Shippensburg University’s Writing Placement Survey

The writing placement survey asks students to reflect on their past experiences with academic writing.  It also asks them to assess some of their own relevant characteristics, such as staying focused on a project, seeking help if needed, ability to work through distractions, other time commitments, etc. 

The Survey  

When admitted students log on to the Slate portal, the writing placement survey is one of their tasks.  Here are the instructions they receive:

This survey will help determine the best writing class for you, based on your own background and abilities as a reader and writer.  As you complete the survey, you should reflect on your own experiences and level of comfort with the kinds of writing you will do in college classes.

 

This survey will help determine the best writing class for you, based on your own background and abilities as a reader and writer.  As you complete the survey, you should reflect on your own experiences and level of comfort with the kinds of writing you will do in college classes.

 

In Part I, you’ll reflect on your own past experiences with reading and writing and think about how comfortable you are right now with the kinds of work students do in college writing courses.

 

In Part II, you’ll read a short essay written by a Shippensburg University student and answer questions about how confident you would feel right now writing a similar paper in a college writing course.

 

In Part III, you’ll read a short essay published by a professional writer and answer questions about how confident you would feel right now discussing and analyzing an essay like that in a college writing class.

 

After you complete all three parts of the survey, you’ll see your survey score, along with descriptions of the courses you can choose from, ENG 113 or ENG 114.  You should carefully consider which course you will be most successful in, based on your score.  While we can give you recommendations, the choice is completely up to you.

 

Remember, this is not a test.  The purpose of the survey is to help you determine which writing class is best for you.

 

Once students complete the survey, it is automatically scored, and students then choose the ENG course they wish to take.  Students who receive a score between 19-49 are advised to choose ENG 113, and students who score 50+ are advised to take ENG 114. 

Before students choose, they are provided with detailed information that explains the differences between ENG 113 and 114.

 

First-Year Writing Courses

ENG 113: Introduction to Academic Writing—best for students with scores of 19-49

ENG 113 focuses on the writing process and introduces you to the kinds of critical and analytical writing that will be required in ENG 114. In ENG 113, you will learn essential writing skills, such as the ability to generate ideas, create a clear and focused argument, develop focused paragraphs, use sources and create error-free sentences.  There will also be a sustained focus on grammar and usage so that students are better prepared for the rigor of ENG 114.

ENG 113 is an elective course that counts towards your 120 credits required for graduation. Following successful completion of ENG113, you must take ENG 114 to fulfill the university's General Education writing requirement. 

 

Typically, ENG 113 students: 

  • may have limited experience writing essays, usually only a few short essays (1-3 pages)
  • may not be used to reading longer written texts such as books or articles
  • may still be working on developing their skills in grammar, mechanics, or spelling
  • may find it challenging to focus or concentrate on a writing project, and to work independently, over an extended period of time
  • may have limited experience in drafting and revising their own writing

 

ENG 114: Academic Writing—best for students with scores of 50 or higher

In ENG 114, students work to develop and refine four key skills: writing, reading, discussion, and critical thinking. Students learn to communicate more effectively as writers and learn to read, discuss, and think more deeply and successfully. ENG 114 introduces some university resources, such as the library (with a focus on information literacy) and the Writing Studio.  Students will focus on process writing, which includes composing several drafts, revising, editing, and proofreading within a small, writing intensive course. This course fulfills the General Education writing requirement.

 

Typically, ENG 114 students:

  • Have experience writing several essays in high school of 3 or more typed pages
  • Feel comfortable reading longer academic textbooks, other books, or articles
  • Can usually identify and correct errors in grammar, punctuation, mechanics, and spelling
  • Can usually stay focused on a project, working independently or with others
  • Feel comfortable developing and revising a writing project over several drafts

 

Click here for more details: Self-Assessment Placement Survey Information
  

Questions about math, reading or other general concerns regarding the placement test should be directed to the Testing Center at testing@ship.edu