Frequently Asked Questions

How many writing courses do I need to take?

Effective Fall 2016, Stetson University requires that students earn credit for four (4) WE courses. Two (2) of those courses must be in General Education.The other two may come from any approved WE course.

Up to two of these four required courses may be transferred in via exam or course credit; however, two (2) WE courses must be taken at Stetson University. Students who are placed into ENGL 100 College Writing must take that course in their first semester at Stetson. ENGL 100 will count as one of the four required WE courses upon completion of the course with a C or better.

Why is there no ENGL 101 requirement?

Stetson, like the majority of top private liberal arts colleges, embraces the reality that students acquire and develop writing skills when they are interested, engaged, and involved with projects and situations that challenge them. Stetson's curriculum, starting with the FSEM in the first semester, is rich with these experiences in both General Education and in work in the major. Rather than isolating "writing instruction" to one course, we enhance our teaching with writing horizontally, across all our disciplines, and vertically, throughout the four years. In this way, students continually learn from previous experiences and apply that learning to the next challenges. ENGL 101 is not necessary when a student has an engaging classroom environment that uses writing to teach and to learn.

What should I take in the first semester if I don't take ENGL 101? How will I get enough writing practice in?

We recommend that you seek out as many writing-enhanced courses as you can, especially in your first year. Just look for classes you're interested in. History, Psychology, Business Communications, English--all of these offer a rich experience of writing from a range of professors who are just as interested in your learning as you are. Taking your FSEM in the fall term and at least one more WE course within the first year--or two, or three--will get you off to a great start toward success at Stetson.

What are the standards and expectations for college-level writing?

Stetson University welcomes students with strong thinking, speaking, and writing skills. "High quality" here means that students are capable of creating the following:

  • Sentences and paragraphs that are well-constructed, accurately formed, and expressive of ideas and significant insight
  • Essays, reports, and other text-based documents that demonstrate the ability to analyze, evaluate, form arguments, synthesize ideas, respond to readings, and perform effective research in peer-reviewed, academic journals.
  • Revisions that shape and reshape ideas and their presentation in response to instructor and peer feedback; revision that goes beyond correcting grammar or "fixing" elements that a professor has noted.

Many first-year and transfer students are not prepared for the rigor with which academic writing is graded; while many have consistently earned A's in their previous writing courses, first-year students are often shocked to see that those writing skills are considered average by Stetson University faculty.

We offer a great deal of assistance for students. Contact the Writing Center, located in the DuPont-Ball Library, and seek out professors in their office hours.

I don't think I'm a very strong writer. I'm nervous about this. How can you help?

We've got your back. Stetson's Writing Center is always here for you. Located in the duPont-Ball Library, the Writing Center's trained peer tutors will work with you one on one to support your writing skills and help you to greatness.Make an appointment with them HERE and take advantage of this wonderful resource.

In addition, your professors are good resources--ask them to look over a draft and make suggestions. Your faculty wants you to do well, so drop by those office hours and get their input.

Finally, don't forget that just because English isn't required, that doesn't mean English doesn't offer courses in Writing! The English Department has a range of 100 and 200 level courses that focus specifically on the theory and practice of writing.

Can I choose to take ENGL 100?

ENGL 100 is a placement-only course. Students are placed in ENGL 100 when incoming test scores or other information that indicate a student's essential skills need additional support. For example, SAT-V scores of 420 or less, or ACT English scores of 16 or less, typically mean a student needs a preparatory course to ensure success at Stetson. If you feel you should take a preparatory course before taking on the demands of University level writing, contact the director of the Writing Program at writingprogram@stetson.edu.

Can I drop ENGL 100?

No. In some extreme situations (e.g., a withdrawal for health reasons from the university), enrollment in a writing course can be changed. However, the university places a high priority on writing skills, and if you are placed in ENGL 100, it is vital that you complete it as early as possible.

Can I challenge my placement in ENGL 100?

Yes. If you believe that you have been placed in the wrong writing course, contact the Director of the Writing Program at writingprogram@stetson.edu.