Selecting a First-year Writing Course (DSP)

Directed Self Placement (DSP)

What is DSP?

 The faculty of the UWP strongly support the idea of student agency. That is, we believe that you, the students, should make decisions about the coursework that best suits your writing goals. This will also help to prepare you for the many decisions you will face as you navigate the academy, the workplace, and the world. Instead of a writing placement exam evaluated by a panel of professors, the UWP has adopted a Directed Self Placement (DSP) processIf you are beginning your first year here at RIT, you have a choice to make about where you would like to begin in the RIT writing sequence. 

Your Choice

All incoming first year students are automatically placed in a section of FYW First Year Writing (150). While the majority of students will be placed into UWRT 150 Writing Seminar, others may be placed into ENGL 150: The Future of Writing, ISTE 150, or Honors 150. 

During the first week of the course, you will have the option to place yourself into CRW Critical Reading and Writing (UWRT 100).  This is a three credit, General Education elective that provides more time and preparation for the college level writing and composition requirements of UWRT 150. 

While both 100 and 150 emphasize academic literacy – reading, writing, critical thinking, and analysis, UWRT 100 begins with a focus on you as a critical reader and writer. 100 exists in order to help you to ease into, and to succeed, in 150, which focuses more on producing writing in a variety of genres and participating in larger academic conversations.

Simply put, if you feel like you need more preparation for academic reading and writing, then UWRT 100 is an option for you (NOTE: students who take UWRT 100 still need to take 150 in order to fill the requirement)

UWRT 100

Course Description 

Critical Reading and Writing is a one semester, three-credit course limited to 15 students per section. This course is designed to help students develop the literacy practices they will need to be successful in their First-Year Writing course. Students will read, understand, interpret, and synthesize a variety of texts. Assignments are designed to challenge students intellectually, culturally, and rhetorically. Through inquiry-based assignment sequences, students will improve their writing by developing academic research and literacy practices that will be further strengthened in First-Year Writing. Particular attention will be given to critical reading, academic writing conventions, and revision. Small class size promotes frequent student-instructor and student-student interaction. The course also emphasizes the principles of intellectual property and academic honesty in academic writing.

Find a Sample Syllabus HERE

Find a Sample Assignment HERE

Find Two Sample Readings HERE: Mike Bunn's "How to Read Like a Writer" (2011) and Sherman Alexie "The Joy of Reading and Writing: Superman and Me" (1997)

UWRT 150

Course Description

FYW Writing Seminar is a three-credit course limited to 19 students per section. The course is designed to develop first-year students’ proficiency in analytical and rhetorical reading and writing, and critical thinking. Students will read, understand, and interpret a variety of non-fiction texts representing different cultural perspectives and/or academic disciplines. These texts are designed to challenge students intellectually and to stimulate their writing for a variety of contexts and purposes. Through inquiry-based assignment sequences, students will develop academic research and literacy practices that will be further strengthened throughout their academic careers. Particular attention will be given to the writing process, including an emphasis on teacher-student conferencing, critical self-assessment, class discussion, peer review, formal and informal writing, research, and revision. Small class size promotes frequent student-instructor and student-student interaction. The course also emphasizes the principles of intellectual property and academic integrity for both current academic and future professional writing.

Find a Sample Syllabus HERE

Find a Sample Assignment HERE

Find two Sample Readings Nancy Sommers and Laura Saltz, "The Novice as Expert: Writing the Freshman Year" (2004) and Vershawn Ashanti Young, “Should Writers Use They Own English?” (2010)

Name What You Know: A Writing Self-assessment

Take the survey HERE to reflect on your past and present reading, writing, and academic literacy knowledge and practices to assess where you are right now as a writer. This look back will help you to start thinking about whether you wish to stay in UWRT 150 or place yourself into UWRT 100.  Perhaps other resources will be the right fit for you. 

 QR for survey

Questions?

If you want to place yourself into the section CRW 100 that is currently offered, but are unable to do so, there are other options available to you to help you to succeed in UWRT 150.  You may 1) schedule personal, weekly, one on one appointments in the Writing Center 2) Request a consultation with the writing program director at pjknge@rit.edu. She will meet with you to address your specific writing questions and discuss resource options.  If you have any other, more general questions about writing at RIT, please contact the University Writing Program team at rituwp@rit.edu.