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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Lin Chen
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

“The Deluded Reader: Two Case Studies”

“What is written without effort,” Dr. Johnson once shrewdly observed, “is in general read without pleasure.” The maxim uncovers the truth that good writing almost always means hard work. Your own writing experience might give you an inkling of how this can be true, but some inkling alone is not enough for you to succeed in various academic situations you will encounter at the college level. What difficulties are involved in academic writing? What strategies can you use to deal with them? English 131 is designed to guide you through the complicated process of academic writing.

We will begin with general reflections on common obstacles to the teaching of academic writing, the mutual influence of reading and writing as interlinking intellectual activities, and finally the various rhetorical strategies at your disposal as an academic writer, such as summarizing and synthesizing, formulating a claim and developing supporting paragraphs, revision and editing. We will then proceed to concentrate on the main theme of the course, which involves carefully reading two important poems in the English poetic tradition and some of the recent critical responses to them, in order to illuminate through two case studies the conversational character of academic writing.

This composition course is constructed on a progressive basis, using short writing assignments as a springboard for each of the two major papers you will complete during the quarter. Your ultimate goal is to create a portfolio by the end of the quarter that demonstrates your proficiency with the Expository Writing Program’s (EWP) course outcomes. In addition to formal writing assignments, you will also participate in class discussions, peer workshops, individual conferences etc, as ways to enhance your ability to read actively, think critically, and write effectively.

Student learning goals

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 Lin Chen
Date: 03/25/2011