Writing Placement Procedure for Enrollment in English 101 and English 102

At Guilford, we have two introductory-level writing courses, and we want to ensure you are matched with the course that is best for you. To accomplish this, we initially register all students for English 101 and require you to complete a writing placement assignment. You must complete the assignment by January 4, 2018 so that the writing program faculty can evaluate whether you are ready for English 102. 

If you are determined ready for English 102, you will move into a section of English 102 that meets at the same time as your original English 101 section, or your adviser will place you into a section of English 102 that works with your schedule. This schedule change from ENGL 101 to ENGL 102 will be made automatically and you will be informed about the change.

Please do not buy any textbooks for ENGL 101 or ENGL 102 until you have received the notification email. In addition, print out your new schedule as close to the start of the semester as you can so that you are apprised of any room changes that may have taken place.

Writing Placement Prompt — Spring 2018

Please read Paula Fass’s “The end of adolescence.” Then, draft and compose an argument summary. An argument summary articulates the author’s central claim and explains how s/he uses evidence to explore and develop it. Imagine that you are writing to someone who has not read Fass’s article but who would be interested in her argument.

Keep in mind as you draft and compose that you will include neither your own argument nor your opinions about Fass’s ideas. Your task is to identify Fass’s claim accurately, to summarize the key evidence she uses to develop it, and to emphasize the relationship between her evidence and her argument. Please do not quote more than a short phrase or two from the article, and do your best to avoid close paraphrases.

It’s a good idea to use your introduction to introduce the author and the subject of her article, and to explain fully what you consider to be the fundamental or the most significant argument. You cannot summarize every example that Fass uses in her article, so carefully select evidence from the text to include in your summary.  

As you write, keep in mind that summaries should:

  • Begin with a title that reflects the author's main argument
  • Make explicit the author’s central claim
  • Have unified and coherent paragraphs
  • Contain relevant and detailed support from the text


  • Your completed draft should be about 500 words.
  • Do not include your name in the document you copy and paste into the submission form.

Important Notes

  • Your completed draft is due no later than 11:59 p.m. EST on Thursday, January 4, 2018.
  • Do not wait until the last day to write your first draft; leave some time to revise and carefully edit your draft, and submit as polished of a final draft as you can.
  • We ask that you complete this assignment on your own, without seeking assistance from others.
  • Please do not do any research for this assignment, or any reading beyond the article provided to you.
  • If the Writing Program believes you are ready for the challenges of English 102, we will make the schedule change for you and notify you via email.
  • Please do not purchase your textbooks until you have received the results of the writing placement evaluation. The textbooks for English 101 and English 102 will likely be different.

Submit Your Writing Placement Assignment

The assignment is due no later than 11:59 p.m. EST on Thursday, January 4, 2018.

Your completed draft should be about 500 words.

Contact Us

Parag Parker

Parag Parker

Writing Director