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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Sam S Hushagen
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

What is the point of a college education? Is it to provide students with an economically viable skill set, or to produce critically engaged global citizens? Why is college education so valued in our culture? And, more personally, why are you here and what do you hope to get out of your education? These are just a few of the questions that we will engage over the term as we develop the advanced reading and academic writing skills that will contribute to your success in the rest of your college career, regardless of whether you major in mechanical engineering or comparative literature. Our reading, writing, and class discussion will push you to engage critically with the role of education in our culture and in your life. There is a vital conversation occurring right now about the value and objectives of education and we will be jumping into the thick of it. It is my hope that our theme for the quarter will make the work we do here really matter to you. I want this course to be an opportunity for you all to think about, write about, and read about education, here at the outset of your college experience. Our reading will range from the popular, to the densely theoretical, all of it open to debate, refutation, praise or polemic.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading

I will be asking you to engage with these issues in two sequences of written assignments. Each sequence will be comprised of 3 short papers of 2-3 pages each, culminating in a major paper of 5-7 pages. This means you will be producing roughly one paper every week. These two assignment sequences will lead to the production of a portfolio of your best work, put together by you to highlight your achievements in this course and to demonstrate your growth over the term as a rhetorically aware, flexible, and contextually astute reader and writer. The emphasis throughout the term will be on your development, growth, and process as a writer. Thatís right. You are a writer. The skills we will practice in this class, such as genre awareness, developing a line of inquiry from your engagement with texts, evolving complex claims, evaluating the stakes of an argument, and practicing habits of revision and editing are skills you already possess and deploy in your everyday life, from admissions essays to status updates. It is my job to develop your awareness of these skills and help you strengthen them so you will have the toolkit to succeed beyond the confines of this course in composition. The course will culminate in your writing portfolio, which accounts for 70% of your grade. The portfolio is meant to demonstrate your growth over the quarter. I am not interested in grading what you know on day one, or on evaluating what you learned in high school. This is why your portfolio accounts for so much of your grade: I want to know, and I want you to show me how far youíve come over the term. Writing is a process, and, as your own writing process improves, so will your work. In this way, the portfolio also evaluates my effectiveness as an instructor of writing.


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 Sam S Hushagen
Date: 11/14/2013