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Writing Placement Essay

As you prepare for enrolling this fall, we’d like to get a better sense of your academic writing skills. Please complete a writing placement essay, as well as answer a follow-up question about your writing class placement preference. You will need to submit the essay and response to us by 5 p.m., on June 1, 2020.

This essay will not impact your grades in any way, nor will this information go into your permanent file. Instead, it will be used to help your adviser determine which courses will lead you to success at St. Norbert College. Additionally, the essay may be used to assess the writing of your incoming class, so that we can continue to provide well-informed instruction for you and your peers.

Because we need an accurate sense of your writing ability to place you in the best course to meet your needs, it's important that you submit your own best work. You won't benefit from receiving help on this task. In fact, if you submit someone else's work, you risk being placed in a course in which you'll have difficulty succeeding.

Honors Students: If you've been accepted into the Honors Program, you are exempt from this essay because you will be enrolled in Honors 101.

Essay Instructions
To complete the essay, you’ll need to log in using your SNC email. If you have personal Gmail accounts, you will need to completely log out and log back in using your SNC email account information. If you have technical difficulties during this process, please contact Anna Hoefner in the Office of Admission at 920-403-3006.

Once you access the Writing Placement Essay below, you'll see a choice of three essay prompts, followed by a question about your writing class placement preference. Provide an essay response to only one of the writing prompts. It is suggested that you take the time to plan out your essay before you begin writing it, and that you proofread it carefully before submitting it. Please note that all submissions are final; once you have submitted your essay, you will not be able to access or edit the submitted version. While the amount of time spent on the essay is up to each student, about 90 minutes should suffice.

How Your Essay Will Be Evaluated
Your essay will be read by a panel of St. Norbert College writing faculty, who will use this information to recommend a writing course for you to take in the fall. Your adviser will have this recommendation when you meet with him or her during summer orientation.

The evaluators will consider the following questions when reading your essay:

  • Does the essay take a position; does it make a clear claim?
  • Is the essay organized and does it include an introduction, body and conclusion?
  • Does the essay build its argument on well-developed, well-organized paragraphs?
  • Does the essay use concrete examples to support its claims?
  • Does the essay address the topic with depth of thought? Is the essay interesting?
  • Does the essay reflect proficiency in grammar, spelling, punctuation and usage? 

Again, please remember to submit your essay by 5 p.m., on June 1, 2020. If you have any further questions, you may contact Jessica Demovsky, Interim Coordinator of Writing Across the Curriculum, at 920-403-2997 or

Course Placement Instructions
Please read the course descriptions below; then, at the bottom of the form, you will have the option to choose which writing course you would prefer to be placed in. Your choice will be taken into consideration, but may not be your final placement.

IDIS 100 College Writing
This course helps students develop and discipline their powers of written communication. Students will learn about the composing process – planning, shaping, writing, revising, editing and proofreading – and how to apply this process to a series of college writing assignments that includes personal narratives, informational summaries, persuasive essays and documented research essays. IDIS 100 can be taken as an elective by students who feel a need for a composition course.

Writing Intensive Courses
All Writing Intensive (WI) courses require students to write at least four out-of-class essays (totaling 3,000 words for the semester), one of which will be a documented research essay. Students will work through the various stages of the writing process with the instructor’s assistance. Assignments will be sequenced so students move from basic to more complicated writing situations that demand increasingly complex rhetorical skills. Students will be allowed to revise at least one essay for a better grade at the discretion of the instructor. As a required component of the Core Curriculum, WI courses should be taken by the end of the student's second year.


Click Here For English Placement Essay



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