Writing

Students are initially placed in DSP Writing classes based upon ACT scores.

Students with valid ACT scores (less than 3 years old by first day of classes) will be placed by ACT subscores as indicated below:

ACT Test Cutoff Range Course Placement
English 1-14 Basic Writing--DSPW0700*
15-18 Developmental Writing--DSPW0800
19-36 College-level English

* The Basic levels (remedial or 0700 levels) of DSP courses are no longer offered at TTU. Students whose ACTs place them into the basic level may be denied admission to TTU until completion of the basic requirements. Requirements may be met by

  1. completion of the basic-level course through a community college from which grades may be transferred to TTU
  2. retaking the ACT and obtaining a score that will place the student into the developmental level or higher
  3. taking the COMPASS placement test and scoring at the developmental level or higher.

Students who are placed by ACT scores may accept that placement or may challenge it by taking the COMPASS Writing Placement Test (Test of Editing Skills) and the Essay (Test of Composition Skills).

Evaluation Procedure

The COMPASS Writing Test is comprised of short passages that contain errors in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, strategy, organization, or style. Students are asked to locate existing errors and choose the answer which best eliminates the error.

COMPASS Writing Scores

A COMPASS Writing Score of 1-37 will place the student in the Basic (Remedial) level, DSPW0700 Writing.

A COMPASS Writing Score of 38-74 will place the student in the Developmental level, DSPW0800 Writing.

A COMPASS Writing Score of greater than 74 indicates college-level editing skills.

In addition to the COMPASS Writing Test, students are asked for a sample of their composition abilities. The Writing Sample measures the ability to use standard written English on an assigned topic or essay. On the day of the COMPASS Placement Test, students are given 25 minutes in which to complete the writing sample. The writing sample weighs heavily in the determination of course placement.

The Writing Sample is scored by a committee of evaluators comprised of faculty from the English Department and/or the Academic Development Program. A six-point holistic evaluation scale is used for placement. Each paper is read by a minimum of two readers. If the two readers agree on the score, then that is the evaluation score given. If the two readers do not agree, a third reader will evaluate the paper. The evaluation score is then based upon the results of the two readings that have compatible scores.

Writing Sample Scores

A Writing Sample holistic score of 1 or 2 indicates composition deficiencies which would place a student at the DSPW0700 Basic Writing level.

A Writing Sample holistic score of 3 indicates that the student is not really a "bad" writer, but still shows deficiencies that could prove to be a problem in passing an English 1010 class. These deficiencies indicate that the student could benefit from DSPW0800 Developmental Writing.

A student whose Writing sample receives a holistic score of 4, 5, or 6 is considered ready to take English 1010.

Final Writing Placement is determined using a combination of COMPASS Writing Scores and Essay Evaluation Scores.

A challenge test is given on the first day of class. This writing sample is given in a regular classroom setting in which the student has 50 minutes to prepare and write another writing sample. The challenge writing samples are graded on the six-point holistic writing scale. Students who are enrolled in DSPW0800 Developmental Writing for the first time and receive a score of 4 or higher are allowed to drop/add to English 1010.

DSPW0700 Basic Writing ..................................................... Lec. 3. Credit 3.

DSPW0700 is no longer offered at TTU. Requirements for this class may be completed at one of the community colleges that are part of the TBR System. For further information about TTU's requirements, contact the Academic Development Program office at 931-372-3476.

DSPW0800 Developmental Writing ...................................... Lec. 3. Credit 3.

Prerequisites: ACT English subscore of 15-18, completion of DSPW0700, or appropriate placement test score.

Course content: The process of writing, including vocabulary and diction, organization, style, revision, and audience. Emphasis will be placed upon generating paragraphs and essays, and the process of literary analysis.

ADPW0850 Writing ................................................................... Lec. 3. Credit 3. A

Prerequisite: No ADP Writing required or prior completion of ADP Writing or transfer credit in college-level English composition.

Course content: The process of writing, Including vocabulary and diction, organization, style, revision, and audience. Emphasis will be placed upon generating paragraphs and essays, and the process of literary analysis.

Options

For options including a course designed for students who did not require assessment or who tested out of Writing but wish to have a better background before proceeding with English 1010, check with the AD Program Coordinator in Matthews Hall, room 153.

LSP Lab Reading/Writing Lab Schedule