Welcome to the First-Year Writing Program

The First-Year Writing Program offers two courses that satisfy the General Education first-year writing requirement: ENG 110 (College Writing) or ENG 112 (College Writing, AP). After completing one of these courses, students move on to two additional writing emphasis courses before they graduate.

We also offer ENG 100 (College Writing Workshop), which provides students with additional practice in and strategies for developing writing skills in post-secondary academic contexts. Students will enroll in this class based on placement scores.

The First-Year Writing Program seeks to support its students in becoming confident writers with the skills and concepts they need to participate in conversations that span a wide array of rhetorical situations. We teach writing as a recursive activity that requires flexible writing and thinking strategies, as an opportunity to participate in a variety of discourse communities (professional and academic), and as a powerful tool for change in the world.

In addition to working with colleagues in the English Department, the First-Year Writing Program also works in close collaboration with the Writing Center, the Writing in the Major Program, and the University's General Education Program.

Please contact the First-Year Writing Program Coordinator, Dr. Darci Thoune, if you have questions about any of the information on this site.

START 2023 Information

Welcome to UWL's First-Year Writing Program (FYWP)! If you have any questions regarding your placement into ENG 100, ENG 110, or ENG 112, please consult the Placement Tab on the FYWP website. If at any point you need additional help, please contact the First-Year Writing Program Coordinator, Dr. Darci Thoune.

For special situations, complex circumstances, conflicting information, or if your questions can't be answered with the information on the FYWP website, we recommend chatting with an advisor from the English Department at a START Academic Information Station during your visit to campus. You can also reach out to the First-Year Writing Program Coordinator, Dr. Darci Thoune if you have questions before or after your START date.

Below you will find screencasts that will help you to find answers to your questions about taking the Wisconsin English Placement Test (WEPT), how to interpret your placement results, and how placement works in the FYWP. You will also find answers to some commonly asked questions during START. 

If you have any questions about placement into ENG 100, ENG 110, or ENG 112 or AP credit, please feel free to contact the First-Year Writing Program Coordinator, Dr. Darci Thoune.

How Do I Take the Wisconsin English Placement Test (WEPT)?

The Wisconsin English Placement Test (WEPT) will be online this year, which means you’ll be taking it at home and on your own computer. For more information on how to take the WEPT, please visit the UWL Testing Center or register for your placement test at the UW Placement Testing Center.

Please note that taking the WEPT is not optional and is required for all incoming students to UWL. If you have questions about your placement score or your placement into ENG 100, please consult the Placement Tab on the FYWP website.

Finding Your Placement Scores in WINGS

If you have already taken the WEPT, you may find your scores on your START Registration Form. However, if you've only taken the WEPT this week, it is likely that WINGS contains the most up-to-date information regarding your placement test results. As soon as they are available, your WEPT test results will be available in WINGS. 

To find your WEPT results in WINGS, first log into WINGS and then go to your Academics homepage. In the selection bar, choose "Test Score Results" and click the blue button to confirm. 

WINGS screen capture

Then, you'll see your page that looks similar to this, depending on the tests (AP, ACT, EPT, etc) you have taken. Look for the category "Wisconsin Regional Placement" and then the "ENGL" line.  If you have not taken the WEPT test or if your WEPT scores have not yet been imported, this block will not show up in your WINGS account.

WINGS screen capture (2)You'll also have scores from any of the Wisconsin placement exams you've taken. Your WEPT (ENGL) score information will dictate which first-year writing course(s) you'll be taking.

What Is the Difference between CST 110 and ENG 110?

In high school, you may have studied oral or spoken presentations (like speeches) as part of your English Language Arts classes. However, at the university level, oral communication is studied in Communication Studies, and written communication is studied in the English Department .

Every UWL student is required to take a first-year course in writing (ENG 110 or ENG 112, through the English Department) AND in speaking (CST 110, through the Communication Studies department).

You can take them in any order, as long as you take them both within your first 30 credits. Most students take one course in the fall semester of their first year and the other in the spring semester. This is why it is highly unlikely that you have BOTH CST 110 and ENG 110 on your schedule for Fall 2023 semester. 

Additional Resources

UWL's Writing Center

The Writing Center is a student-funded space where you can work with trained peer tutors on any writing task, for any class, at any stage of the writing process.

Writing Center

English Department Major and Minor Programs

Visit the English Department for more information on their majors and minors

ENG 110/112 Placement

UWL uses both the Wisconsin English Placement Test (WEPT) and a multiple measures placement (MMP) system to place students into ENG 100 or ENG 110. If students participate in MMP, this process begins after START and continues throughout the summer.

There are some special situations in which a student’s academic record or test results may not accurately reflect their academic experiences or writing abilities. We review each student’s case individually to be sure that transfer situations and/or extenuating circumstances have not been overlooked. If you feel your placement is inaccurate, you will need to make an appointment with Dr. Darci Thoune before the end of the drop/add period to discuss placement options. 

Understanding Your ENG 100/110 Placement Scores

Wisconsin English Placement Test (WEPT) Score WEPT <329 WEPT 330-354 WEPT >355
Placement ENG 100 & ENG 110 concurrent enrollment Multiple Measures Placement (Enrolled in ENG 100 and ENG 110 pending MMP results) ENG 110

Wisconsin English Placement Test (WEPT)

All students at UWL are expected to have taken the WEPT unless they are transferring in ENG 110 credit from another institution or they have scored a 5 on either of the AP English exams. For more information on how to take the WEPT, visit the Testing Center.

If you would like to retake the WEPT, you may do so only once and you will need permission from Dr. Darci Thoune.

Multiple Measures Placement

Multiple Measures Placement (MMP) is a system designed to better place students into courses by utilizing more than one measure for placement. MMP stems from the belief that writing ability and potential is best shown through more than a timed, standardized exam. For example, instead of only using a WEPT score to place students into ENG 100 and 110, MMP uses a survey that includes a reading and writing prompt and questions about past writing experiences. The reading and writing prompts used in MMP are more similar to the work expected in ENG 110 than standardized placement tests, which creates a more authentic indicator of a student’s writing potential. 

Once MMP responses are submitted, they are then reviewed by faculty in the English Department to determine whether or not students will also co-enroll in ENG 100. The student is notified of their placement prior to the beginning of the academic year.

Students should receive placement information during the summer after the START registration process and before arriving on campus. Most students are notified in July or early August

ENG 100

Students will be placed into ENG 100 through the use of WEPT scores, and MMP. ENG 100 is a co-requisite course, which means it is designed to be taken alongside ENG 110. ENG 100 is designed to complement the work and writing being done in ENG 110.

Because first-year writing is foundational to many of the other courses students will take at UWL, we want you to have as much support as possible. If you have been placed into ENG 100 and ENG 110, we believe you will be more successful in writing at UWL by taking both courses simultaneously.

Advanced Placement 

Students who score a 3 or a 4 on either AP English exam will receive General Education credit towards graduation. However, the First-Year Writing Program  also uses these scores to place students in the appropriate level of first-year writing. An AP English test score of 3 or 4 places students into ENG 110 or ENG 112. Students who score a 5 on either AP English exam will be exempt from the first-year writing requirement. For more information about how AP credit transfers to UWL, visit the Admissions website on AP/IB/CLEP Credit

Differences between ENG 110 and ENG 112

ENG 110 and ENG 112 share the same student learning outcomes and satisfy the same General Education requirement. However, ENG 112 is a course composed entirely of students who have earned a score of a 3 or 4 on one of the AP English exams. This course will challenge students to move above and beyond the AP curriculum and will encourage students to work at a higher level than the typical first-year writing course.

Students who earn a 3 or a 4 on either of the AP English exams are not expected to enroll in ENG 112, however their scores provide them with the opportunity to enroll in ENG 112 if they choose. Because we offer fewer sections of ENG 112 than we do of ENG 110, most students earning a score of 3 or 4 on either of the AP English exams enroll in a section of ENG 110.

Transfer Students

If you are a transfer student and you believe that you have already satisfied the first-year writing requirement at UWL, please contact Dr. Darci Thoune.  Be prepared to share transcripts, course descriptions, syllabi, and/or writing samples from previous courses.

Is ENG 110 Offered Online or in a Hybrid Format? 

Yes, we do offer hybrid and online sections of ENG 110. However, while we do offer hybrid sections of ENG 110 in the fall, we typically only offer online sections of ENG 110 in the spring and in the summer. We do not offer sections of ENG 110 over the J-Term.

My Friend Is in ENG 110 and Their Class is Different than Mine--Why?

One of the many strengths of our First-Year Writing Program is that our instructors have complete autonomy over their courses. Therefore, while we all share the same student learning outcomes for ENG 110/112, there are many approaches to teaching this class--and that’s a good thing! If you have questions about the work you’re doing in your first-year writing class, please have a chat with your writing instructor or make an appointment with Dr. Darci Thoune.

When Should I Take ENG 110/ENG 112?

You are required to take ENG 110 or 112 within the first 30 credits earned at the University. It is recommended that you do not enroll in ENG 110 and CST 110 at the same time.

Can I Take ENG 110 and ENG 2XX at the Same Time?

No--ENG 110 is prerequisite for ENG 200-level courses; however, you can take ENG 112 and ENG 200 concurrently.

ENG 110/112 Student Learning Outcomes

Rhetorical Knowledge

Students who complete English 110/112 with a C or better should

  • Learn and use key rhetorical concepts through analyzing and composing a variety of texts
  • Read and compose  in a variety of genres to understand how genre conventions shape and are shaped by readers’ and writers’ practices and purposes
  • Write effectively in response to a variety of situations, contexts, and environments that may call for purposeful shifts in voice, tone, level of formality, design, medium, and/or structure

 Critical Thinking, Reading, and Composing

Students who complete English 110/112 with a C or better should

  • Read and compose as methods of inquiry, learning, critical thinking, and communicating in various rhetorical contexts
  • Read a diverse range of texts, attending especially to relationships between assertion and evidence, to patterns of organization, and to the functions of these features for different audiences and situations
  • Locate and evaluate appropriate secondary and/or primary research materials
  • Use strategies such as interpretation, synthesis, response, critique, and design/redesign to compose texts that integrate their ideas with those from sources


Students who complete English 110/112 with a C or better should

  • Develop flexible strategies for reading, drafting, reviewing, collaborating, revising, rewriting, rereading, and editing to practice writing as a recursive process
  • Use composing processes and tools as a means to discover and reconsider ideas
  • Practice the collaborative and social aspects of writing processes, including, but not limited to, learning to give and to act on productive feedback to works in progress 
  • Reflect on the development of composing practices and how those practices influence their work

 Knowledge of Conventions

Students who complete English 110/112 with a C or better should

  • Explain why genre conventions for structure, paragraphing, tone, and mechanics vary
  • Develop knowledge of grammatical structures, as well as conventions of mechanics, including punctuation and spelling, through practice in composing and revising
  • Apply citation conventions systematically in their own work
  • Demonstrate familiarity with the concepts of intellectual property that motivate documentation conventions, such as copyright and the fair use of ideas

Adopted by The English Department spring 2016

Writing Center

The University of Wisconsin La Crosse's Writing Center located at the Learning Center in 256 Murphy Library, is a major resource to all students. Anybody can go to the Writing Center to get help whether you need help with an ENG 110/112 writing assignment or editing a Senior Portfolio piece.  
Writing Center

Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL)

The Purdue OWL is one of the best writing resources available online. The OWL offers several resources including writing and teaching writing, research, grammar and mechanics, style guides, ESL (English as a Second Language), and job search and professional writing resources.  

Murphy Library

The campus library has many resources for students that include online article databases, course reserves online and offline, books for research and pleasure reading, newspapers, government information, interlibrary loan, computers and printers, quiet study areas, and reference librarians to help students find hard to find information. 
Murphy Library

What is it?

  • The College Writing Symposium is an annual event that showcases the incredible writing taking place in UWL's First-Year Writing Program. Students from ENG 100/110/112 share pieces of writing from their classes with audiences of their fellow students in this day-long celebration of student writing. Students submit proposals to present and then are organized in panels to present throughout the day. See the call for papers below for more information! 

When is it? 

  • The 12th Annual College Writing Symposium will be on November 20th.
  • Submit your proposal by November 6th.

College Writing Symposium Decision FlowchartDirections for submitting to the College Writing Symposium

Why propose?  

  • Receive feedback from a broad audience.
  • Build your résumé--employers love to hear about class projects and public speaking experience.
  • Gain practice in writing proposals and public speaking.  

Who may propose?

  • Any UWL student enrolled in ENG 100/110/112.  

How does it work? 

  • Step 1: Submit a brief proposal in response to the FYW Symposium Call for Proposals by November 6thSubmit your proposal here.  
  • Step 2: Once you are accepted, prepare your presentation. Use the Writing Center and the Public Speaking Center to support your presentation.  
  • Step 3: Present your work at the College Writing Symposium on November 20th! Each presenter will be scheduled for a 10-15-minute presentation as part of a one-hour session with other presenters. 

Want additional information or help?