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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

William S. Arighi
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

This course will focus on developing us as writers to prepare us for an academic career here at the University of Washington. The preparation as writers that we will undertake, however, will also serve us in any and all walks of life to be clearer and more effective communicators.

Whether you consider yourself to be a good writer or not, we must realize that writing is not a "gift" and no one is a natural writer. Writing is a complex set of skills that requires much practice. Towards this end, this course will require A LOT of writing. You will be asked to write approximately six 2-3 pp. papers and two 5-7 pp. papers. You will also be required to revise extensively several of these assignments for a final portfolio. Each class session is designed to provide you with the necessary skills to complete these tasks, everything from how to develop complex arguments to how to do basic research. By the end of this course, you should be able to look back at an extensive body of your own written work and know that this represents a difficult step toward your being a productive, sophisticated, and even happy writer.

This section of ENGL 131 will focus on the notion of education and its relationship to writing. The readings for will focus on education and its various uses, including some discussion of the changing role of education through history. The writing assignments that will accompany these readings will explore multiple ways of learning and, in the process, interrogate the very goals of education as it is currently practiced.

Student learning goals

The Course Outcomes for all ENGL 131 courses are as follows:

1. To demonstrate an awareness of the strategies that writers use in different writing contexts.

2. To read, analyze, and synthesize complex texts and incorporate multiple kinds of evidence purposefully in order to generate and support writing.

3. To produce complex, analytic, persuasive arguments that matter in academic contexts.

4. To develop flexible strategies for revising, editing, and proofreading writing.

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading

The grade is determined by a formula of 30% participation, 70% portfolio. Individual papers are not graded, but rather provided with feedback for revising the paper. These papers are then collected in a final portfolio, in which several papers are selected by the student as demonstrating the course outcomes. These selected papers, along with a cover letter that will narrate how each selected paper addresses the outcomes, will determine the grade of the portfolio. Participation points are based on preparation for the in-class assignments, completion of each assignment in a timely manner, and attending two conferences with the instructor over the course of the quarter.


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 William S. Arighi
Date: 11/19/2011