What writing course should I take?


MSU uses SAT or ACT scores to place students either into WRA 1004 Preparation for College Writing or into WRA 100-level courses. A score of 28 on the ACT English or 560 on the SAT Critical Reading gives students the option to enroll in WRA 195H.

Students who enter MSU without an SAT or ACT score are automatically placed into WRA 1004. Students who are provisionally admitted and placed into the English Language Center — that is, students who are required to enroll in ESL courses — are automatically placed into WRA 1004 when they complete the ELC requirements. These students are not eligible to use the placement essay to request a different placement; only an evaluation of their ESL course materials will be used to determine if they should be placed into a WRA 100-level course.

WRA 1004 Preparation for College Writing provides students extra time and practice to achieve the Tier 1 learning goals. Students receive credit for WRA 1004, but it does not satisfy the Tier 1 writing requirement.

Students who believe that they are adequately prepared to succeed in a Tier 1 writing course despite having been placed in WRA 1004 have an opportunity to request a re-evaluation of their placement. This re-evaluation requires writing a timed essay at one of the sessions scheduled at different points during the year. Evaluation of that essay by the WRAC Department may result in a revised placement into a Tier 1 writing course. The placement exam is offered twice in the summer immediately before the school year begins and once in the fall and spring semesters.
The 2013-2014 dates are:

  • November 22, 2013 4-6, Bessey 108
  • April 4, 2014, 4-6, Bessey 108
  • Aug 23. 2014, 10-12, Location TBD
  • Aug 25, 2014, 1-3, Location TBD

Questions regarding these placement and re-evaluation procedures should be directed to the WRAC Department (517-355-2400). All decisions regarding placement made by the WRAC Department are entered into the student’s online record and are final.

AP, IB, or CLEP examination credit: For information, go to the Office of Admissions page.

Transfer students: See information here.

Course Options

Our 100-level courses invite students to build the skills, knowledge-bases, and attitudes that support writing, reading, and researching practices — practices intended to enhance their learning and to assist them in meeting expectations in a variety of literacy contexts, in school and beyond. All courses in the First-Year Writing Program engage students in writing and reflection activities that make overt the ways that invention, arrangement, revision, style, and delivery can be engaged across inquiry situations.

The First-Year Writing Program offers a variety of themes for inquiry:

  • 110 Writing: Science and Technology
  • 115 Writing: Law and Justice in the United States
  • 125 Writing: The American Ethnic and Racial Experience
  • 130 Writing: American Radical Thought
  • 135 Writing: Public Life in America (a course with a service-learning requirement)
  • 140 Writing: Women in America
  • 145 Writing: Men in America
  • 150 Writing: The Evolution of American Thought
  • 195H Writing: Major Topics in American Thought