Writing Placement Review Process

Framingham State University does not allow you to retake the Writing Placement Exam. If you believe that you were inappropriately placed as a result of that exam, you may appeal the decision with a portfolio.

Here is what you will need to submit:

  1. A portfolio of between 10 and 15 pages of word-processed, written work with all identifying information removed. Please do not give us copies of pieces with teachers’ comments on them.
  2. The 10-15 pages must be comprised of at least two essays. At least one essay must include use of textual sources. No creative writing (e.g., poetry, short stories, plays, etc.) will be considered.
  3. The assignment for each essay in the portfolio. If you do not have and cannot get the original assignment, provide a brief written description of the assignment. Attach each assignment to the relevant essay.
  4. A 1-2 page letter requesting a review and explaining the reasons why you believe that the writing in your portfolio demonstrates that you were placed incorrectly.
  5. A certification statement (click here for the form) that certifies that the work in the portfolio is your own and that provides information about the essays in the collection, including the instructor’s name and contact information, as well as the institution for which these essays were originally written.

Because the certification statement must be signed, you must submit all work as printed copy. You should submit your complete portfolio to

Dr. Desmond McCarthy, Chair
English Department
ATTN: Portfolio Review
Framingham State University
100 State Street
Framingham, MA 01701

Review requests for fall placement must be received by August 20th. Review requests for spring placement must be received by January 15th. Any review must be requested before you take your writing course and no later than the end of your first semester as a matriculated student at FSU. You may not request a portfolio review if you haven’t taken the original writing placement exam.

If you do not follow these instructions or if your portfolio is incomplete, it will not be reviewed and the original placement decision will stand.

Your portfolio will be read carefully by members of the English Department. You will be notified by email as soon as the review is complete. Depending on when you submit the portfolio, the process may take several weeks. If you have questions about the portfolio review process or about the status of your review, you may email Dr. Desmond McCarthy at dmccarthy@framingham.edu.