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Written Communication


WHAT The Examination of Writing Competency (EWC) is a gradua­tion requirement for all undergraduate students. It is a three-hour proc­tored exam in which students write an essay that responds to a question from a general category.

WHO All undergraduate students (Baccalaureate and Associate degrees), including transfer and readmitted students, must take and pass the EWC. Students seeking a second undergraduate degree must take and pass the EWC unless the first degree came from NSU and the student has already taken and passed the EWC required at NSU. The EWC requirement for graduation is in effect for all first-time fresh­men who began taking classes in Fall Semester 2001 and thereafter and for transfer and readmitted students who began taking classes in Fall 2002 and thereaf­ter. Students who do not pass the exam will be offered help with their writing, but they must retake and pass the exam in order to graduate.

WHEN Students should take the EWC as soon as they have completed their Freshman Composition courses (ENG101 and ENG102); for most students, this will be their sophomore year. Students must take the EWC before they complete 90 credit hours.

WHERE The EWC will be held in the Wilson Hall Building, Suite # 133. Detailed information about dates and times will be publicized via the Spartan E-Daily Campus Announcements at the beginning of each term. Students have the option of reporting to the Registrar's Office, their departmental advisor, EWC department, or Spartan Shield to register for the EWC at least one week prior to each administration of the exam.
Students taking courses at a distance may request off-campus testing. The Proctor Approval Application must be completed, and it is the student's responsibility to identify a suitable off-campus proctor.

HOW To prepare for the EWC, review the EWC Prep Packet or attend the EWC Writing Workshops offered by the ENFL Writing Center.

In accordance with Section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, if a student has a disability or thinks he or she may have a disability, we ask that he or she please contact the Disability Services Department (757-823-8325) located in the Student Services Building, Suite 110.

If you have questions about the EWC, please give us a call at (757) 823-2504 or e-mail ewc@nsu.edu.

If you are in need of writing assistance in order to prepare for the EWC, please contact Ms. Dottie Perry (757-823-2998, ddperry@nsu.edu) in the English and Foreign Language Writing Center, located in James Madison Hall, Suite 112.


EWC Test Day Policies and the EWC Instructions.pdf
EWC Scoring Rubric.pdf
EWC Prep Packet.pdf
Proctor Approval Application.pdf

Summer 2017 EWC Schedule.pdf

Resource Box

Articles of Interest
Behizadeh, N. & Engelhard Jr., G. (2011). Historical view of the influences of measurement and writing theories on the practice of writing assessment in the United States. Assessing Writing, 16, 189-211. doi: 10.1016/j.asw.2011.03.001
Hoyt, J.E., Allred, E.R., & Hunt, R. (2010). Implementing writing assessment in a degree completion program: Key issues and lessons learned. The Journal of Continuing Higher Education, 58(1), 19-30. doi: 10.1080/07377360903244299
Mansilla, V.B., Duraisingh, E.D., Wolfe, C.R., & Haynes, C. (2009). Targeted assessment rubric: An empirically grounded rubric for interdisciplinary writing. Journal of Higher Education, 80(3), 334-353.
Rezaei, A.R., & Lovorn, Michael. (2010). Reliability and validity of rubrics for assessment through writing. Assessing Writing, 15, 18-39. doi: 10.1016/j.asw.2010.01.003

Websites of Interest
The OWL at Purdue - Purdue University's Online Writing Lab provides practical writing resources and instructional materials to assist students with general writing, research and citation, subject specific writing, job search writing, email etiquette and more.
The Guide to Grammar and Writing - The guide contains digital handouts on grammar and usage, general writing, writing about literature, research and citation, and scores of instructor materials, including presentations and quizzes.
Writing Resources from the University of North Carolina Greensboro - Grammar and usage handouts from the UNCG Writing Center.
The St. Martin's Handbook - Companion guide to the seventh edition of The St. Martin's Handbook. Highlights include "The Top 20: Quick Guides to Troubleshooting Your Writing" and "Essay Exam Advice".
The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill - A collection of handouts on a number of relevant topics, including writing, citation, and style and sentence level concerns. Prefer videos, vist their YouTube channel.
Writing in College: A Short Guide to College Writing - A collection of strategies designed to help first and second year students at the University of Chicago write effectively.