ENGL 298 A: Intermediate Interdisciplinary Writing - Social Sciences

Meeting Time: 
TTh 10:30am - 11:50am
PAR 120
Meagan Loftin
IWP - Link with HSTAM 235

Syllabus Description:

ENGLISH 298A: Intermediate Interdisciplinary Writing - Social Science

FALL 2015

LOCATION/TIME: PAR 120 TTH 10:30-11:50

INSTRUCTOR: Meagan Loftin

OFFICE: Parnassus Cafe

OFFICE HOURS: TTH 12:00 -1:00 or by appointment

EMAIL: mloftin@uw.edu

CLASS WEBSITE: https://canvas.uw.edu/courses/988894



English 298A is a C or W credit writing course that engages with the course material for HSTAM 235. This writing course will engage you in some of the most important practices underlying inquiry in social sciences. We will focus on close reading, or textual analysis; examining historical contexts; and generating coherent arguments about various texts that continue to influence our perspective of the Middle Ages an how history functions.

Over the course of this quarter, you will develop and deploy the knowledge you are acquiring in HSTAM 235 through three writing sequences. Each sequence will culminate in a 1250-1500 word Major Assignment that you have rigorously revised with the help of peer critiques and conferences with me.  

This course is designed to lead you through the steps of a developed writing process. You are required to complete every step. This includes:

  • Actively participating in class discussions, peer critiques and conferences
  • Providing timely, thoughtful and engaged written feedback on peers’ drafts
  • Completing informal writing assignments on time
  • Submitting all drafts and revisions of the Major Assignments on the day they are due.

Throughout the course, you will be expected to come to class on time and prepared, to participate in discussion, workshops and peer reviews, and to have open ears and an open mind to what your classmates have to say.  Because this course is heavily focused on revision, you will need to think through your own and your peers’ writing critically ad engage in significant revision of your own thinking and writing. In return, you can expect that your classmates will do the same.



I will post all short and major assignment prompts on the class Canvas site. You will submit all informal and formal written work to the Canvas site, on each assignment’s respective page. Documents must be submitted in Word. If for any reason, Canvas is down at the time of submission, you must email me your assignment. I will not accept any excuses for late work. In addition, you must also bring hard copies of short assignments to class. Short Assignment pages will inform you of how many copies to bring.


Assignments are due online by 8:30AM on the day indicated on the calendar, unless otherwise noted.

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 in MLA format if any text is used.




Over the course of the quarter you will turn in three Major Assignments of 1250-1500 words each. These assignments will have been revised substantially before the final is due to me. The three major assignments combined will make a total of 60% of your grade. This is how they will be weighted:

  • Major Assignment 1: Daughter of Time 15%
  • Major Assignment 2: The Gospel of Mary of Magdala 20%
  • Major Assignment 3: The Romance of Arthur 25%

Short Assignments (20%)

Short Assignments will all contribute to one of the major assignments. These will include full rough drafts as well as shorted writing.

Participation (20%)

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

  • In-Class Participation (14%): If you are not present in class, you cannot participate; therefore regular attendance is key to your participation grade. Furthermore you will be expected to make 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 writing and active in all discussions.
  • Conferences (6%): You will have three conferences with me over the course of the quarter. For each conference, you will be required to submit written work, due before your conference. Attendance for all three 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 before coming to class. If you feel the need to answer a call, send a text, or check your various social media platforms you will be asked to leave class.



Throughout the quarter, your informal Short Assignments 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:

  • Strong (4.0): Offers a proficient demonstration of the writing goals of the assignment and serves as a strong foundation for future revision toward the major assignment.
  • Good (3.5): Demonstrates some of the writing goals of the assignments but lacks proficiency throughout and thus requires major revision toward the major assignment.
  • Inadequate (2.0): Does not meet all the requirement(s) of the assignment.
  • Incomplete (0.0): Reserved for assignments less than 50% complete.

Additionally, I will leave feedback on final drafts of Major Assignments, though this will be, necessarily, be less directed toward revision. You can however, always come to my office hours or make an appointment with me to discuss Major Assignment comments in more detail.




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.


You are required to meet with me three 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. I will provide you with a sign-up sheet for these conferences and detailed instructions about how to prepare for them.


All assignments are due before class on the due date (8:30AM) in the Class Website unless otherwise specified. I will not accept late Short Assignments; failure to turn these in on time will result in the loss of the participation points associated with that assignment. I will accept late major assignments but your paper will be assessed a .3 penalty for each 24-hours period it is late.   Thus if you turn in a paper at 2:30PM instead of 8:30AM the same day, it will result in a .3 penalty, just as it would if you turned it in at 8:30AM the next morning.


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 250-word, 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:


  • History Writing Center is open Mondays, Tuesdays Wednesdays 9:30 AM - 2:30 PM.  The UW History Writing Center offers 30-minute individual appointments with the writing center director, an experienced instructor in the History Department. The History Writing is located in Smith 210C. Advance appointments are recommended, especially at peak times in the quarter (midterms and last two weeks). Students are also welcome to drop in for consultation on a first come first served basis.  To schedule an appointment, email the writing center instructor, Julie Osborn, at histwctr@uw.edu or book an appointment online: http://histwritingcenter.calendarspots.com



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.



This is an outline for where we will be going during the first four weeks of 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. You will receive a detailed calendar for each new sequence on the first day of that sequence.


in-class activities


TH 10/01

First Day of Instruction





T 10/06


Reasoning and Argument

1.  SA1: Argument of Guilt

TH 10/08

Close Reading

1.   SA2: Evidence, Inference, Interpretation




T 10/13


Line of Inquiry


1.   SA3: Line of Inquiry

TH 10/15

Connecting the dots

1.   SA4: MA1 Proposal




T 10/20


NO CLASS: Conferences

1.   SA5: Outline

TH 10/22

Rough Draft Workshop

1.   SA6: MA1 Full draft




T 10/27


Low Stakes to High Stakes Writing

1.   MA1: Daughter of Time

2.   Bring: Reading response 2 from HSTAM 235

TH 10/29

     Situation, Purpose, Claims and Audience

1.   SA7: Text as Object




T 11/03


Secondary Sources

1.   SA8: Analyzing Analysis

TH 11/05

Ways to Respond

1.   SA9: Agreeing, Disagreeing, and Somewhere in-between




T 11/10


NO CLASS: Conferences

1.   SA10: MA2 Proposal

TH 11/12

Rough Draft Workshop

1.   SA11: MA2 Full Draft




T 11/17



1.   MA2: Gospel of Mary of Magdala


Additionally, note that MA3 will be due 12/14. There is no final for this course.


Catalog Description: 
Expository writing based on materials presented in a specified social science course. Assignments include drafts of papers to be submitted in the specified course, and other pieces of analytical prose. Concurrent registration in the specified course required. Offered: AWSpS.
GE Requirements: 
English Composition (C)
Writing (W)
Other Requirements Met: 
Last updated: 
March 16, 2016 - 12:38pm