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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Nancy A Fox
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

When you hear the word "argument," do you think right away of a big fight? Maybe you picture an argument the way it's portrayed in this scene from Monty Python's Flying Circus: "This isn't an argument" -- "Yes, it is" ... "No, it isn't" ... "Yes, it is" ... No ... Yes ..." But: No, that isn't an argument. In this course you'll learn how to analyze arguments in films and written texts. You'll learn how to write interesting arguments that have value in the university, and how to present those arguments in multi-media forms. This means you'll pay close attention to audience, purpose, and strategy. Our continuous process of draft and revision, which culminates in your final argument, your portfolio, will teach you how to add your own distinctive voice to the conversation, or discourse, of the university, and write your own argument with clarity, confidence, creativity, and informed critical thought.

I choose a specific theme each term -- such as "Dream America" or "What Is Your Dangerous Idea" or "Creating Identity" -- and I'll let you know about this on the first day of class.

Student learning goals

1. To demonstrate an awareness of the strategies that writers use in different writing contexts.

2. To demonstrate an understanding of the course texts as necessary for the purpose at hand.

3. To produce complex, analytic, persuasive arguments that matter in academic contexts.

4. To develop flexible strategies for revising, editing, and proofreading writing.

General method of instruction

I use a combo of written texts and films. You'll be asked to present your short creative texts and visual projects either to the class or the group (depending on your vote). Two conferences with me about the major papers are required.

Recommended preparation

Please bring writing material to our first day of class.

Class assignments and grading

Our projects include short texts, both verbal and visual (1-3 pages each), keyed to each reading or film, and two major papers (5-7 pages each.

Your assignments receive participation grades only (30% of your final grade). The final course project is the portfolio, which consists of texts you select from your work as well as a final reflection. This project is worth 70% of your grade.


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 Nancy A Fox
Date: 03/01/2010