously required, but are offered instead of those courses.


Student Outcomes

A statement of student outcomes articulates the goals of a course or program.  At the university, you will likely hear a lot about student outcomes and student outcomes assessment.  Every program, major, and department at the university has student outcomes [to research student outcomes and assessment at UM-Flint, go to http://www.umflint.edu/assessment/].  By indicating the goals, standards, benchmarks, and/or key course experiences, a statement of student outcomes helps you know what to expect and what will be expected of you. 

In terms of what to expect and what will be expected of you as a writer at the University of Michigan-Flint, you should be familiar with the following student learning outcomes:

  • General Education Program’s Learning Outcome for Competent Written Work
  • The First Year Writing Program’s Outcomes Statements for ENG 111 and ENG 112. 

 

General Education Program’s Learning Outcome for Competent Written Work

As one of its 12 student learning outcomes, the General Education program expects “competent written work.”  Competent written work is structured (organized/logical), substantiated (supported), and correct on the surface (clear expression grammatically/mechanically) as defined by the disciplinary conventions appropriate to the field.  Faculty across campus want to see:

  • STRUCTURE: coherent and logical organization allows a writer to convey ideas clearly; form reflects disciplinary conventions.  Written work showing emerging competency in this standard would attempt to assert a purpose and organize ideas with limited awareness of formatting conventions.  Written work showing mastery of this standard would demonstrate skillful use of a field-specific form that allows the writer to synthesize and apply content knowledge and innovative ideas in ways valued by the field.
  • SUBSTANTIATION: solid reasoning and valid evidence supports assertions; sources are documented in accordance with disciplinary conventions.  Written work showing emerging competency in this standard would attempt to present some support.  Written work showing mastery of this standard would offer sophisticated reasoning and compelling scholarly evidence to support conclusions and carefully incorporate and conscientiously document evidence.
  • LANGUAGE: controlled, readable, clear, proofread, and suitable for the discipline.  Written work showing emerging competency in this standard would show language sometimes impeding meaning, convoluted syntax, and/or consistent errors in usage.  Written work showing mastery of this standard would offer language that is sophisticated, precise, appropriate to context, professional, and/or scholarly, and virtually error free.

The First Year Writing Program supports this General Education outcome by introducing you to and helping you practice techniques of competent written work.  Many other courses in the General Education Program and in your chosen major will require you to use and expand your writing knowledge [for more information on writing at UM-Flint, read the Faculty Survey Results later in this document].

 

The First Year Writing Program’s Student Outcomes Statements

Introducing the Writing Program Outcomes

While the First Year Writing Program courses contribute to the overall goal of graduating competent writers, our courses are unique in that they are devoted expressly to the study of writing and the practice of writers; other courses at the university will ask you to write, but the courses you take in the First Year Writing Program will offer sustained and dedicated writing instruction, a working knowledge of the complex and sophisticated practice of writing, and an understanding of yourself as a writer.  While striving for successful written communication as defined by the General Education Outcomes for Written Communication, successful students of the English 111 and 112 will strive more specifically to meet the outcomes of the First Year Writing Program.  

 

Importance of the Writing Program Outcomes

The First Year Writing Program Student Outcomes Statements

  • Give you a sense of the kind of work you will do as a student in the program
  • Articulate what we see as the most important goals of the program
  • Help maintain coherence and consistency in the program 

Whether you enroll in English 111 section 2 or section 7 or English 112 section 1 or section 5, the First Year Writing Program Student Outcomes Statements make clear

  • What you can expect from any English 111 and 112 section
  • What all English 111 and 112 instructors will expect of you

 

Connection to National Writing Standards

The First Year Writing Program Student Outcomes Statements were derived by the collaborative efforts of those who teach first year writing courses at UM-Flint.  Our Student Outcomes Statements represents the collective understanding of the writing program faculty at the University of Michigan-Flint.  While locally significant, our Student Outcomes Statements are supported and informed by the work of the “WPA Outcomes Statement for First-Year Composition,” a document published in the preeminent journals of the field of Composition Studies and accepted by several national organizations dedicated to supporting the work of students and teachers of writing: the Council of Writing Program Administrators (WPA), the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), and the Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC).  We have modified and used directly some of the WPA language and categories as they speak “to the common expectations, for students, of first-year composition programs in the United States at the beginning of the 21st century” [for the full WPA Outcomes Statement see College English 63(2001): 321-325 or go to http://wpacouncil.org/positions/outcomes.html].

 

OUTCOMES STATEMENT for ENG 111: College Rhetoric

“[L]earning to write clearly can help us think and feel and see.”

Joseph Williams (Style: Toward Clarity and Grace 14)

The primary objective of English 111 is to help you develop fluency, confidence in yourself as a writer, and increased sophistication in your writing.  English 111 lays a foundation of writing practice and critical self-awareness as a writer which is further developed and expanded in the context of academic writing and research in English 112.

BY THE END OF ENG 111, YOU WILL BETTER UNDERSTAND AND APPLY

WRITING AS A PROCESS by

  • Working collaboratively with others in reading and writing
  • Critiquing your writing and the writing of others
  • Experiencing the rewards of a full and extended drafting process
  • Learning about the Writing Center, library, and other university writing resources
  • Recognizing the need to continue to work on your writing throughout your academic and work career

YOUR WRITING PROCESS by

  • Producing informal and formal writing
  • Becoming less anxious and more prepared to begin writing projects
  • Developing and practicing strategies for generating, revising, editing, and proofreading
  • Coordinating and managing the stages of the writing process: discover, identify, and narrow a topic, plan and write a rough draft, revise, polish, proofread, and present work
  • Striving to organize ideas fluidly and fluently in sequence
  • Becoming aware of and writing about your writing processes and strategies
  • Articulating your characteristic strengths and weaknesses as a writer

RHETORICAL STRATEGIES by

  • Developing a central idea and maintaining focus in a sustained piece of writing
  • Organizing and exploring ideas in several paragraphs that relate to each other in intellectually coherent and logically consistent ways
  • Finding and presenting purpose in writing from introduction to conclusion
  • Using relevant evidence to develop your ideas, support main points, back up opinions, prove your argument, and make generalizations more concrete
  • Finding and addressing audience in writing
  • Practicing your own strategies for thoughtful reading and writing in response to reading

CONVENTIONS OF WRITING by

  • Responding appropriately to goals and instructions of written assignments
  • Discovering conventions of format, structure and documentation appropriate to a given writing situation
  • Becoming sensitive to reader expectations and beginning to anticipate reader response
  • Submitting typed prose edited for expression and proofread for correctness
  • Practicing control over surface features (syntax, grammar, punctuation, and spelling)

 

OUTCOMES STATEMENT for ENG 112: Critical Writing and Reading

ENG 112 picks up where ENG 111 leaves off.  Students should review the outcomes of ENG 111 in considering their preparation for ENG 112. 

“The research essay is good practice for this essential element of all academic inquiry: what you think and how you came to think it.”

Bruce Ballenger (The Curious Researcher 13)

The primary objective of English 112 is to strengthen your academic writing and reading skills.  You will learn strategies to become an active, critical, analytical reader of texts.  You will write papers that analyze, interpret, evaluate and respond to readings, and you will make use of sources using techniques of academic research.  The outcomes of ENG 111 are also outcomes for ENG 112; ENG 112 will reinforce and extend your understanding of and experience with WRITING AS A PROCESS, YOUR WRITING PROCESS, RHETORICAL STRATEGIES, and WRITING CONVENTIONS.  In addition, the following are outcomes specific to the critical writing and reading completed in ENG 112.

BY THE END OF ENG 112, YOU WILL BETTER UNDERSTAND AND APPLY

CRITICAL LITERACY by

  • Becoming aware of the connection between writing and intellectual inquiry
  • Analyzing, interpreting, and evaluating a variety of textual and non-textual materials
  • Distinguishing one’s own ideas from the ideas in readings
  • Synthesizing material from several sources to develop and support your own point of view, present an argument, or explain an idea
  • Accurately summarizing and paraphrasing a text’s central idea without plagiarizing
  • Integrating your own ideas with those of others
  • Studying how academic argument and analytical writing work
  • Using conventions of format and structure appropriate to academic writing
  • Controlling surface features such as syntax, grammar, punctuation and spelling so as to present the most effective argument
  • Becoming aware that you will need to adapt your writing to meet the different writing requirements and formats of various academic disciplines, and that in future classes, particularly in your major, you will gain this additional writing experience

RESEARCH and RESEARCH STRATEGIES by

  • Becoming aware of the connection between writing and research
  • Practicing techniques of academic research, such as finding, evaluating, analyzing, and synthesizing appropriate primary and secondary sources, using scholarly resources, approaching the Internet, or writing abstracts and annotated bibliographies
  • Gathering and evaluating data from multiple sources
  • Developing a thesis or perspective from researched material and exploring and developing that point of view through writing
  • Organizing, drafting, revising, proofreading, and polishing an extended piece of writing based on research
  • Becoming more aware of the rhetorical and historical contexts of ongoing conversations in the academy and the world and how you can contribute to those conversations through your own research and writing
  • Adopting appropriate voice, tone, and level of formality for written assignments
  • Learning why and practicing when and how to appropriately cite and document sources

Using MLA style documentation and becoming aware of other citation formats, such as APA and Chicago/Turabian styles