Academic Writing

Recognizing that the ability to communicate in writing is a valuable skill and a hallmark of an educated person, each student enrolled in a baccalaureate or associate degree program must satisfactorily complete GSW 1120 or give evidence of proficiency in written expression equivalent to that attained by the student who completes this course. No student can be excused from meeting this requirement, nor can the requirement be postponed.

The courses and services designed to aid students in meeting the writing requirement are coordinated through the General Studies Writing Program. The Writing Placement Test, administered through this program, assesses the writing skills of entering students. On the basis of this test, students are placed in GSW 1100 (Intensive Introduction to Academic Writing), GSW 1110 (Introduction to Academic Writing), or GSW 1120 (Academic Writing). A student may be required to take two or three of these courses, but no more than six hours of credit earned in these courses may be applied toward graduation. The writing proficiency of students is evaluated at the end of each course until students have reached the University proficiency requirement expected upon completion of GSW 1120. Students who receive transfer credit for English composition and communication courses taken elsewhere may be tested for writing proficiency if it is not clear that they have completed a course equivalent to GSW 1120. Students who wish to be exempted altogether from English composition are also tested for writing proficiency.

Special courses and services designed to aid fully-admitted international students in improving their English proficiency are coordinated through the program in English for Speakers of Other Languages. Upon reporting to the University and before registering for classes, all entering international students, except those whose native language is English, are required to take on-campus proficiency tests; international students transferring from other colleges and universities in the United States as well as students from Puerto Rico are also required to take these tests. On the basis of these tests, the University reserves the right to place students in ESOL 1000 (Academic Composition I), ESOL 1010 (Academic Composition II), or courses designed to develop the students' speaking and listening skills in English. A student may be required to take one or all of these courses, but no more than four semester hours of credit may be applied toward graduation. The English proficiency of students is evaluated at the end of each course until the students have reached the level of English language proficiency expected for admission into GSW 1100. The University also reserves the right to require enrollment in a special section of GSW 1100 which is offered for non-native speakers of English.

To encourage all students to pass GSW 1120 prior to the beginning of junior year, three credit hours are added to the graduation requirements of students who pass GSW 1120 after accumulating 60 credit hours; four hours to the graduation requirements of those with 90 or more credit hours.

The following students are exempt from this penalty:

  1. Students transferring to BGSU with 31 or more credit hours, provided that GSW 1120 is passed within the first 30 credit hours earned at BGSU after the transfer.
  2. International students who transfer to BGSU with 21 or more credit hours and for whom English is a second language. Exemption from the penalty must be recommended by the Director of International Programs and Partnerships (or the designee), and GSW 1120 must be passed within the first 40 credit hours earned at BGSU.