• What is the Directed Self-Placement (DSP) Process?
    The DSP asks students to answer a handful of reflective questions about their experiences as writers. Students will also compose a short essay responding to a prompt.
  • How long will the DSP take?
    This may vary per student; the reflective questions should be answered thoughtfully but will not take long. The essay requires you to read two articles and write a short 500-word to 750-word response. We don’t anticipate the task taking you very long, but it will require more time than the reflective questions.
  • Who should take the DSP?
    All entering, first-year WFU students complete the DSP, regardless of AP or IB credit.
  • When should the DSP be completed?
    The 2021 DSP prompt and links will be available by May 31. Students should complete the DSP by June 7. The DSP will no longer be available after June 7.
  • What are the goals of the DSP?
    • Provide students with the opportunity to reflect on reading and writing expected in their first years at WFU, prior to students’ course registration.
    • Offer students experience with a writing task that simulates tasks that they will likely see in courses across the disciplines at WFU.
    • Strengthen the reference point for advisers’ and professors’ conversations with students about their writing.
    • Allow students’ responses to help inform institutional decisions related to student writing.
  • How will the DSP be used?
    • The most important outcome of the DSP is for you to reflect on your own sense of preparedness for college writing. You should thoughtfully consider your recent reading and writing experiences and needs as you select a first writing-intensive course. It is much harder after the first year to ensure that you get foundational practice with college-level reading and writing, and students often report feeling behind in their upper-level courses if they do not get this practice in their first year.  So, it is very important that you select the course(s) that will best serve your needs; the DSP process can facilitate reflection as you consider your writing course options (see here).
    • Your responses to the reflective questions and to the writing task are used by the DSP Team to offer you a course recommendation, which is sent via email.
    • Your responses to the reflective questions and to the writing task may be shared, upon request, by the Office of Academic Advising to help you select the best first writing-intensive course for you.
    • Writing Program faculty analyze data gathered from the DSP to learn more about students’ strengths and challenges as writers. We use this analysis  to improve writing instruction and curriculum at WFU and beyond.
  •  What happens to students who do not complete the DSP?
    If you do not complete the DSP by June 7, you will receive little guidance as to the nature of the writing you will be asked to do in your first-year courses.
  • When will I receive my course recommendation?
    If you complete the DSP by June 7, you will receive the course recommendation for your consideration by early July or before (prior to round 1 course registration).
  • What about AP/IB credit?
    As of Fall 2022, if you have earned a 5 on the AP exam in Language, or a 7 on the English IB Higher Level exam, then you may exempt WRI 111. There is no other exemption process. Most students with qualifying scores use them, because they receive both credit hours and exemption from WRI 111. These students often still want to receive university-level writing practice and guidance in their first year.  If this is true for you, you can consider:

    • Taking WRI 210 or WRI 212 in your first year. Sections of each course are offered in both spring and fall, and you may take the courses in any order. WRI 210: Advanced Academic Writing offers students practice in and exposure to advanced writing and rhetoric, especially as it extends beyond the first year and into a variety of university disciplines.  WRI 212: The Art of the Essay focuses on literary nonfiction and the art of essay writing (see course descriptions). WRI 210 or WRI 212 fulfill elective college credit toward graduation, are each a gateway course for the Writing Minor, and can offer a strong, writing-focused prelude to the FYS or other courses in which students are asked to write.
    • Taking WRI 111, with the understanding that this means waiving your AP / IB credits.  Please discuss this possibility with Professor Branch or Professor Lancaster before making this decision.
  • What if I want to take WRI 210 or WRI 212?
    Students with AP or IB credit for WRI 111 (see above) can take WRI 210 or WRI 212 in the fall. While we strongly encourage exempted students to take WRI 210 or 212 in their first year, these courses are not required at this time. Many other students take WRI 210 or 212 in the spring of their first year or in their sophomore or junior years; many of these students also choose to be writing minors. For questions regarding AP/IB credit, contact undergraduateadvising@wfu.edu.
  • What about FYS?
    The First Year Seminar (FYS) course is also one of the five basic requirements that all students enrolled in the College must complete. It is not a writing course, but most students complete it during their first year. You may take the course in either semester, but we do not recommend taking FYS and WRI 111 at the same time. You can read more about FYS here.
  • What kind of writing support does WFU offer?
    There are a variety of writing resources on campus for incoming and returning students. For a list, visit the Writing Center’s resource page.
  • What if I have problems with my WFU ID or password?
    Please call the Wake Forest Service Desk at 336-758-4357.