ENGL 131 B: Composition: Exposition

Summer Term: 
Meeting Time: 
MTWTh 10:50am - 11:50am
CDH 717
Meagan Loftin

Syllabus Description:

ENGLISH 131B:  Composition: Exposition

Summer 2016

LOCATION/TIME: MTWTH 10:50-11:50 CDH 717

INSTRUCTOR: Meagan Loftin


OFFICE HOURS: TTH 9:30 -10:30 or by appointment

EMAIL: mloftin@uw.edu

CLASS WEBSITE: https://canvas.uw.edu/courses/1049137



In this course you will practice the skills of composition and exposition: Genre Performance, Argument, Analysis, and Revision through an exploration of the modern university and its student.  The course theme aims to help you think about your own role in the university, how you shape it and how it shapes you.  Note though, that while I hope you come out of the course better informed about the issues of modern university life, the course’s theme serves primarily as a means for you to practice the writing skills that will benefit the rest of your time here at UW. 

The course is structured in 3 modules. 1) Over the course of this quarter, you will develop and deploy knowledge of several contentious issues of collegiate life in a series of pre-writing short assignments.  2) Our exploration of the modern university and its students will then culminate in series of research, drafting and revision leading to a 1500-1750 word Major Assignment on a topic of your choice.  3) In lieu of a final, and as a means to present your best writing in the course, you will be required to complete a final collection of revised assignments and a short reflection.   

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.  BE AWARE that all of the issues we will be discussing are contentious and can be highly charged, therefore we will ALL be respectful of each other in class discussions.  

WARNING for a graphic depiction of sexual violence in Week 5. If you cannot/do not want to participate in that discussion and assignment (SA9) on 07/20 and 07/21, you NEED let me know in advance if you will not attend as I have an alternative assignment you can do in lieu of attendance.  You do not need to explain why you will be absent, simply let me know you want the alternative assignment. If you contact me in advance, your participation grade WILL NOT be affected and we WILL NOT be covering any new writing skills that you would miss. 



REQUIRED:           All Course Texts will be accessible on the Canvas site.

UW NetID and Password

Note: You are NOT required to purchase either Contexts for Inquiry or Everyday Writer/Writer's Help



I will post all 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 will also be required sometimes to bring hard copies of assignments to class.  Assignment Canvas Pages will inform you if you need to bring hard copies of assignments and how many copies to bring.

Assignments are due online by 9:30AM on the day indicated on the calendar, unless otherwise noted.

Assignments 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.



Note that to receive your C (composition) credit for ENGL131, you need to receive at least a 2.0 in this class.  All written work from Module 1, the Major Assignment from Module 2, and the Collected Work must be turned in to be eligible for a 2.0.


  1. Pre-Writing Module (10%): These 9 short assignments will address thematic issues and practice writing skills that will directly contribute to the Major Assignment Module and Revision and Reflection Module. This Module will also include 1 mandatory 10 min conference (1%) with me during Weeks 2-5.
  2. Major Assignment Module (14%): This module, consisting of 7 short assignments (8%) of research, drafting and revision; and a final Major Assignment of 1500-1750 words (5%), will represent the culmination of your investigation into our theme. This Module will also include 1 mandatory 15 min conference (1%) with me during Week 7.
  3. Revision and Reflection Module (46%): This module consists of 5 short assignments (6%) leading up to the final collection of revision and reflection. This collection will include revisions, based on peer and teacher feedback, of 4 short assignments from Module 1 and the Major Assignment from Module 2 in addition to a 1250-1500 word reflection on your progress through the quarter and demonstration of the EWP’s outcomes (40%).


  1. Attendance (16%): If you are not present in class, you cannot participate; therefore, regular attendance is key to your participation grade. Each day of class is worth 0.5% of your overall grade.  
  2. In-Class Participation (14%): 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.

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.


Throughout the quarter, you 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 minor revision.
  • Good (3.5): Demonstrates some of the writing goals of the assignments but lacks proficiency throughout and thus requires major revision.
  • Inadequate (2.0): Does not meet all the requirement(s) of the assignment.
  • Incomplete (0.0): Reserved for assignments less than 50% complete.

The rubric for your collection of writing and reflection will be an expanded version of this rubric. You are also always welcomed, and encouraged, to discuss my feedback in further detail during office hours or by making an appointment with me.  




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 (with the exception of advanced notice for 07/20 and 21). 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 twice 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. You will sign up for conferences using the canvas scheduler.  Directions for doing so can be found here.


All assignments are due before class on the due date (9:30AM) in the Class Website unless otherwise specified.  Late short assignments from Module 1 and the Major Assignment from Module 2 still must be turned in (to be eligible for a 2.0 overall in the class all written work must be turned in), however those late assignments will be graded no higher than a 2.0 and will not receive comments for revision.  Late Revision and Reflection Collections will be accepted but with a .5 penalty for every 24 hrs period it is late, thus a collection assessed initially at 3.0 but turned in at 3PM on 08/20 will result in a 2.5. Note also that the penalty applies for that whole 24hr period, thus a late collection turned in at 7PM on 08/19 is assessed the same penalty as one turned in at 4:00PM on 08/20.


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 resource available to you at no charge. If you attend a writing conference, write me a 250-word summary of who you worked with, what assignment you focused on, and what you learned and I will add a point to your participation grade (this equals either 2 missed classes or .25 toward your in-class participation grade).

  • The Odegaard Writing and Research Center is open Monday to Thursday from 12:00 pm to 4:30 pm . This writing center provides a research-integrated approach to writing instruction. Make an appointment on the website: depts.washington.edu/owrc.


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 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. 

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