First-Year Writing Program

About the First Year Program

The English Composition Program at California State University, Fresno welcomes you, and we look forward to working with you in our cutting-edge first-year writing program. We are writing to inform you of an important decision you need to make about the English composition class used to meet the university's General Education first-year writing requirement. We have designed a new method for placing students in composition classes: Directed Self-Placement (DSP). We want you to choose the first-year writing class that best meets your needs. Here are your three options:

Option 1: The Accelerated Program

English 10, Accelerated Academic Literacy (1 semester, 3 units)

Option 2: The Stretch Program

English 5A and 5B, Academic Literacy I and II (2 semesters, 6 units)

Option 3. The Program for Multilingual Speakers

Linguistics 6, Advanced English Strategies for Multilingual Speakers + Engl. 5A/B (3 semesters, 9 units)

FYW Options Chart

First Year Writing Options chart


To determine which class best matches your current level of reading and writing proficiency, we ask that you answer the questions in the Placement Chart listed below. Once you consult the chart, decide which class –Eng. 10 or Eng. 5A/B or Ling. 6—will best meet your individual reading and writing abilities, then you should go online and register for the class of your choice.

FYW Decision Placement Chart


If this chart alone does not help you determine which class best meets your individual reading and writing needs, we suggest you consult our Directed Self-Placement FAQ, which addresses frequently asked questions about the EPT, high school grades, AP exams, remediation requirements and other relevant contexts for choosing a First Year Composition Course. Remember that Eng. 10 and Eng. 5A/B are required classes that meet the General Education Lower Division writing requirement. If you have not met that requirement, you need a First Year Writing class.

Additional Resources

Writing Center

Whether you choose the Accelerated or the Stretch option, we encourage you to enroll also in a one-unit CR/NC tutorial at the Writing Center that runs concurrently with the course and meets twice a week. The tutor will act as your “personal trainer” by helping you understand and fulfill the demands of your assignments according to your individual needs. The tutor will assist you with:

  • understanding and analyzing assigned readings
  • sorting out what writing assignments ask you to do
  • brainstorming before a draft and researching your topic
  • connecting and organizing ideas
  • deciding what the purpose of your writing is
  • revising based on others’ feedback
  • learning to give feedback to others’ writing
  • cleaning up your writing
  • You will work in a small group of 2-3 students and a tutor, discussing your writing and collaborating by giving one another feedback and sharing strategies for revision.

The tutorial will enhance your learning and help you succeed in your class - whether it is English 10, 5A or 5B, or Linguistics 6. (English 1L, 1 unit, repeatable)

In addition, you can also work with a tutor in one-to-one tutorials by appointment or submit your writing for feedback on-line.

The Writing Center is located in the Education Building, Room 184 and can be contacted at 559.278.0334 or online at

The Learning Resource Center provides tutoring in a number of disciplines, including ESL tutoring for students. You can access a tutor through scheduled appointments or through drop-in. The Learning Resource Center is located in the Peter’s Building Annex and can be contacted at 559.278.3052 or on-line at

For More Information

If after reviewing this website and talking about the information with people you know, visit our website at The link for “ Directed Self-Placement FAQ ” contains answers to Frequently Asked Questions that consider potential outcomes of your decision. If you still have questions, contact the English Department at 559.278.2553 for more information.