ENGL 298 H: Intermediate Interdisciplinary Writing - Social Sciences

Meeting Time: 
TTh 3:30pm - 4:50pm
DEN 111
Joint Sections: 
ENGL 298 G, ENGL 298 F
Mediha Sorma

Syllabus Description:

ENGL 298: Intermediate Interdisciplinary Writing in the Social Sciences

Linked to GWSS/PHIL 206/POL 212

Spring Quarter 2019

TTH 3:30 pm-4:50 pm       DEN 111

Instructor: Mediha Sorma

Email: med1985@uw.edu

Office Hours: TTH 11:00 am—1:00 pm, Padelford B-12

Course Overview:


English 298 is an intensive, 5-credit writing course designed to accompany GWSS/PHIL 206/POL 212. We will be focusing closely on several of the readings assigned in GWSS/PHIL 206/POL 212 as well as doing some supplemental readings on Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies and on developing writing skills more broadly. This course often uses a workshop format, with students thinking and writing in small groups and with the whole class. Some of the in-class activities to expect include individual and small group written assignments based on the readings and/or students’ papers; group discussions about the readings; and editing exercises, including peer reviewing each other’s work. In addition to the regular class meetings, you will also meet with me individually at least two times this quarter for more in-depth feedback on your writing.


Please keep in mind that although we will be drawing on material discussed in GWSS/PHIL 206/POL 212, English 298 is a separate course with its own reading and writing assignments, expectations, and grades. In order to do well in English 298, you will need to keep up with your work in GWSS/PHIL 206/POL 212 as well as attend lectures and your discussion section.


Course Objectives:

  • Recognize the importance of writing in thinking and learning, both within and outside of academia. 
  • Familiarize yourself with cultures of writing specific to the social sciences. 
  • Develop different writing skills: summarizing, describing, analyzing and persuading. 
  • Find your own writing voice. 
  • Practice crafting a clear and effective thesis. 
  • Learn how to support an argument with research. 
  • Demonstrate peer-editing skills and collaboration through providing feedback on others’ writing. 
  • Become a more self-reflective learner, reader and writer by intentionally assessing your writing strengths and weaknesses. 


A Note to Students:

You can be challenged, disturbed, provoked or disconcerted by what we read or discuss for this course. I believe that the discomfort you might feel is necessary and productive. We will be challenging deeply-rooted ideas on gender and this challenge might be directly and/or indirectly related to your personal experiences or contradict your beliefs. I will do my best to make this classroom a non-threatening space for all of us. I want you to feel safe in the feminist space we will collectively create but I also want you to be open to and embrace the discomfort and challenge this course will bring. It is a crucial part of learning process.

Respect your fellow students’ thoughts and experiences. Use “I” statements when you make any comment in class, take responsibility of what you say and do NOT play devil’s advocate. I will not tolerate any racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, ablest, classist and/or islamophobic comments, which invalidate opinions, experiences and/or feelings of others in class. I will NOT discuss the distinction between free speech and hate speech.

Grading: Short class exercises and homework will be graded out of 4 points (4 = excellent, 3 = good, 2 or 1 = needs work and/or incomplete, 0 = no submission) and will count toward students’ participation grades. Longer papers will be graded according to the 4.0 scale).



20%     Participation

20%     Homework (e.g. short writing assignments, peer reviews, etc.)

20%     Paper 1

20%     Paper 2

20%     Paper 3


In-Class Participation:

Class attendance and discussion are integral in your participation grade. Given that this is a writing intensive class, we will not succeed as a class if you do not participate. This means you are expected to come to class, engage with the content, in- class writing, and peer reviewing. Your participation grade will be based upon how present and engaged you are in class and how much effort you put into your work in class.


  1. Homework assignments and in-class assignments 
  2. Preparedness for Class Readings listed on the syllabus should be completed prior to the day they are listed. 
  3. Peer Reviews: An important piece of this class will be fostering a collaborative learning environment by connecting with your classmates to and giving/getting valuable feedback on your writing. In addition to some short peer reviews, we will have three longer peer-review sessions this quarter during which you will be responsible for peer reviewing your peers’ drafts overnight. 
  4. Conferences: After getting feedback from your peers on your writing, you will submit a revised draft to me and we will meet either one-on-one or as a peer review group to discuss your work. These meetings will follow each of the three writing sequences and will be either 20 minutes (one-on-one) or 60-80 minutes (for 4-person group). 
  5. Reflections:Following each major paper sequence, you will be asked to reflect upon your writing process and to note what you have learned. 


The 3 Big Papers:

There will be three written assignments for this course, which will be linked to the GWSS 200 lecture. This means that you will be using your papers for ENG 298 as jumping-off points for your papers for GWSS 200. More details on each of the following papers will be discussed as the course progresses.


Paper 1: Media Analysis (Intersectionality)  - 3-5 pages, times new roman, double space

Paper 2: Media Analysis (Ask the Other Question) - 3-5 pages, times new roman, double space

Paper 3: Creative Exploration - Zine Making (Group Project) 

Sample Zines:


Additional Information:

Course Website:

Our course website is located on Canvas, and should be accessible through your MyUW account. All course PDFs, grades, and announcements will appear on Canvas. Please familiarize yourself with Canvas since you will use it frequently. If you have questions about using Canvas, please consult the UW IT Helpdesk at help@uw.edu.


Wellness and Crisis Help:

If you have any health concerns, please visit the Hall Health website at http://depts.washington.edu/hhpccweb/ to learn about their services.


If you need immediate help, please call the Hall Health crisis line at (206) 583-1551 from 9:00am – 5:00pm, or (206) 744-2500 at any time.


If you are seeking counseling, please visit http://washington.edu/counseling , or call (206) 543-1240, or visit 401 Schmitz Hall to either set up an appointment or receive same-day services between 8:00am – 4:00pm M/W/Th/F and between 9:30am – 4:00pm Tuesdays.


Crisis Clinic: (206) 461-3222 or (866) 427-4747


Learning Accommodations:

It is the UW’s policy to provide support services to students needing accommodations that encourage them toward self-sufficient management, including their ability to participate in course activities and meet course requirements. Students with accommodations are encouraged to contact the instructor in person during Weeks 1 and 2. Students requiring support may contact Disability Resources for Students at 448 Schmitz Hall, through their website http://depts.washington.edu/uwdrs/ , or by calling them at (206) 543-8924 (voice) or (206) 543-8925 (voice/TTY).


Late Policy:

Papers are due at the beginning of class. Papers turned in after they are called for in class are considered late. Formal writing essays may be turned in late with 0.5 point deduction per day late. Papers received on the same day of the assignment due date but after the start of class will receive a 0.3 point deduction. Late homework will not be accepted for credit.

Students requesting a 48-hour deadline extension in extraordinary circumstances may petition the instructor with a formal written request at least 72 hours in advance of the deadline. Extensions are rare, and should not be relied upon. No extension can be assumed without a written response.


Policy on Academic Integrity:

Cheating tends to happen when students feel helpless and overwhelmed. If you are feeling this way, come to office hours as soon as possible. We will work together to get you back on track.


Academic dishonesty includes cheating, plagiarism (e.g. paraphrase or quotation without using proper citation), and resubmission of one paper for more than one course. Academic dishonesty of any kind will result in grade sanctions (a zero on the assignment), disciplinary action at the University level, or both. Consequences can be serious. Please familiarize yourself with the student academic responsibility statement, which can be found here:



Accidental plagiarism also happens quite frequently simply through a lack of familiarity with proper referencing and citation formats. Please refer to this UW citation guide with any questions:


If you are still having trouble with references and citations, check out the Odegaard Writing and Research Center (OWRC) where they offer consultations by appointment or drop-in.


Learn about citation management tools at the UW Libraries Research Commons


Writing Centers and Writing Support Resources 


  • Odegaard Writing and Research Center (OWRC)

  • The CLUE Writing Center

    • CLUE is a free late-night, multidisciplinary study center open to all UW students that offers drop-in tutoring and workshops.
    • Open Sun-Thurs from 6:30PM to midnight and Mon-Thurs from 11AM-2PM in HUB. http://depts.washington.edu/clue/index.php
  • Disciplinary Writing Centers


  • Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity Educational Opportunity Program Instructional Center

    • The Instructional Center, 1307 N.E. 40th St, Room 240; 206.542.4240, provides academic support for EOP students, and for non-EOP students by application. Provides drop-in tutoring in writing and other disciplines as well as study skills classes and test and exam preparation. http://depts.washington.edu/ic


Laptop Use Policy:

Laptops can be very useful in a writing class, particularly for those of you who feel more comfortable writing on a keyboard than with pen and paper. I encourage you to bring a laptop to class if you have one or to check one out from STF: http://www.cte.uw.edu/STFEquipment, particularly on days where you know we will be doing writing in class (either in the form of writing prompts or peer evaluation). 


If, however, it becomes clear to me or your peers that you are using your laptop for purposes unrelated to class, you will have your laptop privileges withdrawn. 



Due to the volume of email that I receive, please allow at least 24 hours for a response and be sure to be specific about your question(s). Be aware that I will not respond as quickly on evenings and weekends. Please plan your questions accordingly. 


Course-related emails will be sent to your UW email account. You are responsible for regularly checking this account. Please do not email me from a personal email account. Your email risks ending up in my spam folder if it is not from a UW email address.



If possible, please email me in advance if you are going to miss a class section due to illness. If you miss a class section you are responsible for getting the missed information from another person in the class or from myself. Extensions on papers due to illness will be determined on a case-by-case basis. 

Catalog Description: 
Expository writing based on materials presented in a specified social science 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. Offered: AWSpS.
GE Requirements: 
English Composition (C)
Writing (W)
Last updated: 
August 2, 2019 - 10:30pm