Procedures, Guidelines, and Technical Requirements

  1. Login at using your Rice NetID and password to access the topics and readings for the essay.
  2. Write your essay without assistance from anyone.
  3. Proofread the essay carefully.
  4. Submit the essay before the specified deadline.  Please back-up your essay before submitting in case of internal or external technical issues.
  5. Check to see that you have received your confirmation e-mail. 


  • The essay must contain at least 600 words and no more than 750 words. While the computer program will accept a summary longer than 750 words, such a summary most likely contains extraneous details or verbiage that actually would weaken the summary in the eyes of a grader. The graders are Rice faculty and have been carefully trained on the selected articles and the requirements of this exam.  In other words, they are scholarly readers and writers themselves and understand what constitutes an effective academic summary.
  • You may take the CE only once.
  • You may write the essay on a computer and use spelling checkers.  You may also use dictionaries or handbooks, but no other reference materials are allowed.
  • The essay questions are designed to allow you to write appropriate responses without any additional research. Do not do any additional reading or research beyond the articles provided, and, for the purposes of writing the essay, do not refer to any previous information you may have read on the subject. Each time you use information from the articles provided, you must document the sources.  Please see the essay instructions for information on how to paraphrase and properly credit the articles. Go to the Overview page for information on plagiarism and the Honor Code. You will need to document any references to the articles by using the last name of the author or article title and the page number.
  • Once you access the readings for the essay, you have 3 hours to submit your essay.  Any student with a disability requiring accommodations on this timed writing exam must register with Disability Support Services (DSS).  You may contact the DSS office at 713-348-5841 or
  • You should not discuss the subject matter with anyone. Furthermore, you may not receive any assistance from anyone in planning, writing, revising, or editing the essays.

Go to Overview for a more complete discussion of the Honor Code guidelines for these essays.

Technical Requirements

To take the CE

  • You must be an undergraduate entering Rice University.
  • You will need to have your Rice NetID and password.  Need to activate your NetID?  Click here.
  • You will need access to a computer with Internet access (modem, DSL, cable connections, etc.)

 To receive notifications about deadlines and results, you will need to monitor your Rice email account.

Questions about the exam:
(713) 348-4932