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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Wesley J Matlock
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

In this course, we will investigate what it means (and how!) to write successfully both inside and outside of the university. This will involve learning how best to manipulate words and language to produce complex, analytical, and persuasive arguments of our own across a variety of styles, genres, and audiences. This will require time, patience, and practice. As we focus on developing these writing skills, we will also engage in a process of inquiry and thoughtful interrogation of a range of source materials, focusing on power relationships of language use, variety, and identity, in order to critically examine the stakes surrounding issues of multilingualism. Learning to understand why the arguments we read (and write!) matter within a variety of contexts, and to a wide range of audiences, will allow us to meaningfully reflect on, rewrite, and substantially revise our works. These skills will all become key elements in our writer’s toolboxes as we share our interests, experiences, and insights into producing powerful works that will help us become flexible and persuasive writers.

Student learning goals

Students will be able to write coherently for particular audiences.

Students will be able to write coherently for particular genres.

Students will be able to summarize, paraphrase, and use quotations in meaningful argument.

Students will be able to use appeals to ethos, pathos, and logos in meaningful argument.

Students will be able to effectively edit, revise, and proofread their own and others' work.

Students will be able to build knowledge together in a constructive and peer oriented environment.

General method of instruction

Some days will involve mini-lectures, but much of our class time will be spent in peer workshop groups in order to develop knowledge together and experience multiple perspective on the topics and issues we will discuss.

Recommended preparation

Come to class with an open mind towards writing and a desire to work on larger aspects of argument. We will focus on grammar and syntax, but the priority for our class will be on creating persuasive arguments and finding our own voices.

Class assignments and grading

Expect to write a short assignment (2-3 pages) every weekend and two major papers (5-7 pages) during the course of the quarter.

All grades are based on a final portfolio (70%) and daily participation (30%) will also comprise your final 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 Wesley J Matlock
Date: 02/14/2014