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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Norah E. Fahim
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

“Don’t write merely to be understood. Write so that you cannot possibly be misunderstood.?

-Robert Louis Stevenson

Welcome to English to 131! So you’ve probably asked yourself why exactly you need this course and what will you learn from English 131? Maybe you’ve wondered about how we’re going to get through this course. Here are a few course descriptors which will walk you through these questions, and perhaps a little more.

Why do we offer English 131?

So you’ve probably taken writing classes before, and have your own idea about what writing means. Together we will work on modifying and expanding all the writing skills you already know in order to meet the writing standards expected of you in an academic context regardless of your field. These skills will help you beyond your university career, and will resonate with you in both your professional and personal lives. Wherever you go or whatever you do, you need to be a savvy writer, and a sharp reader of texts- regardless of what genre or form they come in.

What will you learn from English 131? (Keep these in mind as we will be referring to them often- consider them our “secret code?. Also refer to outcomes at end of syllabus)

1. You will be able to discern the strategies used by writers in different writing contexts. In turn, as a writer you will be able to make conscious and educated decisions in your own writings. You will gain an awareness of your audience, and determine your tone and purpose for each writing. 2. You will be able to read between the lines, analyze and synthesize complex texts and evidence in order to substantiate your writing. 3. You will be able to produce complex, analytic and persuasive arguments that are crucial to academic contexts and beyond. Your arguments will need to consider multiple perspectives and provide reliable evidence. 4. “In the writing process, the more a thing cooks the better? (Doris Lessing), and that is what we will work on together. You will be able to develop flexible strategies to revise, edit and proofread your written works.

How will you achieve these learning outcomes?

We will read a range of texts that include typically academic texts, newspaper articles, memoires, poems, visual representations, and various other genres that serve different audiences. During this course we will begin to explore the theme of Language, Identity and Representation. During our first sequence we will address how language can play a crucial part in identity formation. In the second sequence we will delve deeper into how identities within societies are formed and represented through factors that go beyond language. I hope through our in-class discussions and assigned writings that you find a personal investment while utilizing the rhetorical devices and writing skills that we will learn (remember that secret code above). The course theme of Language, Identity, and Representation will provide you with a chance to explore your views on the issues discussed in class through your academic writing, while also assessing other authors’ views. English 131 involves weekly readings, weekly assignments, participation, and consistent dedication. By the end of this course, I hope to convince you that academic writing is a useful way to comprehend, question and converse with the world. The skills you will learn from this class are meant to help you throughout your university career and beyond- that is the ultimate purpose of English 131.

Student learning goals

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

2. To read, analyze, and synthesize complex texts and incorporate multiple kinds of evidence purposefully in order to generate and support writing.

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

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 Norah E. Fahim
Date: 04/27/2011