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Events
  • Otis Books is pleased to publish Tim Erickson’s debut collection of poetry, Egopolis, a textual journey through destruction, resistance, city, and the Ego, from ancient times to the present day. Erickson’s work has appeared in the Chicago Review, Western Humanities Review, and the Salt Anthology of New Writing. He lives in Salt Lake City.

  • Otis Graduate Writing students will read from their works-in-progress.

  • Exquisite Beauty is the first retrospective and publication to document the eye-dazzling ceramics created by Ralph Bacerra (1938–2008), a Los Angeles–based artist known for his innovative approach to surface embellishment. Curated by Jo Lauria, the exhibition features more than ninety of the artist’s finest pieces—dramatic, highly decorated vessels and sculptures that have never before been the focus of a major exhibition or publication.

  • Opening Reception for Ralph Bacerra: Exquisite Beauty

  • David Treuer is an Ojibwe Indian from Leech Lake Reservation in northern Minnesota and currently teaches at USC. He is the author of the novels Little, The Hiawatha, The Translation of Dr. Apelles, named a Best Book of the Year by the Washington Post, as well as a critical work, Native American Fiction: A User's Manual. In 2012, he published another nonfiction work, Rez Life.

  • Angela Flournoy’s first novel The Turner House was a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection. Her fiction has appeared in The Paris Review, and she has written for The New Republic, The Los Angeles Review of Books and elsewhere. Flournoy has taught at the University of Iowa and Trinity Washington University. She lives in Los Angeles.

  • Susan Choi’s first novel, The Foreign Student, won the Asian-American Literary Award for fiction, and her second novel, American Woman, was a finalist for the 2004 Pulitzer Prize. Her most recent novel, A Person of Interest, was a finalist for the 2009 PEN/Faulkner Award. With David Remnick she co-edited the anthology Wonderful Town: New York Stories from The New Yorker. A recipient of fellowships from the NEA and the Guggenheim Foundation, and in 2010, the inaugural winner of the PEN/W.G. Sebald Award, Choi lives in Brooklyn.

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Writing Placement

The Writing Placement Assessment (WPA) is a two-part, two-hour test designed to assess your English reading and writing proficiency. The assessment measures Grammar and Usage, Reading Comprehension, and Writing, and is used to place you in an English class appropriate to your language abilities.

 

Writing Placement Assessment (webform)

 

FAQs >

Who has to take this assessment? 

All incoming first-year and transfer students excluding anyone with a prior degree from an accredited college or university where instruction was in English.

What are the classes I can place into?

ENGL 020 English as a Foreign Language, ENGL 050 Developmental English I, ENGL 090 Developmental English II, ENGL 090 Linked Developmental English II and ENGL 107 Writing in the Digital Age.

Can I use a dictionary?

Yes.

Is the assessment online?

Yes.

What is a good strategy for taking this assessment?

A proctor will call time on the first two sections, which are multiple choice. Be sure to spend the entire hour on the last part, writing, which is the most important. For the writing component, spend 5-10 minutes outlining how you want to approach the question, 40-45 minutes writing your essay, and 5-15 minutes proofreading.

What if I do not think my results are really representative of my writing abilities?

You may appeal your assessment by following the appeal process (PDF).

Do you expect my essay to be perfect?

No. We know it is a timed exam, and that you would revise certain areas if you had more time.

What assessment criteria do the faculty use in determining placement? 

WPA Scoring Guide (PDF).