College of Arts and Sciences

Choosing a Writing Class

When you speak with your advisor about registering, or if you will be registering before speaking with an advisor, you will need to choose a writing course. There are two basic choices for incoming freshmen: ENG 100 and ENG 180. Please use the following information to make your choice.

If you feel you need additional assistance with making your choice, you can fill out this form: Choosing a Writing Class. If you would prefer personalized help, you can contact the WIU Writing Program Director, Dr. Matthew Gilchrist, for assistance at m-gilchrist@wiu.edu. 

If one or two of these statements are true for you, you should consider taking ENG 100.  If three or more are true for you, it is strongly recommended that you take ENG 100.
  • My English score on the SAT was below 500, or my ACT English score was below 18.

  • My average grade in English classes during high school was below a B.

  • I was not required to write more than one paper during my senior year of high school.

  • I have not been required to write more than a page at a time for work or school in the last year.

  • I do not feel confident as a writer.

If one or two of these statements are true for you, you should consider taking ENG 180. If three or more are true for you, it is strongly recommended that you take ENG 180.
  • My English score on the SAT was above 500, or my ACT English score was above 18.

  • My average grade in English classes during high school was a B or above.

  • I was required to write more than two papers during my senior year of high school.

  • I was regularly required to write more than a page at a time for work or school in the last year.

  • I feel confident as a writer.

Non-Native Speakers

If English is not your first language, and you graduated from a U.S. high school, you should use the information above to choose a writing class. If English is not your first language, and you did not graduate from a U.S. high school, you should register for ENG 100 and contact the WIU Writing Program Director, Dr. Matthew Gilchrist, at m-gilchrist@wiu.edu, to discuss whether ENG 180 might be more appropriate for you. If you have graduated from the WIU WESL program, you should register for ENG 100. If you believe you are ready for ENG 180, contact the WIU Writing Program Director, Dr. Matthew Gilchrist, at m-gilchrist@wiu.edu, for assistance. 

Other factors that may impact your writing class selection
  • If you received a 4 or 5 on the AP English Language and Composition exam, you will receive ENG 180 credit. Please ensure that your AP score has been sent to WIU in order to receive this credit. 
    • You should consider enrolling in ENG 280.
  • If you received a 3 on the AP English Language and Composition exam, you may appeal for ENG 180 credit, following these directions. Your scores must be received by WIU before the appeal process can begin.
    • You should wait to enroll in ENG 180 until you receive the results of your appeal.
  • If you took a dual enrollment or dual credit course in high school that has Illinois Articulation Initiative transfer credit approval numbered C1 900 or C1 901, you will receive ENG 180 credit. Your transcript from the institution of higher education running the dual enrollment or dual credit course must be sent to WIU in order to receive this credit.
    • You should consider enrolling in ENG 280.

If you are transferring from another institution and believe you may have taken a course similar to ENG 180, please email the WIU Writing Program Director, Dr. Matthew Gilchrist, at m-gilchrist@wiu.edu.  

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