ENGL 131 D7: Composition: Exposition

Meeting Time: 
MW 10:30am - 12:20pm
MGH 082
Meagan Loftin

Syllabus Description:

ENGLISH 131, SECTION D7:  Genre all around us

FALL 2014

LOCATION/TIME: MGH 082 MW 10:30-12:20

INSTRUCTOR: Meagan Loftin


OFFICE HOURS: MW 12:30-1:30 or by appointment

EMAIL: mloftin@uw.edu

CLASS WEBSITE: https://canvas.uw.edu/courses/915212




noun: genre; plural noun: genres

a category of artistic composition, as in music or literature, characterized by similarities in form, style, or subject matter.

synonyms: category, class, classification, group, set, list



In this section of English 131, we will focus on the analysis and production of genres.  The class is structured around four modules focusing on different aspects of genre: Audience, Tone and Medium, Situation and Purpose, Organization and Layout, and Comparative Genre Analysis, and a final, fifth, module on the Portfolio (discussed below).  In the EWP (Expository Writing Program, a.k.a the people who run ENG131) we like to say that by the end of the quarter you will be able to:

  • Recognize good academic writing and be able to produce it.
  • Be able to recognize the choices an author makes and the tools one uses to communicate with specific audiences for specific purposes.
  • Know how to analyze and enter into a dialogue with (to talk about and respond to) one or more texts, how texts are in a dialogue with each other and how to communicate that dialogue to your audience.
  • Know how to do research and use resources effectively to produce clear, complex and meaningful arguments.
  • Have the skills to revise your work in a substantial way (not just editing) and understand that revision is an ongoing process of analysis and reflection.  

However, key to this whole endeavor is that most importantly you will be able to use what you have learned here across disciplines.

Working with genre; understanding the conventions of different genres and why they act the way they do is the best preparation you can have for learning how to take writing skills in an English class and transfer them any other class you take or task you have to do in the future. 

That being said, your success in this class is not based on the theories of genre we will be reading about, but on the writing your produce.  To that end, in this course you will complete several short assignments and one longer research paper totaling between 19 and 27 pages of formal writing as well as shorter pieces of informal writing.  At the end of the quarter you will produce a portfolio containing your best writing and a reflection of how that writing demonstrates the EWP course outcomes.  Throughout the course, you will be expected to come to class on time and prepared, to participate in discussion and workshops, and to have open ears and an open mind to what your classmates have to say.  

As part of the English Department’s Computer Integrated Classroom (CIC) program, we will have access to technologies not available in the traditional classroom. You will be using the computers to conduct research, participate in online discussions, complete group exercises, draft and share work, comment on your peers' essays, and keep a record (in your individual folder) of your written work. With these opportunities come a few additional requirements. You will need to provide some of your work in electronic form, and this may require you to convert your files into Word format. You will also need to put in effort early in the quarter to become comfortable with the computer skills needed for success in this class.





  • Hobmeier, Amanda, Wachter-Grene, Kirin, et al. Contexts for Inquiry: A Guide to Reading, Research, and Writing at the University of Washington. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2013.
  • Lunsford, Andrea. The Everyday Writer. 4th ed. Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2010. OR Four Year Access Card Writers Help




Toward the end of the course, having completed the four modules, you will be asked to compile and submit a portfolio of your work along with reflective writing. The portfolio will include:

  • 3-4 papers totaling no less than 11 pages of formal, revised writing.
  • A critical reflection explaining how the portfolio demonstrates the course outcomes.

In addition, the portfolio will include all of the papers you do not revise. A portfolio that does not include all the above will be considered "Incomplete" and will earn a grade of 0.0-0.9. The grade for complete portfolios will be based on the extent to which the pieces you select demonstrate the course outcomes. The portfolio will be worth 70% of your final grade.

Because you will not be turning in your portfolio until the end of the quarter, you will not be graded on any of your assignments until that time. The great benefit of this portfolio system is that you are able to develop new skills and techniques before being assessed-this allows your grade to be based on your best possible writing. Therefore, your grade will be based on how well you address the course outcomes at the end of the quarter rather than the beginning.

Your portfolio will be due Monday, December 8th by Noon.



The rest of your grade will be determined by your participation in and out of class. Your participation grade consists of these components:

  • Attendance: If you are not present in class, you cannot participate; therefore regular attendance is key to your participation grade.
  • In-Class Discussions: Contributions to class in the form of responding to questions, engaging in group work, and providing feedback in peer review. I expect you to be consistently prepared with readings and active in all discussions.
  • Revision Plans: You will be required to complete revision plans for four of your shorter papers. These will be submitted in the comment section of the correlating paper and will be due 1 week after receiving feedback from me. 
  • Discussions: You will be required to regular postings on the Discussion board throughout the quarter.  These should be submitted by 10:00PM the night indicated on the syllabus (note these are due on days we do not meet).
  • Grammar Presentations: Everyone will sign up for one of 4 grammar presentations throughout the quarter.  This includes a 800-1200 word post submitted to the class discussion page and a 3-5 minute presentation in class.
  • Conferences: You will have two conferences with me over the course of the quarter.  Attendance, prepared with material, for both prepared will earn full points.

Because the exchange of ideas is so important to this class, it is necessary for everyone to be respectful of one another. It is normal and even expected that, in our class discussions, we will disagree. Differences can and should be discussed, but these discussions should maintain the academic spirit of respect. Derogatory or discourteous language/behavior will not be tolerated in our classroom.

Please turn off all cell phones and any other electronic gadgets that make noise before coming to class. If you feel the need to answer a call or send a text, you will be asked to leave class.



As noted above, this course will require you to produce between 19-27 pages of formal writing split between seven shorter assignments and one longer research paper.  Assignments are due online by 10:30AM on the day indicated on the syllabus.

NOTE: 2 pages means 2 COMPLETE pages, not 1 page and the first four lines of the next.

Papers should be formatted as follows:

  • It should have your name in the upper left of the first page and a title above the text.
  • It should be double-spaced, with 1 in margins.
  • It should be in either Times New Roman or Calibri font (12 pt).
  • It should be proofread for typos, grammar, and spelling.
  • It should use correct MLA citation if any text is used.
  • It should include a separate Works Cited Page(not included in page count) in MLA format if any text is used.



Throughout the quarter, your papers will receive feedback to help you identify what you are doing well and what you need to improve. The following evaluation rubric will be used as part of my feedback:

  • Outstanding: Offers a very highly proficient, even memorable demonstration of the trait(s) associated with the course outcome(s), including some appropriate risk-taking and/or creativity.
  • Strong: Offers a proficient demonstration of the trait(s) associated with the course outcome(s), which could be further enhanced with revision.
  • Good: Effectively demonstrates the trait(s) associate with the course outcome(s), but less proficiently; could use revision to demonstrate more skillful and nuanced command of trait(s).
  • Acceptable: Minimally meets the basic outcome(s) requirement, but the demonstrated trait(s) are not fully realized or well-controlled and would benefit from significant revision.
  • Inadequate: Does not meet the outcome(s) requirement; the trait(s) are not adequately demonstrated and require substantial revision on multiple levels.



You will sign up for 1 of 4 grammar presentations throughout the quarter.  For these presentations you will be working in a group of 5-6 people.  Your group must prepare a 800-1200 word discussion post on your grammar topic and post it on the class Discussion page by 10:30AM the day of your presentation. In class, your group will give a presentation on the grammar topic for 3-5 minutes.  Everyone in the group must talk during the presentation.      

You can find the requirements for the presentation/post here.




You are expected to be an active participant in class, so come prepared to contribute to the discussion and participate in activities. When you miss a class, you miss the opportunity to be a member of the class community and your participation grade will suffer if you are not in class to participate. If you are absent, ask a member of your class for notes and make up missed work in a timely manner (see “Late Work” below). If you come in after class has started, even by only a few minutes, you will be considered late.  If you need to leave early, please come and talk to me BEFORE class starts.



While in the lab you should observe the following rules.  Not complying by these rules will result first in a warning.  If I see the same behavior a second time, you will be asked to leave class and you will not receive participation credit for that day.

  • No sitting on desks
  • No food or drinks
  • No downloading of software (games, instant messengers, etc.)
  • No surfing, typing, chatting, while others are talking
  • No cell-phone or personal electronic device use unless I have given you explicit directions otherwise
  • All files used during class should be saved to your personal file folder on Canvas
  • Log-off computers at the end of class

In addition, this room can be very noisy so please speak up while in lab so that others can hear you.



You are required to meet with me two times during the quarter in conferences to discuss your work. These conferences give you the opportunity to get feedback about your papers/projects and to express any concerns, questions, or suggestions you might have about the course or the assignments. Conferences are mandatory and, if missed, will affect your participation grade. You will sign up for conferences on the calendar here and I will provide detailed instructions about how to prepare for them in class.



All papers are due before class on the due date (10:30AM) in the Class Website unless otherwise specified. Unless you have worked out a different arrangement with me (I have approved an extension), I will not give written feedback on any assignments that are turned in late. That said, I am always available during office hours to discuss late assignments. You will still need to complete late work, as your portfolio must include all assignments in order for it to receive a passing grade. Consistently turning in late work will make successful completion of the portfolio nearly impossible. Note that all participation assignments (discussion posts, revision plans, grammar presentations, etc.) are not eligible for extension.  Late participation assignments will be graded as incomplete (0 points).



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.

If you are in a position where you’re tempted to plagiarize, it probably means there’s something else going on. Perhaps you’re having trouble understanding what the assignment is asking you to do, or you’re struggling to manage the multiple obligations of being a college student. These are totally understandable dilemmas, so please come talk to me about the source of the problem (so we can work on solving it) instead of creating a more serious problem for yourself by plagiarizing.

As a matter of policy, any student found plagiarizing any piece of writing in this class will be reported to the College of Arts and Sciences for review. For more information, refer to UW’s Student Conduct Code at:




I encourage you to take advantage of the following writing resources available to you at no charge. If you attend a writing conference, write me a one-page, double-spaced summary of who you worked with, what paper you focused on, and what you learned and I will add a point to your participation grade.

  • The CLUE Writing Center in Mary Gates Hall is open Sunday to Thursday from 7pm to midnight. The graduate tutors can help you with your claims, organization, and grammar. You do not need to make an appointment, so arrive early and be prepared to wait.
  • The Odegaard Writing and Research Center is open Sunday to Thursday from 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm and 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm. This writing center provides a research-integrated approach to writing instruction. Make an appointment on the website: www.depts.washington.edu/owrc.

The OWRC also offers a service called "Targeted Learning Communities." Targeted Learning Communities is specially designed for English Language Learners (ELL). This small-group, credit-bearing program, with weekly sessions facilitated by OWRC tutors, helps groups of 3-5 ELL students (who share a reading- or writing-intensive lower-division course) with troubleshooting some of the difficulties they encounter as second-language writers. Spaces for TLCs fill quickly, so if a group (3-5) of you want to sign-up for one, let me know by Sept. 26. 



If you need accommodation of any sort, please don’t hesitate to talk to me about it so that I can work with the UW Disability Services Office (DSO) to provide what you require. This syllabus is available in large print, as are other class materials. More information about accommodation may be found at http://www.washington.edu/admin/dso/.



Preventing violence is everyone's responsibility. If you're concerned, tell someone.

  • Always call 911 if you or others may be in danger.
  • Call 206-685-SAFE (7233) to report non-urgent threats of violence and for referrals to UW counseling and/or safety resources. TTY or VP callers, please call through your preferred relay service.
  • Don't walk alone. Campus safety guards can walk with you on campus after dark. Call Husky NightWalk 206-685-WALK (9255).
  • Stay connected in an emergency with UW Alert. Register your mobile number to receive instant notification of campus emergencies via text and voice messaging. Sign up online at www.washington.edu/alert

For more information visit the SafeCampus website: www.washington.edu/safecampus.



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 Padelford A-11:

If, after speaking with the Director, you are still not satisfied with the response you receive, you may contact English Department Chair Brian Reed, (206) 543-7895.



Below is an outline for where we will be going during the quarter that is, of course, subject to change. You should consider it to be accurate unless I inform you otherwise. Note that additional homework may be assigned in class that is not detailed on the syllabus. It is your responsibility to ask a member of the class about missed assignments if you are absent

Catalog Description: 
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.
GE Requirements: 
English Composition (C)
Other Requirements Met: 
Last updated: 
March 15, 2016 - 3:30pm