ENGL 131 I: Composition: Exposition

Meeting Time: 
MTWTh 11:30am - 12:20pm
THO 335
Kristin Gulotta

Syllabus Description:

ENGL 131 I


Spring 2015


Instructor: Kristin Gulotta 

Class location: Thomson Hall, Room 335  

Class Meeting Time: M T W Th, 11:30am - 12:20pm


Instructor’s Office: Padelford Hall B25, Office C (in the Creative Writing Suite)

Office Hours: Thursdays 3:30pm - 5:30pm 

Instructor’s Email: klg143@uw.edu



The goal of this course is to teach you skills that will help you to become a successful college writer. We will work toward this goal by examining several pieces of writing and using a process of inquiry (or, of asking questions) to discover what makes that writing effective. You will learn to evaluate different writing situations and respond appropriately. These skills will serve you throughout college no matter what subject you plan to study.  

We will begin deciphering the mystery behind what makes “good” writing by being attentive readers. We will read pieces in a number of genres and decide: What is the author arguing? Who is he or she trying to convince and why? How does he or she try to persuade the reader? What is working in the text and what is not?  At the same time, you will hone your research skills and find sources in a topic of your choice to read with this same rhetorical eye. These reading skills will act as the foundation for developing complex arguments and papers that matter in academic conversations. 

A necessary component to learning the skills of effective writing is practice, so you will have plenty of opportunity to do just that. Over the quarter, you will complete 4 short papers (2-3 pages each) and 2 major papers (5-7 pages each). In addition, you will learn and practice revision strategies throughout the course, and you will create a final portfolio that will include revised selections of your work. Your portfolio will also include a written reflection on the skills you’ve learned: taking time to think about the skills you’ve developed and then to write about how you’ve used them in this course will help you to be able to take those skills with you and to write effectively in other courses. 

I’m looking forward to a challenging, yet rewarding, quarter together!




The following are the designated outcomes of the University of Washington’s Expository Writing Program. We will be reading and writing in order to understand and to become comfortable using the elements of these outcomes.


1. To demonstrate an awareness of the strategies that writers use in different writing contexts.

The writing employs style, tone, and conventions appropriate to the demands of a particular genre and situation.

The writer is able to demonstrate the ability to write for different audiences and contexts, both within and outside the university classroom.

The writing has a clear understanding of its audience, and various aspects of the writing (mode of inquiry, content, structure, appeals, tone, sentences, and word choice) address and are strategically pitched to that audience.

The writer articulates and assesses the effects of his or her writing choices.


2. To read, analyze, and synthesize complex texts and incorporate multiple kinds of evidence purposefully in order to generate and support writing.

The writing demonstrates an understanding of the course texts as necessary for the purpose at hand.

Course texts are used in strategic, focused ways (for example: summarized, cited, applied, challenged, re-contextualized) to support the goals of the writing.

The writing is intertextual, meaning that a “conversation” between texts and ideas is created in support of the writer’s goals.

The writer is able to utilize multiple kinds of evidence gathered from various sources (primary and secondary – for example, library research, interviews, questionnaires, observations, cultural artifacts) in order to support writing goals.

The writing demonstrates responsible use of the MLA (or other) system of documenting sources.


3. To produce complex, analytic, persuasive arguments that matter in academic contexts.

The argument is appropriately complex, based in a claim that emerges from and explores a line of inquiry.

The stakes of the argument, why what is being argued matters, are articulated and persuasive.

The argument involves analysis, which is the close scrutiny and examination of evidence and assumptions in support of a larger set of ideas.

The argument is persuasive, taking into consideration counterclaims and multiple points of view as it generates its own perspective and position.

The argument utilizes a clear organizational strategy and effective transitions that develop its line of inquiry.


4. To develop flexible strategies for revising, editing, and proofreading writing.

The writing demonstrates substantial and successful revision.

The writing responds to substantive issues raised by the instructor and peers.

Errors of grammar, punctuation, and mechanics are proofread and edited so as not to interfere with reading and understanding the writing.






Contexts for Inquiry, available in the bookstore

Folder, to keep prompts and assignments neatly organized 

Notebook and pen/pencil, for taking notes in class and completing in-class work 

Flash drive, to back up your assignments

Money, for printing



●  The Everyday Writer by Andrea Lunsford





In this course, you will complete two assignment sequences, each of which is designed to help you fulfill the course outcomes. Each assignment sequence requires you to complete two shorter papers leading up to a major paper. These shorter papers will target one or more of the course outcomes at a time, help you practice these outcomes, and allow you to build toward a major paper at the end of each sequence. Near the end of the quarter, you will also create a portfolio of your work. 


Unless otherwise specified, all assignments should be formatted as follows: 12 pt. Times New Roman font, 1” Margins, Double-Spaced, Page Numbers with Last Name in header/footer, MLA style citation/Works Cited page. NOTE: 2 pages means 2 COMPLETE pages – not, for example, 1 page and the first four lines of the next.




Short Assignment One - Persuasion and Reflection. Using rhetorical strategies, you will persuade an audience to your point of view. Then, in a companion essay, you will explain which rhetorical strategies you used, how you used them, and why. 2-3 pages. 


Short Assignment Two - Rhetorical Analysis. You will analyze the rhetorical strategies used in a piece of writing and describe their effectiveness. 2-3 pages. 


Major Paper One - Comparison & Contrast/Intertextuality. You will compare and contrast strategies in at least three texts, finding relationships between them. 5-7 pages. 



Short Assignment Three - Prospectus. You will identify an issue currently being discussed in the public forum and explain why the issue you chose is a interesting and worth exploring further, using two credible sources to back your claim. 2-3 pages.


Short Assignment Four - Summary and Synthesis. You will further examine the issue you presented in Short Assignment Three, looking at sources that agree and disagree with your point of view, summarizing those viewpoints, and putting them in conversation with each other. 2-3 pages. 


Major Paper Two - Argumentative Research. Using the information you have gathered for both Short Assignments, you will build an argument that suggests a solution to your chosen issue. Your argument should  have clear stakes and should take into account research that agrees and disagrees with your position. 5-7 pages. 



Your portfolio will be a compilation of the work you have completed over the quarter. You will include all the above assignments; in addition, you will include revised versions of 4 assignments: either three short assignments and one major paper, or two short assignments and two major papers.  Each revised paper will correspond to one of the Course Outcomes and should demonstrate particular strength in that Outcome. You may choose which assignments you will revise, but they must show substantial revisions. 


You must also include personal reflections (3-4 paragraph in length) in which you explain, in a detailed way, how each revised assignment shows particular strength in regard to the elements of one of the Outcomes. You will also include a final reflection (3 double-spaced pages) that details your thoughts on the skills you have learned throughout the quarter.  





Toward the end of the course, having completed the two sequences, you will be asked to compile and submit a portfolio of your work along with reflective writing. The portfolio will include four revised papers (including at least one major paper) and reflections explaining how the portfolio demonstrates the course outcomes. In addition, the portfolio will include a compendium of all six of your original papers written for this course. These will be the versions that include my feedback to you on them. The grade for complete portfolios will be based on the depth of your reflection and the extent to which the pieces you select demonstrate the course outcomes. The portfolio will be worth 70% of your final grade. A portfolio that does not include all the above will be considered "Incomplete" and will earn a grade of 0.0-0.9


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. Therefore, your grade will be based on how well you address the course outcomes at the end of the quarter rather than at the beginning.



The rest of your grade will be determined by your participation in and out of class. The 30% is converted to 30 points, and is evaluated based of the following eight components:

Attendance. If you are not present in class, you cannot participate; therefore, regular 

attendance is key to your participation grade. 5 points deducted for each unexcused absence

Timeliness of Turning in Assignments. 5 points deducted per day for assignments turned in past the deadline

In-Class Discussions. Contributions to class in the form of responding to questions, 

engaging in class work, and providing thoughtful feedback in peer review. I expect you to be consistently prepared with readings and active in all discussions.

On-Line Discussions. I will occasionally assign an on-line discussion question. It is important that you respond in a timely manner to these questions, since your classmates’ responses may depend on your own.  

In-Class Presentations. Periodic, informal group and/or individual presentations related to course readings. 

Conferences. You will have two individual conferences with me over the course of the 

semester. For full points, show up to your conference prepared to discuss your work. 

Respect. Because the exchange of ideas is so important to this class, it is necessary for everyone to be respectful of one another. We will occasionally deal with issues that you may feel uncomfortable discussing or that you feel strongly about. 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.

Attentiveness. 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.




The following is a summary of the rubric I will be using to evaluate your final portfolios. A more in-depth version is accessible on the course Canvas site. 

Outstanding (3.7-4.0):Offers a very highly proficient, even memorable demonstration of the traits associated with the course outcomes, including some appropriate risk-taking and/or creativity. 

Strong (3.1-3.6):Offers a proficient demonstration of the traits associated with the course outcomes, which could be further enhanced with revision.

Good (2.5-3.0): Effectively demonstrates the traits associate with the course outcomes, but less proficiently; could use revision to demonstrate more skillful and nuanced command of traits.

Acceptable (2.0-2.4):Minimally meets the basic outcomes requirement, but the demonstrated traits are not fully realized or well-controlled and would benefit from significant revision.

Inadequate (1.0-1.9):Does not meet the outcomes requirement; the traits are not adequately demonstrated and require substantial revision on multiple levels.

Incomplete (0.0-0.9): No portfolio submitted, or not all of the required work is submitted. 





All assignments should be turned in electronically on the due date, by 11:59 p.m. This includes all short assignments, major papers, and the portfolio. 


For certain assignments throughout the quarter, you will be bringing printed copies of working drafts to class. These are listed on the course calendar. You will not be required to bring paper drafts of all assignments to class. 



You are expected to have all assignments in on time. Turning in your assignments late will result in a loss of participation points. In addition, unless you have worked out a different arrangement with me (in other words, I have approved an extension--which will only be granted in extreme circumstances), 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.



In general, there is no extra credit on written assignments. However, there may be occasional opportunities to earn extra credit for participation, by visiting a tutor or attending particular campus and/or community events. 



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.



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 Program staff in Padelford A-11: Director Candice Rai, (206) 543-2190 or crai@uw.edu or Assistant Directors AJ Burgin, aburgin@uw.edu; Yasmine Romero, yromer@uw.edu; Ann Shivers-McNair, asmcnair@uw.edu. If, after speaking with the Director or Assistant Directors of the EWP, you are still not satisfied with the response you receive, you may contact English Department Chair Juan Guerra, (206) 543-2690.




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 factor this in to your participation grade. 


The CLUE Writing Center 

CLUE is located in Mary Gates Hall and is open Sunday - 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. For more information: http://depts.washington.edu/aspuw/develop/writing-center/


 The Odegaard Writing and Research Center (OWRC)

OWRC is open daily and provides feedback and instruction on writing assignments by working alongside you, asking questions and helping you strengthen your written ideas. Appointments are necessary; contact the OWRC here: http://depts.washington.edu/owrc/





For help with integrating sources and creating a Works Cited page, please try the OWL@Purdue website. I’ve found it to be very helpful in giving a quick run-down of basic information needed in these areas. https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/01/





If you need accommodation of any sort, please let me know so that I can work with the UW Disability Resources for Students Office (DRS) 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/students/drs/.



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 at www.washington.edu/safecampus.



UW Counseling Center workshops include a wide range of issues including study skills, thinking about coming out, international students and culture shock, and much more. Check out available resources and workshops at: http://depts.washington.edu/counsels/



UW Career Center offers career counseling and planning, workshops and career fairs, a listing of part-time jobs on and off campus, and much more: http://careers.washington.edu/students




The following course calendar is TENTATIVE and is subject to change. I include it here to give you a general idea of the work we will cover and of the due dates for assignments. If any changes become necessary, I will provide you with an updated course calendar. 











Work DUe


MON 3/30


  • READ CFI genre (p.94-104), audience (p. 55-58), and appeals (p. 33-34)

TUES 3/31


  • READ CFI “Setting the Record Straight” (p. 767-782)
  • WRITE down notes about “Setting the Record Straight” (who is the audience? what is the genre? which appeals does McCloud use?) and any questions about the readings. Bring notes and questions to class.
  • ADD a powerful word to the discussion board (with OED definition and an explanation of why you think it’s powerful) by tonight at 11:59 p.m.

WED 4/1


  • READ CFI metacognition (p. 121-125), textual conventions (p. 37-41, 48-51). Write down any questions. 
  • READ sample Letters to the Editor on Canvas. 



  • READ CFI “Bitch” (p. 627-634), along with supplementary material for the reading on Canvas. 
  • READ  CFI reading rhetorically (p. 174-187). Write down any questions. 
  • WRITE Writer’s Introduction; turn in online 1/10 by 11:59 p.m.

SUN  4/5

Writer’s Introduction due online by 11:59 p.m.





MON 4/6



 - READ CFI “Leave Your Name at

   the Border” (p. 791-794),   


   (214-227), and summarizing  

   visual text (p. 227- 228)

- READ “Visual Arguments” on  


- WRITE SA1 draft

TUES 4/7




WED 4/8

No Class

- READ CFI identifying claims (p.

  191- 198)


No Class

  • COMPLETE your Short Assignment 1

SUN 4/12

Short Assignment 1 due online by 11:59 p.m.





MON 4/13


- WRITE SA 2 draft


TUES 4/14




  • COMPILE notes on The Edukators 

WED 4/15


  • COMPILE notes on The Edukators

THURS 4/16


  • COMPILE notes on The Edukators
  • COMPLETE Short Assignment 2 
  • READ CFI “Ten Point Plan” (p. 546-549)

SUN 4/19

Short Assignment 2 due online by 11:59 p.m.






MON 4/20



  • READ CFI synthesis (p. 229-251). Write down any questions. 


TUES 4/21




WED 4/22



THURS 4/23






MON 4/27




TUES 4/28

Bring 2 paper copies 

of Major Paper 1 Draft to class 

  • WRITE a revision plan for Major Paper 1

WED 4/29

NO CLASS: Conferences


THURS 4/30

NO CLASS: Conferences

- REVISE Major Paper 1

  • READ CFI “Shitty First Drafts” (p. 15-18)
  • COMPLETE Major Paper 1

SUN 5/3

Major Paper 1 due online by  11:59 P.M.





MON 5/4



  • READ: CFI complexity, conversation, and process (p. 6-14) 
  • READ CFI initiating a line of inquiry (p.301-320)

- READ CFI writing a proposal (p.279-288). Write down any questions. 


TUES 5/5


Library Research: 

Meet in Odegaard Library Room 102

- READ CFI finding/evaluating sources (p. 252-271)

- WRITE SA 3 Draft


WED 5/6






- COMPLETE  Short Assignment 3





MON 5/11



Short Assignment 3 due online by 11:59 p.m. 

- READ CFI complex claims (p.321-331) and evidence, counterarguments, framing (p.331-338)

TUES 5/12



- READ “Complex Claims” on Canvas. 

- WRITE SA 4 Draft

WED 5/13


- READ CFI interviewing/focus groups (p.289-297)

THURS 5/14


- COMPLETE Short Assignment 4


SUN 5/17

Short Assignment 4 due online by 11:59 p.m. 





MON 5/18


- READ CFI organizing arguments (p. 411-448) and re-vision (p. 449-473)


TUES 5/19



- READ CFI editing (p. 476-494)

WED 5/20



THURS 5/21

Submit Major Paper 2 draft online by 11:59 p.m.

SUN 5/24

Online Peer Review of MP2 due by 11:59 p.m.





MON 5/25

NO CLASS: Memorial Day


- READ CFI portfolios (p. 891-918)

TUES 5/26




WED 5/27

Major Paper 2 due online by 11:59 P.M. 


Portfolio Training: 

Meet in Mary Gates Hall Room 082




- REVIEW CFI metacognition/reflections (p. 121-127)




MON 6/1




TUES 6/2




WED 6/3

NO CLASS: Conferences



NO CLASS: Conferences





TUES 6/9















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: 
February 19, 2016 - 12:07pm