ENGL 199 D: Interdisciplinary Writing/natural Science

Meeting Time: 
TTh 9:00am - 10:20am
MGH 082
Heather Stansbury

Syllabus Description:

English 199D

TTH 9:00-10:20

MGH 082

Spring 2015


Heather Stansbury


Office: Padelford B432

Office Hours: Mondays & Wednesdays 9:30

Course Canvas Page: https://canvas.uw.edu/courses/946873


English 199D: Intermediate Interdisciplinary Writing Link to Astronomy 150


Please let me know if you need accommodation of any sort. I can work in conjunction with the University of Washington Disability Resources for Students Office (DRS) to provide what you require (http://www.washington.edu/students/drs/). I’m also very willing to take suggestions specific to this class to meet your needs.

 Introduction and Link Objectives—Welcome to English 199 - Interdisciplinary Writing/Natural Sciences, a 5-credit writing course that is linked with Astronomy 150. The two classes are designed to complement each other and the assignments, discussions, and exercises we do in this class will center on topics relevant to your 150 course. However, please bear in mind that each class is designed and graded independently of the other: the real link between your astronomy course and this English class will be you. Here in English 199 we will focus on your writing and your ability to express your understanding of astronomy and science through writing – but we can only do that effectively if you come to class prepared for the details of the topics we plan to write about. This means that in addition to being prepared for our writing course, you must keep up with the readings and assignments in your Astronomy 150 course, and I will expect you to do so.

In addition, my objectives for this course are to promote greater comfort, confidence, and competence in:

  • critically analyzing, summarizing, and synthesizing texts from within the discipline of astronomy, including the related abilities of recognizing and evaluating writers’ purposes, claims, and supporting evidence.
  • making connections between texts, identifying and/or articulating how different texts affirm, extend, qualify, and/or conflict with each other.
  • analyzing and evaluating your own writing and the writing of your peers in order to generate revision suggestions that result in successful and substantive revision (i.e., making revisions to  global issues of the paper, rather than changing only surface details like syntax, spelling, and grammar).


Class Participation:

Class time will be composed of discussion, group exercises, peer reviews, and in-class writing responses. Please be prepared to collaborate and participate; not only are they crucial components of your grade for the course, but the class will be much more engaging because of it.

      To work effectively in this course, you must be comfortable with others reading and making constructive comments about your work.  Peer reviews are considered an essential part of the development of critical thinking and writing skills in the Interdisciplinary Writing Program. They will also help you learn to see your own work through another’s eyes, which is invaluable for improving your own writing.

      There will be times when your work (whole papers, portions thereof, or peer reviews) will be used as examples to be shared with the entire class.  In such cases you anonymity will be preserved.  Remember, this is a course that trains you to be both a critical reader and writer; the two go hand in hand. 

Finally, I want our classroom to be a space where everyone feels safe and comfortable.  If you have any concerns about the course, please don’t hesitate to email me or come see me during office hours.


Required Texts and Materials—No textbook is required, however I highly recommend Hacker, A Pocket Style Manual (available in the UW Bookstore). I will be assigning various readings on relevant topics, which will typically be posted on the class Canvas. Please be sure to print these out and bring them to class. Please also bring to each class session a notebook or scratch paper for in-class writing exercises.

Please note: You must keep all of your work, so that both you and the instructor can review it as a portfolio at the end of the quarter.  At that time, you will write a reflective essay, commenting on your writing and related experience throughout the quarter. To this end, you may want to acquire a dedicated folder in which to keep your work.


Each student’s final quarter grade will be based on the following:


This portion includes your contributions to class discussions, freewrites, response papers and other homework, your feedback on peer reviews, your short daily writings assignments, canvas posts, and your portfolio and reflective statement. Please note that in-class work cannot be made up.

Major Paper 1—25%

Major Paper 2—20%

Major Paper 3—30%



You will complete three major papers. I require at least two drafts of all essays; only the final draft receives a grade. Before revising your draft and submitting it for a grade, you will receive feedback from your peers and me. You can also seek additional feedback from consultants at the Odegaard Writing and Research Center, located in Room 326 of Odegaard Undergraduate Library, or the CLUE Writing Center, located in the Mary Gates Commons. Please note that you must turn in all three essays in order to pass the class.

 Papers that do not go through each step of the revision process will not receive a grade. In order for you to make progress and learn from your peers and instructor, your papers must be turned in on time, which means the beginning of class. For each day a paper (first or final draft) is late, I will deduct 1.0 from your grade. (This includes missed conferences.)

 Please title, paginate, type and double-space your essays, using one-inch margins (unless another format is specified). In the upper left-hand corner of the first page, include your name, the course number, the assignment number, and the due date. Use a commonly installed font (Arial, Garamond, Georgia, Times New Roman, Verdana) for your papers. All essays will be submitted in electronic Word document format via Canvas unless I specify that it should be turned in in hard copy. If you do not own a copy of Microsoft Word, you may download the program for free at  http://www.washington.edu/uware/stupg.html.

 Daily assignments and Peer Reviews:

You can expect daily reading and/or written homework. Writing works best if it is done in various “building block” stages, so we will do a variety of exercises that will help you generate and develop ideas.  For some of these assignments, I grade on a scale of 1 to 5. Because of the sequential nature of our course, I do not accept late daily assignments without a penalty. If the assignment would have received a 4, a post that is turned in one day late will now receive a 3. Assignments turned in more than 24 hours late will receive no credit.

 The same grading system will apply to your peer reviews. Part of learning to write is learning to read and respond to others’ work.  For each of the three major papers you write, I will assign you a peer-review group or partner: you will read and respond to others’ papers and they will read respond to yours. You will be given specific criteria through which to respond to and assess your peers’ work, and these responses and assessments will be written, turned in, and graded. Any peer review that is turned in late will be accepted but penalized at a 50% level, providing that your peer and I receive it within 24 hours of the specified due date. Peer reviews turned in more than 24 hours late will receive no credit.

 Some postings/homework assignments will be graded on a credit/no credit basis. Points for graded postings and all other assignments will be awarded based on quality of work submitted. I will grade homework and peer reviews on a five-point scale as follows:


5 Exceptionally thorough, focused, organized, and well-argued response to the assignment

Complete peer critiques with perceptive, substantial, and useful comments

3-4 Thoughtful, adequately organized and argued response

Complete critiques with thoughtful comments

1-2 Simplistic, inadequately organized and argued response

Incomplete or hastily done critiques

  Conferences :

For major essays, I will schedule individual or group conferences to talk about your first draft and ideas for revision. Attendance at these conferences is mandatory and is very significant part of your participation grade. You should come to conferences prepared to discuss the responses you have received from peers, your own assessment of your draft, and your plans for revision. Always bring printed material for any writing you would like to discuss.


Portfolio and Reflective Statement: At the end of the term, you will turn in a portfolio of selected essays, peer reviews, and homework completed over the course of the quarter. With the portfolio, you will submit a two- to three-page reflective statement that explains your selections and evaluates your progress as a writer in astronomy. Please note that you must turn in the portfolio and reflective essay in order to pass the course. In order to have the widest possible range of materials from which to select your portfolio pieces, you should save all homework, in-class writing, peer critiques, essay drafts, and conference preparation materials. 



Please email me if an emergency arises.  Otherwise, I will expect you to attend each and every class meeting. If you have missed class because of an emergency, a competitive event, or illness, I require documentation (doctor’s note, paperwork from student athletics, etc.) before I will accept work to make up the credit.  Likewise, without documentation, late penalties will be assessed on drafts of papers that are not turned in.  

If you must miss class, it is your responsibility to coordinate with your classmates to find out what you missed when you were absent. I will not go over what you missed during office hours, I will not meet with you to cover the same, nor will I respond to inquiries via email about what you missed in class.  

Some of you may have a unique situation that will make it difficult for you to work within the above guidelines.  If this is the case, please discuss it with me within the first week of the quarter so that we can anticipate problems and be prepared to make alternate arrangements.  


Classroom Environment and Etiquette: 

Class discussion constitutes one key method of developing your analytical skills. Thus, I expect prompt, regular attendance and active participation in discussions of visuals, readings, and student writing. Please come to class on time. We only meet twice a week, and that is a very limited amount of time to work with, so you should be in your seats and prepared to start at 11:30 sharp. In class, I encourage you to ask questions, or suggest alternate ways of looking at texts, arguments, and situations.  However, it is vital that you respect the opinions and ideas raised by others, and treat them, and me, with the same courtesy that you expect to be treated.

 You should come prepared for each class session, with assigned readings completed. You should always bring assigned readings to class. You should also plan to ask questions, make comments, analyze texts, paraphrase your electronic postings, share writing done as homework, and critique essay drafts.

Lack of engagement in class activities, inadequate preparation, and failure to adhere to the classroom rules will substantially lower your participation grade for the course.


   Please check your UW email account daily.  

  • I am available Monday through Friday via email and I will respond to emails within 24 business hours.    
  • Unless I am sending you my comments on a draft via email, I do not provide feedback on your writing or discuss grades via email, although I would be more than happy to do so during my office hours or by appointment.  
  • I do not receive assignments via email. 



Plagiarism is the act of taking someone else’s words or ideas without acknowledging their source—essentially representing them as if they were your own. Plagiarism can result in a failed grade, academic probation, a permanent mark on your academic transcript, or dismissal from the University. 

Plagiarism applies not only to borrowing whole documents but also to borrowing parts of another’s work without proper acknowledgement and proper paraphrasing or quotation, including borrowing an author’s terminology or arguments.  This includes:  

  • a student failing to properly cite sources of ideas  
  • a student failing to properly cite sources of paraphrased or summarized material  
  • a student failing to properly cite sources of specific language and/or passages  
  • a student submitting someone else’s work as their own (this includes work “borrowed” from online sources or other students, or work written for the student by someone else)  
  • a student submitting their own work that was produced for another class with no changes or revisions

 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 are ever unsure about how and when to credit a source, please don’t hesitate to ask me or refer to Diana Hacker’s A Pocket Style Manual.


If you have any concerns about the course or me, please see me about these concerns as soon as possible. The following campus writing centers may provide useful help as you work on your essays; and you can use them not only to go over rough and final drafts, but also to brainstorm ideas based on assignment sheets, etc. Many of them have appointment sign-ups online – it’s a good idea to sign up early, because as the quarter continues, slots fill up fast!

Odegaard Writing Center http://depts.washington.edu/owrc/

CLUE Writing Center: http://depts.washington.edu/clue/writing.htm

Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity Writing Center: http://depts.washington.edu/ic/graphics/writing.php?style=graphics

Counseling Center: The Counseling Center is a place where currently enrolled UW students can get help with study skills, career decisions, substance abuse, and personal problems such as relationship difficulties, anxiety, or depression.

401 Schmitz Hall



Course Calendars: I will be handing micro-schedules with homework and essay deadlines throughout the quarter. All scheduled due dates are subject to change. Any later handouts or oral directions supersede these schedules.










Catalog Description: 
Expository writing based on material presented in a specific natural science lecture 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.
GE Requirements: 
English Composition (C)
Writing (W)
Other Requirements Met: 
Last updated: 
February 19, 2016 - 12:00pm