Upper-Division Writing Directed Self Placement (UDW-DSP)

At San José State University, all students have to complete an upper-division writing course (100W) in their discipline in order to graduate. The Upper-Division Writing Directed Self Placement (UDW-DSP) is an online exercise designed to help students place in the appropriate upper-division writing course. Upper-division writing course can be challenging and some students may not feel quite ready. To support students' academic success, 100A courses are available to help students prepare for the rigors of 100W and upper division work.

A flowchart showcasing the process of choosing which upper-division writing course to take

What is the Difference Between 100A and 100W?

How Do I Choose?

In order to help you choose which writing course is best for you, students are encouraged to complete a brief online exercise called the Upper-Division Writing Directed Self Placement (UDW-DSP). This exercise will provide more information about the two writing courses you are choosing between, and ask you some questions about your experience with college-level writing. The goal is to inform you of your two choices and help you choose your course appropriately. The process takes about 10 minutes!

What Do You Need?

In order to complete the UDW-DSP, all you need are:

  • An internet connection.
  • 10-15 minutes.
  • A sample college paper that uses sources (i.e., has a Bibliography). This can be from any college, on any subject (in either PDF or Word format). Once you’re ready, click on the link below to complete the exercise and choose your writing course.

Complete the Upper-Division Writing Directed Self Placement Exercise.

Important Notice

  • The UDW-DSP is NOT a test. It is an online exercise, similar to a questionnaire. It is meant to help you, not test you.
  • DSP, or “Directed Self Placement,” means you are placing yourself in the writing course that you feel is most appropriate for you. You know your writing abilities best and so the choice is up to you (not anyone at SJSU).
  • If you still have questions after completing the UDW Directed Self Placement, please contact an Adviser in the Student Success Center for your College.

Please visit the FAQ page for additional information or email your question to undergraduate-education@sjsu.edu.