FAQ

If you don't find your question answered below, contact us.

Enrollment

01. I’m taking CW R1A this semester and don’t know yet if I will pass, but I want to enroll in a R1B course for next semester. Can I enroll in a R1B course for next semester before I get my final course grade in CW R1A?

Yes. When TeleBEARS opens this semester, you can enroll in R1B for next semester (or in R4B, or any other course that fulfills the second semester of the R&C Requirement). If you pass CW R1A at the end of this semester, you are allowed to take the second-semester R&C course that you enrolled in. If you don’t pass CW R1A at the end of this semester, you are not allowed to take the second-semester R&C course that you enrolled in, and you will have to drop yourself from that course’s enrollment list.

If you're enrolled in CW R1A in the spring semester and want to enroll in an R1B during the summer, contact us.

02. There’s a prerequisite listed for the College Writing course I want to take. Do I have to fulfill that prerequisite before taking the course?

If the course you want to take is CW R4B, then yes, you absolutely must fulfill the prerequisite first semester of R&C before enrolling in the course.

For courses other than CW R4B, the answer is almost always yes, you must fulfill the prerequisite. You may contact the instructor to ask for an exception, but expect to be told that you need to fulfill the prerequisite before taking the course. Even if TeleBEARS allows you to enroll in the course, the instructor will likely drop you if you haven’t fulfilled the prerequisite.

CW R1A

01. What is College Writing R1A?

College Writing R1A, Accelerated Reading and Composition, is an intensive 6-unit seminar that concurrently satisfies the University of California Entry-Level Writing Requirement and the first part of the University's two-part Reading & Composition Requirement.

02. What will I do in College Writing R1A?

Students read imaginative, expository, and argumentative texts representative of the range of those encountered in the undergraduate curriculum. Readings feature authors from diverse social and cultural backgrounds and perspectives. Additionally, students are instructed in techniques for writing a range of discourse forms, and in the revision of papers. In response to course readings and instruction in technique, students write short (2-3 pages) and longer (4-6 pages) essays. Other writing assignments may include journals, quickwrites, reflections, or text responses. The students' writing serves as a text in the class as well, and papers are frequently revised through multiple drafts.

03. What is the format of the class?

Class size is limited to 14. The class is an interactive seminar; student discussion and writing are at the center.

04. Is there a final examination?

No. The culminating project for all College Writing R1A students is preparing a portfolio.

05. Where can I go if I want extra help with my writing?

The Student Learning Center (SLC), located in the Cesar Chavez Center in lower Sproul, offers peer tutors who are trained to work with students on their writing. In addition, SLC offers tutoring in a broad range of courses.  For other sources of tutorial assistance offered to student-athletes, students with disabilities, and students living in the residence halls, see Writing Support for Students on our On Campus Writing Resources page.

06. How do I enroll in College Writing R1A?

The same way you enroll in any other class using TeleBEARS. There are typically long waiting lists for this class, so try to enroll as early as you can.

07. When should I take College Writing R1A?

You should take CW R1A in your freshman year.

08. Which section should I enroll in?

Each section has its own theme and reading list. See the descriptions of CW R1A sections being offered in the upcoming semester, and choose the one that interests you the most.

09. Should I enroll in a section for multilingual speakers of English?

Some CW R1A sections are reserved for students who are fluent in languages other than English. If your Analytical Writing Placement Exam results suggest that you would benefit from specialized instruction, or if you want a chance to learn more about the structure of English while you read and write, consider enrolling in one of these sections. For more information, see What are MSW-designated CW R1A sections?.

10. What do I do if I can't get into the course this semester?

The College Writing Programs (CWP) will may every effort to reserve a space for you the following semester.

11. Can I enroll in CW R1A if I have already fulfilled the UC Entry Level Writing Requirement and/or R&C Requirement?

No. This class is reserved for students who need to fulfill the UC Entry-Level Writing Requirement. Unfortunately, there is no spaces for others.

12. What course do I take after CW R1A to fulfill the second half of the R&C requirement?

UC Berkeley offers courses in a wide range of departments that fulfill the second half of the R&C requirement (see, for example, CW R4B). Check the Schedule of Classes to find out which courses are currently being offered.

CW R1A Multilingual Student Writers Sections

01. What are MSW-designated CW R1A sections?

College Writing Programs (CWP) offers four to six CW R1A courses per semester that are designated for multilingual student writers (MSW). This means the course is reserved for non-native speakers of English. These sections follow the same curriculum standards and carry the same units as all other sections. The only requirement for students in CW R1A sections designated for multilingual students is that they spoke--or speak--at least one language besides English at home (a high percentage of CW R1A students meet this qualification). All MSW-designated sections are taught by specialists who can provide additional support to multilingual student writers.

02. Who would most benefit from taking an MSW-designated section of CW R1A?

An MSW-designated section can be beneficial to a multilingual student who speaks English fluently, but who has some difficulty writing or reading academic prose in English.

These courses can benefit international and recently arrived students who want intensive support with improving vocabulary development, learning editing and proofreading strategies, and understanding the expectations of U.S. academic instructors.

03. Are MSW-designated sections of CW R1A just as rigorous as any other section of CW R1A?

Yes, MSW-designated sections are just as rigorous as any other section of CW R1A. These sections are designated "MSW" by the College Writing Programs (CWP) and are not seen as separate courses by the University; they are not reported differently from any other section of CW R1A on students’ transcripts, nor are they listed separately in any printed catalog. There are only two differences between these MSW sections and any other section of CW R1A:

  1. All of the students are multilingual and will bring this unique background into the classroom.
  2. The instructor has experience helping students address writing challenges in English that may be unique to second-language writers.
04. How can a student enroll in an MSW-designated CW R1A section?

Look for the following sentence at the end of the course descriptions in the Schedule of Classes: “Section X presumes proficiency in a language other than English.” Alternatively, you can contact the College Writing Programs (CWP), collegewriting@berkeley.edu, 510-642-5570, and ask for the CW R1A MSW section numbers.

Satisfying the UC Entry-Level Writing Requirement | AWPE

01. What is the UC Entry-Level Writing Requirement?

The UC Entry-Level Writing Requirement is a Universitywide writing requirement. All students entering the University of California as freshmen must demonstrate their command of the English language by fulfilling this requirement. Fulfillment of this requirement is a prerequisite to enrolling in all Reading & Composition courses.

02. How do I satisfy the UC Entry-Level Writing Requirement?

It depends on whether or not you've started your coursework at Berkeley.

If you have not started coursework at Berkeley: You can meet this requirement by exam or by coursework.

  • To satisfy the requirement by exam, you must score
    • 30 or above on the ACT Combined English/Writing test; or
    • 680 or above on the College Board SAT Reasoning Test--Writing Section (prior to March 2016); or
    • 3 or above on the Advanced Placement Examination in English Language and Composition; or
    • 3 or above on the Advanced Placement Examination in English Literature and Composition; or
    • 5 or above on the International Baccalaureate Higher Level English A: Literature exam; or
    • 6 or above on the International Baccalaureate Standard Level English A: Literature exam; or
    • 5 or above on the International Baccalaureate Higher Level English A: Language and Literature exam; or
    • 6 or above on the International Baccalaureate Standard Level English A: Language and Literature exam; or
    • 8 or above on the Analytial Writing Placement Examination taken at your high school's exam center.
  • To satisfy the requirement by coursework, you must earn a grade of C or higher in a college course certified by UC Berkeley as satisfying the Entry-Level Writing Requirement.

If you have started coursework at Berkeley: You can meet this requirement by exam or by coursework.

  • To satisfy the requirement by exam, you must score
    • 8 or above on the Analytical Writing Placement Examination taken on the Berkeley campus.
  • To satisfy the requirement by coursework, you must earn a grade of C- or higher in College Writing R1A.
03. If I didn't pass the Analytical Writing Placement Examination, what should I do?

It depends on whether or not you've started your coursework at Berkeley.

If you have not started coursework at Berkeley: You can satisfy the UC Entry-Level Writing Requirement by earning a grade of C or higher in a college course certified by UC Berkeley as satisfying the Entry-Level Writing Requirement. Make sure the college sends your transcript to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at Berkeley.

If you have started coursework at Berkeley: You must satisfy the UC Entry-Level Writing Requirement by earning a grade of C- or higher in College Writing R1A.

04. Can I retake the Analytical Writing Placement Examination?

No. You can take the exam only once.

05. Can I satisfy the UC Entry-Level Writing Requirement at a California Community College (CCC)?

Yes, but only if you have not already begun coursework at Berkeley. See Question 2 above.

06. Can I satisfy the UC Entry-Level Writing Requirement at another UC campus?

Yes, but only if the course description indicates that it satisfies the Entry-Level Writing Requirement.

Reading & Composition Requirement

01. Can I satisfy the Reading & Composition 1A Requirement at a California Community College (CCC)?

Before starting coursework at Berkeley, you can satisfy the R&C 1A Requirement at most community colleges as long as the course has been certified by UC Berkeley as satisfying the R&C 1A Requirement. You must earn a grade of C or higher to satisfy the requirement. Make sure the CCC sends your transcript to the Admissions Office at Berkeley.

After you have started coursework at Berkeley, you cannot take a course at a CCC to satisfy the R&C 1A Requirement.

02. Can I satisfy the UC Entry-Level Writing Requirement and the R&C 1A Requirement in one semester?

UC Berkeley offers one course that satisfies both requirements at the same time: College Writing R1A.

Other UC campuses require you to complete a 2-course sequence to satisfy both requirements. The courses cannot be taken concurrently. Contact an advisor in your college here at Berkeley, or contact the other campuses directly for further information.

03. I failed CW R1A. Can I retake the course in the summer at another UC campus?

CW R1A satisfies both the UC Entry-Level Writing and the R&C 1A Requirements. To satisfy both of these requirements at another UC campus, you would have to take two courses, one to satisfy the Entry-Level Writing Requirement and another to meet the R&C 1A Requirement. You cannot take these courses concurrently. It is very unlikely you could complete both courses during the summer term. However, you should contact the Summer Sessions office of the relevant UC campus for details.

04. I failed CW R1A. Can I retake the course in the summer at a California Community College?

No. You must do the coursework at a UC campus.

Multilingual Student Writers

01. What kind of support does College Writing Programs offer to native speakers of languages other than English?

The College Writing Programs (CWP) offers a suite of courses designed for native speakers of languages other than English, taught by specialists with backgrounds in teaching writing and Second Language Writing or Applied Linguistics. This means they will have studied English language use, language teaching, language testing, discourse analysis (fine-tuned attention to oral/written language), and linguistics (including syntax and grammar):

  • CW 1 - Grammar and Vocabulary of Written English
  • CW W1 - Grammar and Vocabulary of Written English (online and in-person)
  • CW R1A (MSW) - Accelerated Reading and Composition
  • CW R4B (MSW) - Reading, Composition, and Research
  • CW 9C - Academic Writing
  • CW 20 - Communicating in Class: Advanced Listening and Speaking
  • CW 21 - Conflict Management for Academic Success
  • CW 25AC - Reading in and about US Education Institutions

For full course descriptions, see the CWP Course Catalog.

02. What kind of off-campus support does College Writing Programs offer to native speakers of languages other than English not enrolled at Berkeley?

College Writing Programs (CWP) offers a MOOC for English Language Learners, College Writing 2X: Principles of Written Communication, co-sponsored by the US Department of State.

02a. What's a MOOC?

A massive open online course (MOOC) offers interactive participation and coursework to anyone with Internet access. In addition to video lectures, readings, and quizzes, MOOCs provide discussion areas that build a community for the students, professors, and course staff.

02b. What is College Writing 2x?

College Writing 2x is a writing course designed specially for learners of English. It is offered through edX.org, and is completely free. It uses some of the most advanced tools in online writing instruction, giving students meaningful ways to practice their writing and get feedback on how well they are doing.

02c. How does it work?

When enrollment opens, you can sign up at edX.org. There is no cost to sign up or take the course.

Every week, there are short clips of video lectures and assignments. The course is 15 weeks, divided into three parts—2x.1, 2x.2, and 2x.3.  When you finish all three parts successfully, you will receive a certificate of completion.  (Important note: As with most MOOCs, this one does not offer college credit.) The course is offered twice a year.

02d. What will I learn?

Here is a brief course overview:

2x.1   Weeks 1-5 Structure of Written English

A review of basic grammar terminology and understanding; writing effective sentences and paragraphs; introductions and conclusions; strategies for writing longer texts; thesis statements

2x.2   Weeks 6-10 Techniques in Editing and Revision

Proofreading and self-editing; revision vs. editing; common errors in grammar, punctuation, and spelling; understanding tone and diction; vocabulary development.

2x.3  Weeks 11-15 Modes of Written Communication

Formal and informal writing; effective email communication; academic writing; memos; project proposals; technical writing

02e. Who is the instructor?

The course is taught by Maggie Sokolik. Dr. Sokolik received her Ph.D. in applied linguistics from UCLA. She has taught writing and technical communication at UC Berkeley since 1992. She is the author of more than twenty ESL and composition textbooks, including Sound Ideas, co-authored with Michael Krasny. She has also written for and been featured in several educational video projects in Japan. She travels frequently to speak about grammar, writing, and instructor education.

02f. Where can I get more information?

To sign up for email updates and announcements about College Writing 2x, join our mailing list:

https://calmail.berkeley.edu/manage/list/listinfo/writingmooc@lists.berkeley.edu

and/or our Facebook group:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/CWP2X/

Other Courses

01. Are there other courses I can take to develop my writing?

The College Writing Programs (CWP) offers a number of upper-division writing courses, such as intermediate and advanced composition, professional communication, creative writing, and writing in specific fields. See Course Catalog. The Undergraduate Division of the College of Letters and Science offers a creative writing minor.