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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Norah E. Fahim
ENGL 281
Seattle Campus

Intermediate Expository Writing

Writing papers communicating information and opinion to develop accurate, competent, and effective expression.

Class description

Intermediate Expository Writing: Investigating Seattle Communities: Writing with Qualitative and Quantitative Research Methods

This course is an intermediate writing course that uses qualitative and quantitative research as a tool for communicating information and opinions to develop accurate, competent, and effective expression. In this course students will work individually and in groups to research Seattle communities such as the Chinatown/International District and the Pike Market neighborhood. Instructors and UW librarians will work with students in a variety of research methods, including observation, census data, local history, local and regional newspapers, web sites and interviews. Through this course students will further enhance their writing skills while working individually and in groups on a line of qualitative and quantitative research. Throughout the course students will work on how to reflect their findings through different genres. Some of these genres will include field notes, research papers, narratives, interview transcripts, and group presentations. Students will make use of both instructor and peer feedback, and make use of Google docs for collaborative writing projects. It is assumed that students have experience in college writing (such as ENGL 109/110, 111, 121 or 131 or a similar class). Readings will be available on the course website and will involve methods and samples of qualitative research.

Student learning goals

• work through a complex, recursive, scaffolded research process beginning with a shared general subject: an urban Seattle neighborhood which is a tourist attraction, a historic district, and the home and workplace of people who may not have a lot of similarities with the people who visit their community to spend money and see the sights;

• define research questions/lines of inquiry both individually and collaboratively;

• learn to use a specific research method or resource (in partnership with UW librarians) to get a deeper more focused look at your group’s community and line of inquiry;

• reflect (individually and collaboratively) on what you can know – and what you can’t know – and on how to use writing to both work through and communicate that knowledge by participating in shared subjects and lines of inquiry, and substantive peer review and group co-authoring;

• draw conclusions about the communities you studied, about research, reading, writing, presenting, yourself as a researcher and writer, and the ways in which what you have learned might transfer to other writing situations.

General method of instruction

Key learning components to this course involve self-reflection on one's writing, group work and peer reviews.

Recommended preparation

It is assumed that students have experience in college writing (such as ENGL 109/110, 111, 121 or 131 or a similar class). Readings will be available on the course website and will involve methods and samples of qualitative research.

Class assignments and grading

Participation and homework (including peer reviews, in-class workshops, timely submissions, conference meeting and online discussions): 20% Researcher’s Notebook 5% Essay 1 (observation): 15% Essay 2 (individual research project): 20% Poster Conference Presentation: 15% Community Profile Analysis (group grade): 10% Essay 3 (final reflection): 15%


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 Norah E. Fahim
Date: 03/27/2013