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Writing assessments for undergraduate and graduate students

Winter 2017
Friday, February 3, 1-2 p.m.
Saturday, March 11, 12-1 p.m.
Wednesday, April 12, 5-6 p.m.

Spring/Summer 2017
Monday, May 15, 2-3 p.m.
Friday, June 16, 3-4 p.m.
Tuesday, July 18, 4-5 p.m.
Saturday, August 19, 10-11 a.m.
Wednesday, August 23, 6-7 p.m.

To reserve a spot in any of these writing-assessment sessions, please contact the Registrar's Office at registrar@madonna.edu or (734) 432-5400.

Writing Center Contact Information

Academic Building, Room 1403
Madonna University
36600 Schoolcraft Road
Livonia, MI 48150-1173
734-432-5304

Writing Center Administration
Dr. Neal Haldane
Writing Center Director/Writing Program Director
ext. 5559 | nhaldane@madonna.edu

Frances FitzGerald
Writing Center Coordinator
ext. 5379 | ffitzgerald@madonna.edu

 How to sign up for the writing assessment

To sign up for one of the writing assessment sessions listed below, contact the Registrar’s Office at 734-432-5400 or registrar@madonna.edu. If you can’t make it to any of these sessions or if you need special accommodations, you may write the assessment essay in the Madonna University Writing Center, Room 1403, Academic Building.
Please call 734-432-5304 for more information.

 Online Writing Assessment Instructions

Below are instructions for students taking the writing assessment online via Blackboard.

How to log in to Blackboard

  • Visit https://madonna.blackboard.com
  • Enter your student number as your username
  • Enter your student PIN as your default password
  • If you have difficulty logging in, send an email to helpdesk@madonna.edu. Be sure to include your full name and student ID along with the fact you are trying to log into either the online undergraduate or online graduate writing assessment.

Online writing assessment

  • When your Blackboard screen opens up, hit the “courses” tab on top left
  • In the search box, type “undergraduate writing assessment” (or, for graduate students, “graduate writing assessment”) 
  • Click on the drop-down arrow to the right of “MU_Writing_Assessment” (or, for graduate students, “MU_Graduate_School_Writing_Assessment”)
  • Click the “Enroll,” “Submit”, and “OK” buttons to complete the enrollment process
  • Read the general information
  • Complete and return the cover sheet with your personal information
  • Access and complete the writing assessment within the one-hour time limit (or, for graduate students, 1½ hours)
  • You will submit the cover sheet and writing assessment to the Writing Center via Blackboard.

If you experience technical difficulties while completing the writing assessment, please send an email to ffitzgerald@madonna.edu and/or helpdesk@madonna.edu.

 Results from the writing assessment

Upon submitting your writing sample, the Writing Center staff will receive your work. A notification with your writing assessment score will be sent to your Madonna University email within two weeks after your work is submitted.

Writing Assessment Handout

 Who needs to take the writing assessment

The undergraduate writing assessment applies to all Madonna undergraduates, with the following three exceptions:

  1. Students who have already earned a bachelor’s degree;
  2. Those who scored a seven or higher on the writing subscore within the English/Writing component of the ACT; and 
  3. Those who scored a 600 or higher on the writing subscore within the English/Writing component of the SAT.

The graduate writing assessment is required for the following graduate programs:

  • Nursing
  • Business
  • Religious Studies
  • MA Liberal Studies and Leadership (MALSL)

The only exceptions are:

  1. Students who started their graduate Nursing program before winter semester 2013; and 
  2. Students in the other above-mentioned graduate programs if they started before spring/summer 2013.

Graduate students are asked to fulfill their writing assessment requirement before or within their first two semesters. There is a $50 fee for taking the graduate writing assessment.

More details about undergraduate and graduate writing assessments

  1. Undergraduate students are expected to complete the writing assessment before or within their first semester at Madonna University. We strongly suggest that students complete the writing assessment before meeting with advisors and registering for classes. The score will help advisors and students determine their appropriate class schedule for the first semester.
  2. If an undergraduate or graduate student has taken the writing assessment only once, and is dissatisfied with the score, he/she may retake it one more time. We will honor the higher score.
  3. If undergraduate or graduate students wait to take the writing assessment until they’re ready to graduate, and plead ignorance about the writing assessment requirement, they still need to take the writing assessment. If they get a low score, they will be required to take WRT 1150 (for undergraduate students) or WRT 5000 (for graduate students).
  4. No undergraduate or graduate student will get an exemption for the writing assessment based on papers written in the past.
  5. Graduate students are expected to complete their writing assessment before or within the first two semesters of their program. However, students in the graduate nursing programs must take their writing assessment before the end of their first semester. We strongly suggest that students complete the writing assessment before meeting with advisors and registering for classes. The score will help advisors and students determine their appropriate class schedule for the first semester.
  6. Graduate students with a low writing assessment score are expected to complete their composition requirement within their first three semesters at Madonna University. However, students in the graduate nursing programs must take their composition requirement in their first or second semester.
 Writing Assessment FAQs

I have credits for a writing course I took at another school. My advisor said the credits will transfer to Madonna. Do I still have to take the assessment?
Yes.

What happens if I have writing courses that transfer to Madonna, but I get a low score on the assessment? Will I have to re-take the courses that transferred?
No, you will never be required to re-take courses that have transferred. If your score is low, the essay readers will place you in a brush-up course, WRT 1150: Writing Review. Depending on your score, you will be advised to take it for one, two, or three credits.

I’ve never attended a college before. What happens if I get a low score on the assessment?
If your score is low, the essay readers will place you in a brush-up course for first-time college students, WRT 1000: Writing Workshop. Depending on your score, you will be advised to take it for one, two, or three credits.

I got a low score on the assessment, and I disagree with the essay readers. What can I do about it?
If you think your assessment essay doesn’t accurately reflect your abilities, you may re-take the writing assessment once. You don’t need to ask permission, but you should tell the person who proctors the assessment session that this is a re-take for you. You should also make a note of this on the cover sheet of your assessment essay. We will use the higher of the two scores. If you think the essay readers made a mistake, see below.

What can I do if I’m still not satisfied with my score?
Begin by contacting the writing assessment administrator, Frances FitzGerald. She will check for any possible error in scoring by reviewing the information on your cover sheet and talking with you about your concerns. If Ms. FitzGerald doesn’t find an error, you may contest your score by making an appointment with the Director of Writing Programs, Dr. Neal Haldane.

I’m going to graduate soon, but I 1) never took the assessment, or 2) took it but ignored my placement. My graduation audit says I can’t graduate because I didn’t fulfill the writing requirement. What can I do?
In either case, you should contact Frances FitzGerald and take (or re-take) the writing assessment as soon as possible. Your goal will be to place out of whichever writing class is still required. If your score does not exempt you from further writing courses, contact Dr. Haldane to discuss your next step.

Why can’t I just submit some papers I’ve written and ask for an exemption?
We simply don’t have enough faculty or resources to make this option available to every student.

More Information