Writing, Speaking, and Argument Program

Satisfying the primary writing requirement


Please note: WRT 105 and WRT 105E were formerly CAS 105 and CAS 105E.

The primary writing requirement is the College's first step in drawing students into our community of researchers and writers. All students at the University of Rochester are expected to satisfy this requirement. In order to be prepared for the upper-level writing requirement in the majors, students should satisfy the primary writing requirement by the end of the first year of study. The majority of entering students fulfill the primary writing requirement by earning a C or better in Reasoning and Writing in the College, WRT 105 or WRT 105E, a version of 105 chosen by students who need more support to meet the demands of college-level writing. A small number of students may petition to substitute another University of Rochester class for WRT 105 or 105E. Scroll down to read more about both options.

Please note: If you are entering the University of Rochester as a transfer student, click here to see additional information on satisfying the primary writing requirement.

Completion of Reasoning and Writing in the College, WRT 105 or 105E

WRT 105 introduces students to disciplinary writing at the college level by offering instruction in small sections (15 students) that focus on the act of writing. It provides instruction and practice in clear and effective writing and in constructing cogent and compelling arguments, as students draft and revise numerous papers of different forms and lengths. These papers introduce some of the forms of writing students are expected to produce later in their college careers as well as in their public and professional lives after graduation. The course subject is writing, but since writing is about something, each section of WRT 105 presents various texts, mostly written, for analysis and discussion in preparation for constructing extended argumentative essays and a final research paper. Students consider the roles of audience and purpose in shaping their papers' organization, style and argumentative strategies, and they learn to become critical readers of their writing through peer critiques and revision and editing workshops.

WRT 105E is an extended version of Reasoning and Writing in the College. While WRT 105 and 105E have the same demands and criteria for completion, WRT 105E is intended for students who decide that they need a more supported writing experience to meet the demands of college and professional writing. All sections of WRT 105E include an additional class session each week and are taught in computer labs and limited to 10 students.

Placement in WRT 105 or 105E

To determine whether WRT 105 or 105E is the best choice for you, please complete the placement survey. If after completing the survey you are still unsure about which class to choose, you will have the opportunity to speak with a placement advisor.

You can find this survey at http://my.rochester.edu. Log in and find the link marked “Writing Self-Placement Survey” under “Courses” on the right-hand side of the screen. Click on that link to complete the survey.

Petition to Satisfy PWR with a Course Other Than WRT 105

Students who believe that they are already proficient argumentative research writers at the college level and would like to fulfill the primary writing requirement by substituting a writing-intensive course for WRT 105/E may petition to be allowed to do so.

Please note: Petitioning does not waive the primary writing requirement. A student whose petition is approved must still complete an approved course in order to fulfill the primary writing requirement.

Click here to learn the criteria for satisfying the primary writing requirement with a course other than WRT 105/E.

If you believe that this applies to you and would like to fill out a Petition to Satisfy PWR with a Course Other Than WRT 105, click here to obtain detailed instructions for petitioning, as well as the petition form .