Some of you want to be scientists or entertainers or lawyers. Some doctors or engineers. Some of you may have no idea what you want to to do after college (or maybe what you are doing here in the first place). And maybe, just maybe, one of you is interested in English. So why does UW require you to take this class? Simply put, English 131 is designed to help you become a good (or at least, better) writer: at UW, in your careers, and in your lives.
But what does it mean to be a “good” writer? An essayist does not follow the same rules as a poet, and both of those writers follow even different rules than a songwriter. Good writing changes depending on the context and the expectations. So if good writing can only be identified contextually, how can someone be taught to generally write well?
Despite the different ways we write and communicate on a daily basis, there are tools, practices, and habits writers across all forms have in common. Throughout this course, we will identify and develop the skills common to all good writers through critical engagement with course readings, classroom discussions, and by producing written works in a variety of forms, with a specific focus on developing the skills necessary for academic inquiry. By the end of the quarter, you will have produced a diverse portfolio of writing representative of the level of critical engagement expected not only in the university but as an active participant in society.
Specifically, this course is designed to help you:
- cultivate critical thinking skills
- communicate complex thoughts into writing
- situate your writing in a larger academic or social conversation
- participate in writing as a communal practice
- reflect upon your own work and skill-set as a continual work-in-progress
Click here to view course syllabus.
Click here to view up-to-date course calendar (last update 11/27/15).