Writing & Rhetoric Center

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Developmental Writing Coursework Requirements

First-time, first-year students who are not ready for collegel-level coursework based on pre-college examination scores and high school coursework are required to complete the CSU Early Start program and then to enroll in Cal Poly's Writing & Rhetoric Stretch Program during their first year on campus. Students who do not make adequate progress in completing the program during their first year of enrollment face disqualification from the University. In the Writing & Rhetoric Stretch Program, students complete two quarters of coursework as a cohort with the same instructor.

To help students meet collegel-level writing expectations at Cal Poly, "not ready" first-year students complete in the following course sequence:

Note: Multilingual writers are encouraged but not required to follow the stretch sequence designed with their writing needs in mind.  That path mirrors the ENGL 92, ENGL 96, ENGL 134 sequence, but students enroll in ENGL 93 instead of ENGL 92 and then enroll in ENGL 133 instead of ENGL 134. Both English 133 and 134 meet the University General Education Requirements in Area A1 (written communication). In addition, English 133 offers multilingual students the opportunity to continue working on essay writing with a special emphasis on improving grammar and expression. Instructors in English 133 specifically address issues such as English verb tenses, verb/subject agreement, syntax, word choice and idioms, which may give multilingual writers difficulty.

Course Descriptions

  • ENGL 92/93 is a 4-unit Credit/No-Credit course not for baccalaureate credit.  This course, for students who score below 147 on the EPT, covers strategies of writing, revising, and editing paragraphs and essays with attention paid to focus, support, and organization.  Students must successfully complete the course in order to move to the next phase of the stretch sequence.
  • ENGL 96 is a 1-unit Credit/No-Credit writing tutorial taken concurrently with ENGL 134/ENGL 133.  During the quarter, students meet for one hour each week with a tutor in the Writing & Rhetoric Center and develop and/or revise course projects associated with ENGL 134/ENGL 133.  This course is not for baccalaureate credit.  Students must successfully complete the course concurrently with successful completion of ENGL 134 in order to satisfy remediation.
  • ENGL 134/133 is a 4-unit graded course.  Students must pass the course and earn credit for ENGL 96 concurrently in order to satisfy remediation.  Note: In order to satisfy GE area A1 students must pass the course with a C- or better.
  • Students satisfy remediation upon earning credit for ENGL 92/93 and ENGL 96 and passing ENGL 134/133.

Under a CSU Trustee mandate, students who do not complete required remediation coursework within the first year of enrollment are subject to administrative probation and possible disqualification from the University. They should not delay taking their developmental writing course followed immediately by ENGL 134 and English 96.




Related Content

Upcoming Events

Writing Consultations 

January 8 - March 21 

Spring Quarter WPE Dates 

April 11, 17, and 21


*Click here for WPE preparatory resources.


Writing Consultations

The University Writing & Rhetoric Center offers free writing consultations to all Cal Poly students.  

Beginning January 8, students may visit one of three locations and work with a consultant for thirty or sixty minutes.  *Note: the center is no longer located in Building 10, Room 138; the center's main location is now in Kennedy Library, Room 111C.

Click here for more information.

English Placement

The CSU determines academic placement based on the results of students' pre-college exam scores. Students who do not clear a conditional status or are deemed "not ready" for college-level coursework based on pre-college exams and/or coursework are placed in writing courses to prepare them for academic success on campus. If developmental coursework is required, students must fulfill a two-quarter stretch composition course by the end of their first year in order to comply with CSU mandates. 

Graduation Writing Requirement (GWR)

The GWR must be fulfilled by all Cal Poly students who are seeking a degree, including Master's degree and teaching credentials.  Undergraduate students must complete 90 units before they can fulfill the requirement and should fulfill the requirement before the senior year.  Visit the GWR page for more information on how to complete this requirement.