Write to Register

About Write to Register 

Before orientation, all incoming freshmen will make an important decision about which First Year Composition (English) course to take. Here at SF State, we believe you are the best person to make that decision. Write to Register (formerly known as Directed Self-Placement) is designed to assist you in making the best choice possible about which of the First-Year Composition options is most appropriate for your learning needs before you arrive at orientation to enroll in your courses.

Write to Register will give you direct experience in writing a college-level essay. During Write to Register, you will

  • Explore and annotate a reading
  • Plan and write a college-level essay based on that reading
  • Upload your essay
  • Complete questions in a short, self-reflective survey

This process will take 2-3 hours. After you upload your essay and complete the short survey, you will be given a recommendation for a class that might be right for you. However, this is only a recommendation. We feel that ultimately only you can make a decision about which First Year Composition class is the best fit. So we’ll ask you to take into account everything you know about yourself as a learner before you choose your course.

Completing Write to Register

All entering freshmen must complete Write to Register to choose their First Year Composition (FYC) course. If you have transfer credit for First Year Composition due to Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or college course credit, you do not need to complete Write to Register.

If you are an incoming freshman for fall and are in Enrollment Category Four, you will need to enroll in Early Start English (ESE) the summer before you begin at SF State; you will complete Write to Register as part of your ESE course. We recommend you complete Early Start English before you attend orientation, otherwise you will not be able to register for FYC classes at orientation.

To begin Write to Register, please follow this link to go directly to the Write to Register page.

Frequently Asked Questions

Write to Register (formerly known as Directed Self-Placement) is not a test! It is an online application in which you complete a reading, write an essay, and answer a series of questions in order to help you reflect on yourself as a reader and writer. The application will give you a recommendation for which First Year Composition (FYC) class might suit you, but ultimately it is your decision to select your FYC class at the end of the application.

All entering first-time students are required to complete Write to Register before you can enroll in classes at orientation. We recommend completing Write to Register two days before orientation. If you have transfer credit for First Year Composition due to Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or college course credit, you do not need to complete Write to Register. If you are in Enrollment Category Four, you will complete Write to Register as part of your Early Start English (ESE) class. Please do not begin Write to Register before you enroll in ESE.

Write to Register is an online application. All students log in, and at the conclusion of Write to Register, select the First Year Composition (English) course you will take your first semester or year at SF State.

Write to Register can be done in one sitting, or over the course of several days. Plan for 3-4 hours minimum to complete.

Write to Register is free of charge.

Yes, you can complete Write to Register at any computer lab on campus. If you need assistance navigating the Write to Register application, please contact the English Tutoring Center at 415-338-1821 or email etc@sfsu.edu.

We recommend students complete Write to Register no later than the day before an orientation. In order to enroll in First Year Composition (English) at orientation, students must complete Write to Register first. Students who have not completed Write to Register will not be able to enroll in any First Year Composition classes at orientation.

No, your Write to Register decision is binding. Because such changes would present enormous challenges for students and the university alike, it will not be possible once the semester begins for you to change your Write to Register choice. For this reason, it is best for you weigh your options carefully before you complete Write to Register. Under exceptional circumstances, students may contact the ETC (etc@sfsu.edu) to appeal to change their Write to Register choice, but only before the semester begins or within the first week of classes.

If you received credit for first year composition (English) through an English AP exam, an International Baccalaureate course, or a course at another college or university, then you do not need to complete Write to Register. We encourage you to check the your SF State bulletin for details about AP scores.

You will not hear back about your essay. The purpose of the essay writing portion of Write to Register is for you to reflect on your writing skills in order to make an educated decision about which FYC course is best for you.

While your Write to Register essay is not reviewed by the university or the English department, your First Year Composition instructor will have access to your Write to Register essay. Your FYC instructor may choose to incorporate your Write to Register essay into their course or use it as preliminary sample of your writing. This is one reason you should put a genuine effort into your essay.