For New Students

Choosing The Right First-Year Writing Course

How do I know if I should enroll in ENG 101 or ENG 101E my first semester?

Our composition program requires every student to successfully complete a) ENG 101 or ENG 101E and b) ENG 102.  Students are asked to make an informed decision about whether ENG 101 or ENG 101E is the best option for them. To make this decision, students will complete a short questionnaire as part of our Directed Self-Placement (DSP)  procedure. In addition, students should be familiar with the course descriptions and course student learning objectives.

While most other placement methods use scores on standardized tests or grades in previous courses to match students with a composition course, DSP is different, in that it acknowledges many factors can determine the course best suited for you. DSP provides you with the ownership and agency to reflect on your past writing experiences, writing successes, and writing challenges, keeping in mind the demands of college-level writing requirements. Thus, the DSP questionnaire is designed to encourage you to explore various factors related to your writing history, critically examining your own capabilities and confidence while learning more about our course requirements. We believe that college students are able to make smart decisions about their own education when given some guidance and information, and will be more successful when allowed to do so.

If you have AP, dual enrollment, or transfer credit, you may have already fulfilled some of your composition requirement. To determine if you need to take a course at FMU and complete the DSP questionnaire, consult with your adviser, the Composition Coordinator, or any member of the English department faculty. The main office of the English Department is located in Founders Hall 155 and is reachable by telephone at (843) 661-1371.


To complete the DSP questionnaire for guidance in selecting the most appropriate composition course for you, click here.

Note that the questionnaire will take approximately 15 minutes to complete and requires your focused attention during that time.  Complete the DSP when you can do so free of other distractions.  Please answer the questions honestly and thoughtfully by reflecting on your previous reading and writing experiences as well as your preferred learning style.