ENGL 131 N: Composition: Exposition

Meeting Time: 
MW 12:30pm - 2:20pm
MEB 248

Syllabus Description:






Syllabus: ENGLISH  MLL 131                                      

Multilingual Language Learners -- students who think, read, and write in more than one language.


Location/Time:    MEB 248/ MW 12:30 -2:20

Instructor: Bonnie Vidrine-Isbell

Office: ART 351

Office Hours: Monday & Wednesday 11:30-12:30

*Please contact me if you wish to reserve a time during office hours.

Email: bonniv@uw.edu

Phone: 9857784583


Course Description


Welcome to English 131. The goal of this class is to teach you the skills you need to become a successful college writer.  Unlike writing at the high school level, in which students study an academic template such as a five-paragraph essay, writing in 131 will focus on how to evaluate different writing situations and respond appropriately to them using metacognitive skills.  It is a course that teaches the value of the writing process as a means of developing complex thought and a self-led personal learning style as opposed to writing a graded essay in response to a teacher’s assignment.

The course teaches four outcomes (listed below) by using a the theme “Emotion and Identity Formation in Multilinguals.” We study how learning language impacts our perceptions, our emotions, and our own experiences of the world. We read research on the issue, reflect on our own experiences as multi- or bilinguals as well as engage in our own primary research projects regarding this topic.  

In this class, we will learn and practice skills that will be transferable to other areas of your university career, regardless of your major, such as reading critically, analyzing complex arguments, and connecting research to who you are and what matters to you.  I expect you to come to class with reading and writing prepared and to participate respectfully in class discussion. My hope is that you will learn and practice skills that will make you more able to express your own voice as an academic in your field.  



Course Texts and Materials



-Regular Internet Access to submit assignments

-Access to research articles on canvas




Portfolio 70%, Participation 30%

In this course, you will complete two major assignment sequences, each of which is designed to help you fulfill the course outcomes. Each assignment sequence requires you to complete a variety of shorter assignments leading up to a major paper. These shorter assignments will each 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. You will have a chance to revise significantly each of the major papers using feedback generated by your instructor, peer review sessions, and writing conferences. 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 a critical reflection. The portfolio will include the following: one of the two major papers, three to five of the shorter assignments, and a critical reflection that explains how the selected portfolio demonstrates the four outcomes for the course. In addition to the materials you select as the basis for your portfolio grade, your portfolio must include all of the sequence-related writing you were assigned in the course (both major papers and all the shorter assignments from both sequences). 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.

Penalties for missed or late work:  There will be no feedback given on late work, and one point will be deducted from the participation grade for each day past the due date.  Absences and/or non-participation in class will also result in a 2 point deduction from the participation score per occurrence.  

 Academic Integrity Clause

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.


Complaints Clause


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 Anis Bawarshi, (206) 543-2190 or bawarshi@uw.edu or Assistant Directors Taylor Boulware, taylorjb@uw.edu; Yasmine Romero, yromer@uw.edu; Tesla Schaeffer, schaeffe@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 Gary Handwerk, (206) 543-2690.




Accommodations Clause

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/.

Campus Safety Clause

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.


English Writing Program 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.


  1. 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 appropriate) system of documenting sources.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.



Spring Quarter 2016:  MW Schedule for Pathway 1


in-class activities


Mon 3/28


First Day of Instruction

Intro to the Course:

Composition & Emotion in Multilinguals


Canvas Use



Deborah Tannen: textual conventions

Aristotle’s Appeals

Textbook p. 40-54

Write Outcome 1 in your own words

Read: Textbook Pg. 1-14; 21-24

READ p. 97-100 Klass' "Learning a Language"


Wed 3/30


 Review game: genre, discourse community, syllabus, roots of English language, levels of English language, Deborah Tannen, appeals, Outcome 1, bilingual brains

 HW 1 Canvas: Language Crossings


The Reluctant English Student




Mon 4/4

Reading Discussions

Genre Analysis: Autobiography


 HW 2 Canvas: “the Self in Two Languages”

Wed 4/6


 Discuss the “Self in Two Languages”

Poem “Bilingue”

Student Poems

Freewrite in L1 & L2 about an emotion you do not normally express in your L1.

SA 1 Due: Learning English Autobiography

 HW3: Emotion in Language




Mon 4/11

 BIG 5- claims, stakes, complexity, appeals, types of evidence, counter-claims.

TEDTalk Kuhl

 HW4: Poems

Wed 4/13

 SA 2 Due

Intro to MP1 prompt

Claims workshop

Textbook Models





Mon 4/18

MP 1 Draft 1 Due

Peer Review/ Conference Sign up

Backwards outlines –

Argument Format

Persuasion strategies


APA use and quote sandwiches


 HW5: Chamcharatsri’s research

Wed 4/20

Conferences—NO CLASS






Mon 4/25

MP 1 Draft 2 Due

 Library Research Skills

Interests tests—Likes in life/ explore

 HW6: Topic Research

Wed 4/27

 Research Feast:

Susan Schaller, Bilingual Brain babies, attachment?

Present my dissertation research.




 HW7: Reading and Annotation




Mon 5/2

 SA3: In-class Report of readings: summarize in a power-point.  Explain SA4.


Wed 5/4


SA 4 Due

 Explain SA5 and show examples





Mon 5/9


 Quote sandwiches, examples

 Gather & Analyze data

Wed 5/11



Gather & Analyze data




Mon 5/16



Wed 5/18

 MP 2 Draft 1 Due

Peer review




wrap up second sequence


Mon 5/23

MP 2 Draft 2 Due

Portfolios! Presentation + Outcome Essays


Wed 5/25





Don’t forget to do evals!don’t forget to give course evaluations


Mon 5/30


No Class—Memorial Day


Wed 6/1


Last day of instruction

Portfolios Workshop: Outcome Essays Peer Review

Class Party with Student Readings



Portfolios: Due Tuesday 6/7

Last Day of Instruction for University:  Fri 6/3

Finals Week:  Mon 6/6 – Fri 6/10




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)
Last updated: 
October 5, 2016 - 9:04pm