ENGL 109 E: Introductory Composition

Meeting Time: 
MTWTh 10:30am - 11:20am
PAR 322

Syllabus Description:



An electronic copy of the syllabus can be found here.


English 109 E: Introductory Composition

MTWTh 10:30-11:20AM

Fall Quarter 2014


Instructor: Justina Rompogren

E-mail: greatsea@u.washington.edu

Classroom:  PAR 322

Office: ART 351

Office Hours: T/Th 11:30-12:20 PM

Class Website: Canvas (accessible through MyUW)

Course Description:

Welcome to ENGL 109! This class is part one of the ENGL 109/110 stretch course, both of which are intended to introduce you to college-level academic reading and writing. We will be learning critical reading and writing skills that include how to critically read, question, write, and argue. Our course theme loosely centers on technology, awareness/mindfulness, and socialization. We will study how technology and surveillance affects our lives and the way we live them, while also looking at how awareness of our habits can play a role in the ways we respond to our environment. While exploring these themes, we will also apply a core set of academic skills (listed below under “109 Learning Goals”) to class discussions and essays. Lastly, in this class we will approach reading and writing as a “conversation” and the papers that you write through the quarter (as well as our class discussions) will be conducted with this framing in mind.


109 Learning Goals

  • To be able to read and annotate an academic article
  • To gain familiarity with traditional academic grammar and style conventions
  • To be able to write a summary or précis, extended definition, and response paper
  • To acquire a vocabulary for discussing writing (claim, argument, organization, introduction, conclusion, transition)
  • To learn to begin formulating and developing an argument using the “they say, I say” format
  • To write several short pieces and one longer (4-6 pages) analytical argument essay that goes through a draft-revision process and incorporates earlier writing assignments


Course Materials and Texts:

  • Required Text: They Say, I Say: The Moves that Matter in Academic Writing
  • A notebook during class
  • MyUW account – Please check your UW email and the course website (on Canvas) frequently



Over the course of the next 10 weeks you will be asked to complete 6 Short Essays and 1 Long Essay. The essays you write will be relevant to the topics we discuss in class, and are designed to lead up to your Long Essay. Each of the assignments will focus on one or more of the 109 Learning Goals. Your Short Essays will be approximately 1 - 2 pages and your Long Essay (the last of the sequence) will be 4 - 6 pages.

None of your essays will be graded, though I will provide feedback for all of them in the form of written comments and rubrics. This is to allow you space to experiment with and explore writing and to recognize also that you are learners, and as such will make mistakes. My goal is not to hand out grades but to assess the content and skill of your writing and give you feedback accordingly.



Each of your assignments is designed to help you fulfill the ENGL 109 Learning Goals. Each of the assignments will help you target one or more of the Learning Goals at a time, helping you practice these goals and allowing you to build up to the Long Essay.

Your portfolio constitutes your final project for the class and will include ALL of your work throughout the quarter: all of your Short Essays and drafts, plus your Long Essay and drafts, and also a Critical Reflection in which you will discuss your progress in the course and how your portfolio demonstrates the 109 Learning Goals. In addition to compiling your work into a single portfolio, you will also be asked to revise 3 of the Short Essays (of your choosing) as well as the Long Essay to be evaluated for your final grade. There will be many opportunities to revise in class during the quarter (during peer reviews, conferences, etc.), but you will be expected to conduct a majority of your revisions on your own after we’ve learned the necessary elements and processes of revision.



Final Portfolio: 70%

The majority of your grade will be based on the portfolio that you will turn in at the end of thequarter, (which, as mentioned above will consist of your entire body of work produced in this course, along with 3 revised Short Essays of your choosing to be graded, your revised Long Essay along with its drafts, and a Critical Reflection). Please keep all of your essays from this class (on paper or electronically), and do not throw away essays that you receive with my feedback or feedback from your peers as these will need to be included in your portfolio. An incomplete portfolio (i.e. missing one or several essay) will receive a failing grade.

Again, in your final portfolio I will only be assessing your 3 chosen Short Essays, Long Essay, and Critical Reflection and grading them as a whole – though you still need to include all of your work from the class. I will provide feedback on your essays during the quarter in the form of written comments and rubrics, and you can use information in my feedback to decide which Short Essays you’d like to revise for the portfolio.

To give you an idea of your progress during the quarter, I will write a Fifth Week Progress Report that outlines a brief description of your attendance, participation, quality of work, timeliness and any concerns I have regarding the above. If you have questions about how you are doing in the class at any point, please do not hesitate to come and see me during office hours and we can discuss where you are.

Participation: 30%

Your participation in class is very important to your success in the course and depends on several criteria. Firstly, timeliness of papers is important so that you receive prompt feedback from your peers and instructor. Also, throughout the quarter, we will have in-class writes, group work, peer-review, class discussions, and conferences, and your thoughtful participation in these activities will count positively toward your participation grade. Please come to class having read the material for that day and be prepared to write or talk about it. It is essential for you to complete the readings for this course prior to coming to class so that we can all conduct a useful and engaging class discussion. Completing the readings includes annotating (which we will discuss and practice!), which will be useful for classroom contributions. In addition, preparation includes bringing in completed assignments on the day they are due. Overall, your participation grade will be based on the following: being prepared and on time for class each day, completing the readings on time and being prepared to discuss them in class, completing and turning in assignments on time, contributing to class discussion, participating in group work and peer reviews, and participating in two mandatory conferences with me. Remember that class discussions and peer review sessions cannot be made up if you miss class.



During the quarter, each of you will be required to meet with me twice in writing conferences to discuss your work. These conferences will be 15-20 minute sessions during which we will talk about your work in more detail than is possible during class time.  Although only two conferences are required, I encourage you to drop by during office hours to talk about your assignments, papers, the readings, or anything else!


Late or Missing Work and Absences:

Much of the work we do in this course depends on each student coming to class fully prepared to participate.  We will spend a lot of time in class reviewing, discussing, and revising your assignments/readings so coming to class unprepared will not only be detrimental to your ability to learn in this course, it will also affect your classmates, who will lose the chance to hear from another perspective (you!). I will not offer feedback on any assignments that are turned in late (after one grace).  The missing feedback could put you at a disadvantage for the portfolio revisions and you will also lose points from your participation grade, so please submit all assignments on time. If you miss class, you will be responsible for acquiring assignments and catching up.



Please check your university e-mail accounts periodically as I may send out announcements, updates, etc.  Outside of office hours, e-mail is the best way to get in touch with me.


“N” Grade:

Upon completion of English 109, you will give each receive an “N” grade on your grade report. Students have one year in which to complete English 110. When the entire sequence is successfully completed, students receive one final grade for both courses (an average of the grades from 109 and 110) and ten credits (5 “C” or composition credits and 5 elective credits).


Respectful Behavior:

We will be discussing ideas and texts that may be unfamiliar to you.  I want to emphasize that the classroom is a safe place for academic conversations and I expect everyone to be respectful of each other’s thoughts and ideas, especially if they are different from your own.  We will all work on maintaining a respectful classroom culture, and that includes using inclusive language. Derogatory or discourteous language or behavior will not be tolerated in the classroom. I recognize that we are all learning, but I do expect respectful attitudes at all times and an effort from everyone to expand your way of thinking.


Academic Honesty:

Plagiarism, or academic dishonesty, is presenting someone else's ideas or writing as your own. In your writing for this class, you are encouraged to refer to other people's thoughts and writing--as long as you cite them. As a matter of policy, any student found to have plagiarized any piece of writing in this class will be immediately reported to the College of Arts and Sciences for review. Please talk to me if you have any concerns regarding plagiarism. For more information, you can also refer to UW’s Student Conduct Code at www.washington.edu/students/handbook/conduct.html.



If you need accommodation of any sort, please let me know so that I can work with the UW Disability Services Office (DSO) to provide what you require. More information about accommodation may be found at www.washington.edu/admin/dso/.



If you have any concerns about the course or your instructor, please see the instructor about these concerns as soon as possible. If you are not comfortable talking with the instructor or not satisfied with the response that you receive, you may contact the following Expository Writing staff in PDL A-11:

Anis Bawarshi, Director: (206) 543-2190 or bawarshi@uw.edu

Caleb Knapp, Asst. Director: (206) 685-2461 or cbk5@uw.edu

Liz Janssen, Asst. Director: 685-2461 or ljanssen@uw.edu

If, after speaking with the Director of Expository Writing or one of the Assistant Directors, you are still not satisfied with the response you receive, you may contact Gary Handwerk, English

Department Chair, in Padelford A-101, at (206) 543-2690.


UW SafeCampus:

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  • Always call 911 if you or others may be in danger.
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For more information visit the SafeCampus website at www.washington.edu/safecampus.


Campus and Web Resources:

  • Instructional Center (IC) – Provides tutoring and study groups for students in almost every discipline or major. M - F 8:30am - 5:00pm. http://depts.washington.edu/ic/
  • Odegaard Writing & Research Center – Offers specialized tutoring assistance through all stages of the writing and research process. Sunday 1:30-6:00pm; Monday through Thursday, 12:00-9:00pm.206-221-0972 ext. 273. http://depts.washington.edu/owrc/  
GE Requirements: 
Other Requirements Met: 
Last updated: 
February 19, 2016 - 9:28am