Writing Program

For Students

Challenge Examinations

Rivier University offers students the opportunity to demonstrate competence through approved standardized examinations or faculty-designed assessment instruments. In the case of the Writing Program, students may "challenge" the requirement to take either ENG 115 (Day students) or ENG 120 (Professional Studies students).

Challenge Exam Guidelines

You must submit a portfolio of writings from actual college classes to your Advisor--preferably with instructor comments/grading—from Rivier University classes or classes from any like institution.

Here is the outline for the portfolio:

  • A cover page, indicating your name, your advisor's name, followed by a one-page reflection in response to the course objectives for ENG 120 (see below): you should address how the writing you have included in the portfolio speaks to these objectives.
  • 2-3 essays (4-5 page range), demonstrating an ability to inform or persuade readers about an issue or reading, preferably exhibiting skill with quotation of text.

Your portfolio will be read and given a grade equivalent to a final grade for a comparable ENG 115 or 120 set of writings. If the evaluation warrants ENG 115/120 credit, both you and your Academic Advisor will be notified.  Your advisor will send a Challenge Exam form to the Director of the Writing Program, which will be completed, signed and returned to the Advisor. Once he/she receives the completed form, you need to stop by Academic Advising to get the form and bring it to the Business Office. There, you are required to pay the Challenge Exam fee (the Business Office needs to sign the original form as well) . After you get the Business Office's signature, they send the original form to the Registrar's Office and your record will be updated to reflect a grade for ENG120.

ENG 120 / Composition in Context I

Course Description

Composition in Context I is a writing/reading course that focuses on literacy within the context of significant social themes and issues. It prepares students to write effectively and read critically for engaged participation in the University, the United States, and the global community. As one of the core critical skills courses required of all degree candidates, Composition in Context I focuses on informative and persuasive writing, and strategies for developing, organizing, revising, evaluating, and editing successful written work in response to reading.  Grade of C required to pass the course.  This course may be repeated for credit.

ENG 120 Course Goals and Objectives:

1.  To help you understand the process of writing--to understand invention, drafting (for arrangement and style), revision, and editing.

2.  To help you learn two major aims of writing--to inform and to persuade--particularly as these aims are used in relation to a text or set of texts. Thus, you will learn to write informatively and persuasively both about and away from texts.

In order to teach informative and persuasive writing, particular attention will be paid to three key techniques: summary, analysis, and synthesis.

•summarize: extract the key point from a source, transform that point into a topic sentence, and represent the source accurately in your own words

•analyze: identify the parts of a topic, transform that insight into an effective thesis statement, select appropriate supporting details, and organize the results using a logical plan of organization that reflects your analysis

•synthesize: find a common theme or draw an inference from several sources, support your thesis by integrating material from those sources, and provide logical connections between the parts of your synthesis

3. To help you learn the basics of library and WWW-focused independent study research, and documentation.