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While RWU is standardized test optional for admission, we do require the submission of test scores for academic placement. Writing Placement is determined by SAT and/or ACT scores, as well as by an in-class writing sample. There is no online writing placement test at RWU.

What are the writing course requirements at RWU?
The University core curriculum writing requirement is Expository Writing (WTNG.102) and one critical writing course (either WTNG.200 or WTNG.220).

Some students may be required to take an additional course, Introduction to Academic Writing (WTNG.100), before entering Expository Writing.

Typically, students complete their writing requirement during their first three semesters at RWU.

How is the writing placement determined?
New students take either WTNG. 100, Introduction to Academic Writing, or WTNG.102, Expository Writing, as their first writing course at RWU. To determine which of these two courses is the appropriate entry-level course, a two-step placement process is used.

  • The first step occurs before a student arrives for summer orientation at RWU. Using their SAT critical reading (SAT CR) and SAT writing (SATW) scores, students are placed into Introduction to Academic Writing (WTNG.100) or Expository Writing (WTNG.102) for their first writing course.
  • The second step occurs during the first week of classes in the new semester. At that time, students complete an in-class writing sample. This sample is used to confirm or challenge the initial placement.
SAT Criteria for Writing Placement at RWU

SAT scores

First Writing Course

Remainder of Sequence

Both SATCR and SATW are 510 or below

WTNG.100, Introduction to Academic Writing

WTNG.102, Expository Writing, and a critical writing course


Either SATCR or SATW  is above 510

WTNG.102, Expository Writing

A critical writing course

Please note that students who have taken the ACT will have their scores converted using a standard ACT-SAT conversion model.

For course descriptions, please consult the RWU online catalog.

What happens in a writing program course at RWU?
When you enroll in a writing studies, rhetoric and composition course in the writing program, you’ll join a community of writers, including faculty and students, who practice writing to learn, share knowledge, persuade, engage, challenge and advocate.  The courses in the program will enhance the talents you bring to the University by introducing you to a variety of reading and writing practices that writers use to craft purposeful, cogent and coherent texts intended to appeal to academic, civic and professional audiences.  Writing is approached as a process in which revision and reader feedback are integral steps.  The conventions of genre, documentation, grammar and research are taught in the context of accomplishing rhetorical goals.
The courses are sequenced and the expectations commensurate.