Writing, Speaking, and Argument Program Petition to Satisfy PWR with a Course Other Than WRT 105

Most students satisfy the Primary Writing Requirement by taking WRT 105, Reasoning and Writing in the College. If you believe you are already a proficient college-level writer and you have not already attempted to take WRT 105, you may petition to satisfy the Primary Writing Requirement (PWR) with a University of Rochester course other than WRT 105. To fulfill the PWR in a timely manner, we strongly encourage you to petition by the end of your first year of matriculation-you may file a Substitution Petition prior to your first semester at the College. Students who petition later jeopardize their ability to complete academic program requirements on schedule.

Before proceeding, and to increase your chances of submitting a successful petition, take the time to read "What Constitutes a Succesful Petition". Reading the materials will increase the likelihood that your petition will be successful. Click on the button at the upper-right corner of your screen to access these notes.

**If you need technical help with this form. Please email the Writing and Speaking Center at wsap@ur.rochester.edu. If you have questions about the petitioning process, please contact the placement coordinator at writingplacement@ur.rochester.edu.

Using the box below, please upload the following:

  • a cover letter that assesses the strengths and weaknesses of your writing with reference to the criteria at http://writing.rochester.edu/courses/alternativecriteria.html,
  • copies of at least two academic, argumentative papers, at LEAST one of which should be an argumentative research paper, with instructor comments in place if possible (please feel free to submit additional writing that you believe meets our criteria), and
  • the question or assignment sheet to which you responded (if possible).

You may submit writing samples from high school courses or previous college courses.

To upload files, drag and drop them into the upload box, or browse for them and then select them. Please be sure to click the "Start Upload" button to upload your files. To remove a specific file, click the "cancel" button beside the file.


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All fields are required unless otherwise indicated

Student ID Number:

UR Email Address:

Grade in Senior Year English Course:

Scores (optional):

SAT Reading SAT Writing
AP English Language AP English Lit.
IB English ACT Composite

Year of most recent course that requires significant writing:

Prospective Substitution Course Information

(Please note: courses used to fulfill the Upper-Level Writing Requirement will not be accepted for a substitution course.)

Name and Course Number of Prospective Course:

Name of Course Instructor:

Anticipated Semester of Completion:

*Please feel free to contact the Writing, Speaking, and Argument Program at writingplacement@ur.rochester.edu or (585) 273-3584 with any questions regarding Primary Writing Requirement petitions*

What Constitutes A Successful Petition?

As we review substitution petitions, we look for a writing background that largely resembles the “exit criteria” of our WRT 105/105E courses.  More specifically, we tend to approve petitions with portfolios that exhibit the following characteristics:

  • A writing-intensive background that emphasized principles and strategies of effective writing,
  • Repeated experience writing academic/argumentative papers,
  • Experience with scholarly research that culminated in an extended (7-10 page) argumentative research paper.
  • Previous engagement with the writing process (including components like drafting, revision, peer-review, instructor feedback, and self-assessment), and
  • A cover letter and samples that speak to the criteria above.

More generally, a successful portfolio is one that would be assessed as A-level work according to the WRT 105/105E criteria.

The most common reasons for Substitution Petitions not being accepted are as follows:

  • Incomplete portfolio (lacking the cover letter, or substantive enough writing samples).
  • Too many examples of non-academic and/or non-argumentative writing combined with too few examples of academic writing  (e.g., several creative writing samples and no argumentative or research samples)—
  • Limited experience with writing (e.g., little experience with the writing process or writing a research paper).
  • Portfolio does not meet the WRT 105/105E exit criteria at the level we seek.