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University Writing Portfolio

The University Writing Portfolio is a two-part, mid-career diagnostic to determine if your writing abilities are ready to handle the challenges of your Writing-in-the-Major (M) Courses and other upper-division courses that assign writing.

CUE 305  /  509-335-7959

Please check your My.Wsu notices for information regarding the Portfolio in light of COVID-19.


The Packet
Students planning to graduate this term should check their My.Wsu notices for instructions on submitting packets in light of social distancing efforts.


The packet consists of three samples of your writing that you have completed for three different college-level courses. These samples demonstrate your readiness for upper-division, writing-intensive classes in your major.

Step 1: Purchase a University Writing Portfolio envelope at the campus bookstore (approx. $1) or download the required forms below to submit with your own 9″ x 11″ envelope:

  • Form 1: Packet Cover Sheet– (Download 1 total) To be taped on the outside of a 9″ x 11″ envelope. (No other sizes will be accepted.)
  • Form 2: Submission Cover Sheet – (Download 3 total) To be attached to each writing sample you submit.

Step 2: Choose three pieces of your best writing. This includes any assigned college-level writing: lab reports, case studies, group projects (with your portion highlighted), creative work, memos, in-class writing, traditional essays, work from other schools, and so forth.

Step 3: Fill out a submission cover sheet for each selection.

Step 4: Ask the instructor who assigned and graded the paper to sign the cover sheet to verify you wrote the paper for their course.

* If the instructor is unavailable to physically sign the cover sheet, an email from the instructor will be an acceptable alternative and should include verification that the paper is your work. Print the email and attach it to the submission cover sheet with the paper.

Step 5: Turn in the packet to your campus Writing Portfolio office.  Due to COVID-19, you are invited to mail your packets:

WSU Writing Program
PO Box 644530
Pullman, WA 99164

The Timed Write
Timed Writes have been cancelled for the remainder of spring 2020. Students planning to graduate this term should check their notices in My.Wsu for information on the Timed Write alternative.


The timed write consists of two impromptu essays written during a single, supervised two-hour session. One essay will be argumentative and the other will be a self-evaluation.

Step 1: Sign-up for a timed write session.

Step 2: Attend your scheduled session and complete the exam.

Bring a photo ID and two pens (no pencils) to the session. We will provide a Blue Book.

WSU Campuses and WSU Online students

Contact your campus Writing Portfolio office for instructions on scheduling a timed essay session and turning in your packet.


Your University Writing Portfolio will be evaluated as one entity after you submit the packet and complete the timed write. We do not evaluate the timed write by itself. Results are sent to your my.wsu account in the form of a notice.


COMMON SITUATION: I am a transfer student and this is my first semester at WSU.  I didn’t know about the University Writing Portfolio so I didn’t save any of my writing from my community college.  I have a hold, what am I supposed to do?

SOLUTION: If you feel you aren’t prepared to turn in the three papers then it might be easier to complete the Timed Writing this semester and then you worry about the Packet next semester.  By then you’ll have had nearly two full semesters to compile three writing samples.

RARE SITUATION: I completed the Timed Writing last semester to remove my first hold but I still don’t have three pieces of writing to turn in.  What can I do?

SOLUTION: Remember, you can turn in any piece of writing from any college-level course.  Submissions aren’t required to be essays from English classes.  You can turn in lab reports, case studies, group projects, creative work, memos, in-class writing, traditional essays, work from other schools, and so forth.  If you still don’t have three pieces of writing then you will need to ask an instructor if he or she would be willing to assign you a new piece of writing.  No matter what, you’ll need to have three samples to turn in.  Please plan accordingly.


Because the University Writing Portfolio fulfills a UCORE Requirement, it will be evaluated by a cross-departmental committee of WSU faculty. The committee will give it one of three ratings:

Completed with distinction

The work represents the top 10% of WSU junior-level writing. This achievement will be entered into your WSU transcript. Your University Writing Portfolio requirement will be fulfilled.


The work shows a proficiency in writing suitable for upper-division work at WSU. Your University Writing Portfolio requirement will be fulfilled.

In progress

The work shows a need for additional, structured writing assistance in upper-division course work. You will be required to take additional course work in the form of a one-credit writing collaborative taken in conjunction with one of your Writing in the Major [M] courses, or a three-credit writing course. You must complete the additional course assigned to you in order to satisfy the University Writing Portfolio requirement. Writing collaboratives are facilitated through the Undergraduate Writing Center.

In the case you believe the evaluation result is inaccurate, you have 120 days to formally appeal the decision. 

NOTE: Writing Portfolio Requirement 1: UNIV 302 has been renamed to WRIT 302
NOTE: English 303 & 304 are only offered in the Spring semester

Important forms

Please note: Academic integrity is the cornerstone of the university. Any student who attempts to gain an unfair advantage over other students by cheating will have to submit a new Junior Writing Portfolio and will be reported to the Office Student Standards and Accountability. Cheating includes, but is not limited to:  plagiarism, submitting papers that are not your own, and forging professor signatures. Cheating is further defined in the Standards for Student Conduct for students, WAC 504-26-010 (3). Read more.