What is the End-of-Semester “U” notation in writing?

Any instructor who finds that your success in any course is impacted by weak writing skills may submit a “U” (unsatisfactory writing) notation along with your final grade. This includes courses taken credit/no entry. Even though you may not have earned credit or the course may not appear on your record, any instructor may still identify writing skills that require extra support for your success in college. 

Note that a “U” in Writing is meant to support you and is not a “punishment.” A “U” notation primarily indicates the professor believes one or more aspects of a student’s writing skills aren’t at the college level. The referral to the Writing Center provides one-on-one support to help bring writing skills up to level so that you can succeed in your college courses.

“U” notations do not alter the course grade, nor is it a comment on poor attitudes, missing work, or other indicators of poor performance. Students whose performance in a course is satisfactory, or even exemplary, and who may have earned a B or an A, may still have problems with effective writing and, hence, can benefit from extra support.

Students given a “U” notation must meet with a tutor in the Writing Center for weekly professional tutoring during the following semester.

How does the Writing Center tutoring program work?

Writing Center tutors focus on teaching transferable skills, not correcting or “fixing” papers. They work with you on all aspects of your writing — from organizing and drafting to revising and proofreading to integrating and citing sources.

Using writing samples, instructor comments, and a questionnaire, tutors identify two or three main areas to focus instruction. 

You will meet with your assigned tutor for one-hour weekly appointments. A typical program involves writing and revising several papers or working on a few longer papers through all stages of the writing process. 

Typically, you work on writing assignments in your current courses. But if you have little or no writing in the first half of the semester, your Writing Center tutor will assign you writing projects. 

We notify the Registrar and the professor who gave the “U” when you have progressed sufficiently to have the “U” notation removed from your record. The Registrar erases the “U” notation from your transcript once the “U” is cleared.

Most students complete the program to remove the “U” within eight weeks. If you need to miss a meeting, you must notify your tutor beforehand, and your program may be extended another week.

What happens if I don't complete the "U" in writing program?

If you fail to complete the “U” program during the semester following the assignment of the “U,” it will carry over into successive semesters. The “U” will not be cleared from your record until you complete the program.

Students cannot graduate until all “U”s are cleared from their records.

Department Contact Info


Sagan Academic Resource Center
Hamilton-Williams Campus Center #324
61 S. Sandusky St.
Delaware, Ohio 43015
P (740)-368-3925
E writingcenter@owu.edu