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Instructor Class Description

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Terris L S Patterson
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

As you progress through your education and then through life, every one of you, regardless of your major or chosen profession, will utilize the skill of writing towards many possible aims and in various genres: handwriting letters to your grandparents, typing emails to your colleagues, IMing your own children at college one day, composing quarterly reports at work, or sending a complaint letter to a company whose crappy product your purchased. And each of these daily occurrences requires your ability to analyze the context you are operating within and to make stylistic choices appropriate to that situation, while acknowledging that tools like proofreading and revision allow you to express yourself most clearly and concisely—the hallmarks of effective communication!

The outcomes of English 131 have been carefully created to ensure that you will learn how to effectively perform each of these tasks, to name just a few. This course should not only prepare you for your collegiate career here at the UW, but also for life's demands, long after you have left the university's confines. English 131 will teach you how to challenge many of your culturally-conditioned assumptions and preconceived notions which are considered "common sense." We will investigate several contrasting theories in the field of education—and which directly affect the university atmosphere—which define the amount and types of information disseminated from teacher to student.

By examining the foundational logic which supports the myriad of available opinions and perspectives through a critical lens, you will discover how to analyze and interpret data and recognize commonly employed fallacies. You can then, and only then, develop your own personal stances on a variety of subjects which are, in turn, supported by rational, established evidence; and you will learn how to defend your ideas and beliefs as such and appropriately. This course will introduce you to a set of skills that will assist you in expressing yourself effectively and communicating convincingly in everyday life.

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 Terris L S Patterson
Date: 11/16/2007