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Writing and Reading Placement

A strong foundation in both writing and reading is critical to your success at Western Michigan University. Before you meet with your academic advisor for your one-on-one advising meeting, you should complete Western Michigan University's Foundations in Writing and Reading Placement Survey.

Your answers to this short survey will help your academic advisor determine the placement options you should discuss in your meeting. Please review your writing and reading course options below.


Writing Course Options

Western Michigan University offers three different three-credit courses that satisfy the Level 1: Writing requirement for the WMU Essential Studies curriculum and one laboratory course that provides you with extra writing support, should you seek it.


What are my Level 1: Writing course options?

The three Level 1: Writing course options are Foundations in Written Communication, Informational Writing, and Technical Communication. Your advisor will recommend the writing course that is best for your major.


ENGL 1050

Foundations in Written Communication: Strategies, Behaviors, Success

This foundational writing course offers you practice and guidance in the strategies and behaviors that contribute to success in written communication and information literacy. The course emphasizes the production, reception, and revision of writing for varied audiences, situations, and information needs.

BCM 1420

Informational Writing

This course develops the basic composition skills required of the competent writer in business and professions. Through continuing directed practice in writing, you will develop competence in the organization and presentation of facts and information in writing.

IEE 1020

Technical Communication

This course presents principles of objective presentation of factual material in written, oral, and electronic communication, with emphasis on the research process. Content, format, and mechanics, as well as a clear, concise style are important components of individual and collaborative assignments.


How can I receive additional support in my writing course?

If you desire extra support in your writing course, you may choose to enroll in a one-credit Writing Studies Lab (ENGL 1040) alongside the Foundations in Written Communication (ENGL 1050) course.


ENGL 1040

Writing Studies Lab

This lab is a companion to specifically-designated ENGL 1050 sections. The lab provides you with 75 minutes of extra instructional time each week. During this extra instructional time, you can expect to:

  •   engage in expanded learning activities
  •   review particularly challenging course material
  •   receive additional individualized support from your instructor
  •   gain further practice in writing, rewriting, and editing

The lab is graded on a credit/no credit basis.

Reading Course Options


Reading Course Options

Western Michigan University offers a two-credit course that focuses on developing your college reading and study strategies.


LS 1040

Effective Reading for College Students

This course is designed to provide you with strategic literacy skills for academic success. The areas of focus include developing academic vocabulary, critically understanding texts, and strengthening reading and study practices. You will use visual, digital, and print-based texts to build knowledge in all areas of study.

Note: Credit for this course will not apply to the number of credit hours needed for graduation from WMU.