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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Jennifer W Atkinson
B CUSP 134
Bothell Campus

Interdisciplinary Writing

Offers an interdisciplinary approach to composition, including generating a compelling topic; the articulation of a thesis; the development of supporting evidence; the ability to draw conclusions from the evidence, clear organization of the essay, correct mechanics; awareness of audience, and knowledge of resources for research. Prerequisite: may not be taken for credit if previously earned a minimum grade of 2.0 B CUSP 101, B CUSP 114, or ENGL 131. Offered: AWSp.

Class description

This course helps students develop academic writing skills, engage with diverse source materials and generate arguments through the evaluation and analysis of evidence. Our theme this quarter is “Food for Thought: A Survey of the Politics & Culture of Food.” To help you develop a deeper sense for how various disciplines approach (and construct) intellectual problems, we will explore this topic through readings in journalism, health sciences, environmental studies, literary fiction, history and social justice literature. Because you are already a participant in the ongoing story of global food production and consumption, this course will also help you use your writing to actively connect with and contribute to public discussions in this field: across the quarter you will write papers that emerge out of our readings and discussions; submit editorial content to newspapers and blogs; respond to the writing of your peers within workshops; and participate in online discussions that debate topics from global hunger and obesity to factory farming, labor exploitation and personal sensory experience.

Student learning goals

Produce well-written and analytically rigorous arguments with clearly defined stakes, and approach writing as a way of producing knowledge (as opposed to merely transmitting it).

Develop skills and strategies useful for participating in the discussions of this course along with a range of other debates within and beyond the university.

Gain an understanding of the rhetorical strategies and genre conventions that writers use to approach questions across the disciplinary spectrum.

Generate a cooperative spirit as a community of students and mutually support one another as writers/learners through peer feedback and editing.

Develop skills for analyzing and synthesizing complex readings in order to support one’s own writing.

Recognize writing as a public act through audience awareness.

General method of instruction

Class discussions, in-class writing assignments, peer evaluation activities, writing workshops and some lectures.

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading

To accomplish our learning objectives, students in this course will keep a detailed writing journal that records notes, reading responses and in-class writing exercises; review peer work; complete 4 main writing assignments (5-6 pages each); substantially revise and conduct additional research for an essay of their choice; submit a final portfolio containing all drafts of the 4 essays, the substantially revised research project, and a reflective cover letter.

Final grades will be based on participation (15%), completion of journal exercises (15%) and the final writing portfolio (70%).


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 Jennifer W Atkinson
Date: 10/06/2009