ENGL 131 Y: Composition: Exposition

Meeting Time: 
MTWTh 2:30pm - 3:20pm
LOW 220

Syllabus Description:

Here's is a link to the syllabus.

And here is a link to the course calendar. This course calendar is subject to change and will be updated after classes if there are changes. . 

Assignments due can be found under the Assignments link. 

Syllabus: English 131: Identity and Communication 



Class: ENG 131-Y 

Classroom: LOW 220 

M-TH:  2:30—3:20 

Instructor: Sarah Bitter 

Office: Padelford B25C 

Office Hours: Mon & Wed 3:30-4:30 

Or email/ask for appointment 


This section of 131 considers Identity and Communication. In our reading and writing we will consider how who we are affects how people read, see, and hear us (or don’t!). The texts we study and create will include academic articles, popular music, cartoons, poetry, advertising and other media.  

We will work towards becoming effective communicators in multiple modes, including (but not limited to) academic writing. We will develop and apply foundational writing and rhetoric (argument) skills to make arguments that matter both to us and to our readers.  We will also consider the ethics of “good” writing in the context of who has power in society and in the context of the current “post-truth” and “fake news” environment. The writing and rhetoric skills we cultivate and enhance in this class will be useful in many other courses, and (I promise) in your future professional work. 



Writer/Thinker/Maker: Approaches to Composition, Rhetoric, and Research for the University of WA 


  • You will submit assignments and stay connected through the class webpage. Check it regularly.   


  • Check your UW email regularly  
  • Email is the best way to reach me outside of class.  

Course Structure 

Assignment Sequences 

We will complete two assignment sequences comprised of 2-3 short projects of 2-3 pages (or the equivalent in other media), leading up to a longer project of 5-7 pages (or equivalent). The short projects target one or more of the course outcomes at a time, help you practice these outcomes, and allow you to build toward the major project at the end of each sequence. Sequence assignments will be due every Saturday at 5 pm. 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. 

Assignment Formatting Requirements: 

  • Name on all pages of all assignments, including homework.  
  • Page numbers on all pages of all assignments, including homework.  
  • Fonts: Helvetica, Courier, or Verdana.  
  • If an assignment is 2-3 pages, this means minimum 2 COMPLETE pages. 


Portfolio (70%) 

After working through the two main assignment sequences, you will have the chance to revise significantly one (or both) of the major papers using feedback generated from my comments, peer review sessions, and writing conferences. The portfolio will include  

  • well-considered final revisions of 3 short projects 
  • well-considered final revisions of 1 long project 
  • a written reflection covering all the work you have done 
  • all of the sequence-related writing you were assigned in the course (both major papers and all the shorter assignments from both sequences)  
  • a critical reflection that explains how the selected portfolio demonstrates the four outcomes for the course.  

 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.  

Participation (30%) 

This is not a lecture class. Your participation in class discussion and class work is vital to increasing your writing proficiency. It is also vital to your grade in this class. Participation components are: 

  • 10% involvement in class discussions and in-class writing, 
  • 10% peer review and conferences, and  
  • 10% timely completion of all homework 
  • Extra credit is available for visiting a Writing Center and turning in a revision plan and a short note about what you accomplished at the writing center 


If you are absent, come to my office hours or ask another class member for notes. Make up missed work in a timely manner. If you come in more than ten minutes late, you will be considered late. This will hurt your participation grade. (Talk to me if you have a consistent issue.) 


Conferences are mandatory and, if missed, will affect your participation grade. You are required to meet with me twice 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. I will provide you with a sign-up sheet for these conferences and detailed instructions about how to prepare for them.  

Late Work 

All sequence assignments are due on Saturday at 5 pm. In most cases, late assignments will negatively affect your participation grade. Let me know in advance if you have a good reason you can’t turn something in on time. In general, without prior arrangement, I will not give feedback on late assignments (except at office hours) You must complete late work, as your portfolio must include all assignments to receive a passing grade.  

Technology in the Classroom 

When in our classroom, you are in a professional space. Use technology (phones, laptops) in a professional manner.  


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/. 

Academic Integrity 

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. 

Campus Safety 

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. 


If you have any concerns about this course or your instructor, please see me about these concerns as soon as possible. If you are not comfortable talking with me or not satisfied with the response that you receive, you may contact the following Expository Writing Program staff in Padelford A-11:  

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 Acting English Department Chair Anis Bawarshi; bawarshi@uw.edu, (206) 543-2690. 


CLUE Writing Center (free drop-in tutoring) 

Sunday-Thursday 7 pm - 11 am Mary Gates Hall 



Odegaard Writing and Research Center (OWRC) 

By appointment: http://depts.washington.edu/owrc/signup.php 


UW Counseling Center 

Phone: 206-543-1240 

M-TH: 8:00 ᴀᴍ - 5:00 ᴘᴍ 

24-hour Crisis Clinic: 866-427-4747 



Any Hungry Husky 






Page Break 

Course Outcomes (Goals) 

Outcome 1 

To compose strategically for a variety of audiences and contexts, both within and outside the university, by 

  • recognizing how different elements of a rhetorical situation matter for the task at hand and affect the options for composing and distributing texts; 
  • coordinating, negotiating, and experimenting with various aspects of composing—such as genre, content, conventions, style, language, organization, appeals, media, timing, and design—for diverse rhetorical effects tailored to the given audience, purpose, and situation; and 
  • assessing and articulating the rationale for and effects of composing choices. 

Outcome 2 

To work strategically with complex information in order to generate and support inquiry by 

  • reading, analyzing, and synthesizing a diverse range of texts and understanding the situations in which those texts are participating; 
  • using reading and writing strategies to craft research questions that explore and respond to complex ideas and situations; 
  • gathering, evaluating, and making purposeful use of primary and secondary materials appropriate for the writing goals, audience, genre, and context; 
  • creating a ‘conversation’—identifying and engaging with meaningful patterns across ideas, texts, experiences, and situations; and 
  • using citation styles appropriate for the genre and context. 

Outcome 3 

To craft persuasive, complex, inquiry-driven arguments that matter by 

  • considering, incorporating, and responding to different points of view while developing one’s own position; 
  • engaging in analysis—the close scrutiny and examination of evidence, claims, and assumptions—to explore and support a line of inquiry; 
  • understanding and accounting for the stakes and consequences of various arguments for diverse audiences and within ongoing conversations and contexts; and 
  • designing/organizing with respect to the demands of the genre, situation, audience, and purpose. 

Outcome 4 

To practice composing as a recursive, collaborative process and to develop flexible strategies for revising throughout the composition process by 

  • engaging in a variety of (re)visioning techniques, including (re)brainstorming, (re)drafting, (re)reading, (re)writing, (re)thinking, and editing; 
  • giving, receiving, interpreting, and incorporating constructive feedback; and 
  • refining and nuancing composition choices for delivery to intended audiences in a manner consonant with the genre, situation, and desired rhetorical effects and meanings. 
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 17, 2018 - 10:50pm