ENGL 131 O: Composition: Exposition

Meeting Time: 
MW 12:30pm - 2:20pm
MEB 234

Syllabus Description:




Instructor: Laura De Vos                   

Contact: lmdevos@uw.edu                    

Office Location: SAV 417


Class Location: MEB 234

Class Times: Mo/Wed 12.30-2.20 pm

Office Hours: Tuesday 1.30 am-2.20 pm or by appointment


In this class we will be practicing our academic writing skills in a way that will be useful to you wherever your academic path may lead you. We will be focusing on four outcomes:

  • we will learn to make conscious decisions about the way we are writing and consider how to write to a particular audience,
  • we will see how to enter the present academic conversation on the topic of your interest by putting existing texts in conversation and seeing how your text can contribute,
  • we will focus in on how to make clear but nuanced claims supported by arguments that allow for complexity and which acknowledge the existence of different conceptual frameworks, and
  • we will hone our revision skills, and learn to write and re-write, and sharpen our arguments as we edit our texts.

In order to be a good writer, we need to be good readers, interpreters, and critical thinkers.

We will practice our critical engagement with texts by way of texts of all genres on current affairs and social justice issues. Being able to critically reflect on what’s happening around you will help you practice critical thinking and reading skills that will be valuable in any discipline. You will often be able to choose which topics matter to you most for your own writing assignments, as long as you show you can critically engage with the ideas presented and contribute to the conversation.

You are expected to come to class well prepared to critically examine texts: to talk about how the writer of a certain article wrote their text, what audience they had in mind, what conceptual framework they are using, what their arguments are, and what the stakes are of the text. Your assignments will consist out of writing shorter and longer papers which show you understand these concepts and that you are able to produce a clearly articulated academic text on the level expected of you at the University of Washington.



Required Materials:

  1. Contexts of Inquiry with readings (black cover),
  2. Internet access, UW Net ID and password, UW email account that you check every day,
  3. A laptop or other electronic device with internet access for in-class writing assignments, you should bring this to every single class (you can borrow laptops for free through the UW - message me if you need help with this),
  4. Some kind of organizing folder to put all your materials in for the class.


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