Writing 2-3 Placement Information

During the summer, some entering students are invited to complete the online Writing 2-3 Placement Process. This web-based process has been designed to allow students who might benefit from a two-term writing course to have their writing evaluated and to receive a recommendation about whether to take Writing 2-3 or Writing 5.

Invitations are sent by email and mail in early June. The online placement process is only available to invited students. The information submitted is read by instructors in the Writing Program, who recommend a placement in the appropriate writing class - Writing 2-3 or Writing 5. Students can accept these recommendations or refuse them. No student is required to take Writing 2-3.

Students who complete the Writing 2-3 placement process and choose to take Writing 2-3 will be preregistered for Writing 2 when they arrive on campus in the fall. Students who take the Writing 2-3 sequence take their First-year Seminar in the spring term.

Students who do not receive an invitation by June 15th to complete the Writing 2-3 online placement process but feel that they would benefit from taking the Writing 2-3 course should contact the Institute for Writing and Rhetoric as soon as possible by email at: writing.two.three@dartmouth.edu.

Students often ask how to determine which course is best for them. Admittedly, the decision can be difficult because, considered from a certain perspective, the programs are very similar. Both courses are rigorous and demanding; both help students to improve their writing; both are staffed by terrific, committed faculty.

But there are differences between the two programs. The following table outlines the most significant of these differences.

Writing 2-3

  • Writing 2-3 provides thorough instruction in the research process and requires a research paper in the winter term.
  • Writing 2-3 offers individualized attention by providing graduate teaching assistants with whom you'll meet once a week. These graduate teaching assistants will address your particular writing and research needs.
  • Writing 2-3 is a two-term, two-credit course. The extra term permits you ample time to improve your writing.

Writing 5

  • While all Writing 5 courses introduce you to the library and require a research task, most do not require a research paper.
  • Writing 5 students who need extra help with writing and research can find it by scheduling an appointment with a tutor at RWIT, Dartmouth's Center for Writing, Research, and Information Technology.
  • Writing 5 is a one-term course. You'll be able to complete your writing requirement in a single term.

Frequently Asked Questions

For questions that are not addressed here, or if you have concerns about your individual placement, contact The Institute for Writing and Rhetoric at writing.two.three@dartmouth.edu.

Why is there a placement process?

Dartmouth's self-directed placement process is designed to offer a select group of students two opportunities: first, the opportunity to learn more about Dartmouth's first-year writing courses, Writing 2-3 and Writing 5; and second, the opportunity to receive a recommendation from Dartmouth writing faculty regarding which of these courses might be the best fit for them.

What does the process involve?

To complete the placement process, students undertake a series of steps, including completing a questionnaire, reviewing information about the course, offering a writing sample, and completing a writing profile. A member of the Dartmouth writing faculty then reviews these materials and makes a recommendation to the student regarding which writing course might be the best fit. The process itself is educational, in that it encourages students to think about the intellectual work that lies ahead.

How will I know if I have been invited to take the placement process?

We send out an email and hard copy invitation letter in early June based on the contact information on file with the admissions office. If you have not received an invitation by one of these methods by mid-June, then you were not invited. Students who are not invited to complete the online placement process will be assigned to take Writing 5 either in the fall or the winter. If you have not been invited to undertake the placement process but feel that there are compelling reasons for you to take Writing 2-3, please email writing.two.three@dartmouth.edu.

Do I need to complete the placement process if I'm already sure that I want to be placed in Writing 2-3?

Writing 2-3 is a popular course, and we typically have a waiting list of students who want a placement there. Students who have undertaken the placement process will be given first consideration. Completing the placement process enables you to make an informed decision about which writing course is best for you.

Do I need to complete the placement process even if I know I will not accept a Writing 2-3 placement?

All students who are invited to undertake the placement process must complete the process or risk being placed into a course that isn't suited for them. You'll receive valuable information from this process that will help you assess what course is best for you.

Do I have to accept the placement I'm given?

The placements are recommendations. You can refuse a placement into Writing 2 and take Writing 5. However, if you are recommended to take Writing 5, but want Writing 2, we may need to place you on a waitlist, as space in that program is limited. If you'd like to petition for a place in Writing 2-3, please email writing.two.three@dartmouth.edu.

What's the difference between Writing 2-3 and Writing 5?

See the chart, above.

How do I access the online placement process?

Visit the Pre-matriculation Web site (www.dartmouth.edu/bannerstudent). Enter your assigned pre-matriculation username and password, then use the link to navigate to the First-Year Writing Placement Web site. Only invited students are able to access this online placement process.

What if I have problems accessing the site?

Please contact the Institute for Writing and Rhetoric at writing.two.three@dartmouth.edu.

What if I don't have access to a computer?

Call Hope Rennie, the Institute Administrative Assistant, at 603-646-9748. Give her your mailing address, and she will mail you a paper copy of the placement materials.

What are the deadlines?

The deadline to submit a Writing Placement Profile is June 19, 2013. Your recommended placement will be available to you in the online system on July 2, 2013.

If you wish to refuse your placement, you will have until July 9, 2013 to refuse it, via the online placement site. If you have questions about your placement, or if you miss this deadline, feel free to send questions or concerns to the Institute for Writing and Rhetoric at writing.two.three@dartmouth.edu. If you aren't able to resolve questions by July 9, don't worry: there will be time to revisit your placement between July and the start of classes. Students who are placed into Writing 2-3 will be pre-registered for Writing 2-3 when they arrive for orientation. Students who are not placed into Writing 2-3 will register for Writing 5 during the regular course registration period along with other courses.

What if I missed the deadlines for the placement process?

Please contact the Institute for Writing and Rhetoric at writing.two.three@dartmouth.edu.