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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Robert H Hodges
ENGL 121
Seattle Campus

Composition: Social Issues

Focuses on the study and practice of good writing: topics derived from a variety of personal, academic, and public subjects. Includes a service-learning component allowing students to engage with and write about social issues in applied ways.. Cannot be taken if student has already received a grade of 2.0 or higher in either ENGL 111, ENGL 121, or ENGL 131.

Class description

English 121 integrates service learning to a first year college writing course to help students develop academic writing skills. Students will read a variety of non-fictional writing concerning social formations of class, race, and space as well as watch episodes of The Wire and Treme and read comics from Scalped and Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt. Some of these texts will depict graphic violence, sexuality, and/or language. Course texts will concern a variety of spaces: Baltimore, New Orleans, Pine Ridge, and Seattle. Students will be introduced to theoretical concepts and apply those concepts to these social formations.

Students will volunteer between 20 and 40 hours over the course of the quarter. Students will produce research and publicly-oriented, critically-informed writing about questions that their service learning work and readings raise. The service learning work and the students’ reflections on it will also be key texts in the course. This course’s reading and writing loads bear in mind students’ time commitment to their service organizations.

Student learning goals

Students will complete their service work in an ethical and reasonably efficient manner.

Students will come to class and add comments and/or questions to discussions and complete reading and writing assignments and exercises during and for every class.

Students will conduct significant research and revise their work beyond simple stylistic edits.

Students will reflect on the significance of their writing choices and service learning experiences.

Students will leave this class with improved skills in reading, writing, reflecting, researching, and revising as well as deepened understanding of questions about service, cities, and spatial justice.

Students will comply with UW’s policy for students to not write publicly about their service organization without that organization’s consent

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Robert H Hodges
Date: 02/09/2013