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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Ann E Shivers-Mcnair
ENGL 131
Seattle Campus

Composition: Exposition

Study and practice of good writing: topics derived from a variety of personal, academic, and public subjects. 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 131 introduces students to strategies, tools, and resources necessary to writing effectively in college. While it is impossible in this class to explore every potential type of writing situation you may encounter in college, it is both possible and necessary to learn key writing processes, skills, reading and research strategies, and ways of thinking that you can apply to other, future writing situations. To do this, we will engage in inquiry, analysis, synthesis, and meaning-making through argument—all writing habits emphasized by our course outcomes (or goals), which appear on this syllabus and which we will discuss throughout the quarter. And we will cultivate a practice of continual critical reflection on our writing choices, processes, and situations, because this is how we learn to apply our writing skills and experiences to new situations.

As we work toward those goals, we will use the concept of genre as a theoretical lens. We will consider the ways in which genres are more than just categories of texts; in fact, genres are frameworks that present writers and readers with choices, constraints, and opportunities for meaning-making. We will begin by considering our own histories with genres and work toward an inquiry into the ways in which genres work as a boundary ritual, as a way of distinguishing between insiders and outsiders, in a community. And because the way to become a better writer is to write, write, and write some more, the bulk of the assignments for the quarter will be written work. In a final portfolio, we will showcase our work and reflect on how that work exemplifies our course outcomes. By becoming a community of engaged and reflective writers, we will gain strategies and skills that will benefit us far beyond the realm of this class and maybe even this campus.

Student learning goals

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 Ann E Shivers-Mcnair
Date: 02/26/2014