ENGL 298 A: Intermediate Interdisciplinary Writing - Social Sciences

Meeting Time: 
MW 1:00pm - 2:20pm
DEN 113
Elizabeth Simmons-O'Neill
Elizabeth Simmons-O'Neill

Syllabus Description:

The course evaluation for English 298A will be available at 1:00 pm on Wednesday March 13 at https://catalyst.uw.edu/webq/survey/esoneill/368674.  Time will be set aside in class to complete the course evaluation.  Please bring your devices to our final class meeting on March 13. 



English 298A: Writing Link with Communication 200,   Winter 2019 

Syllabus, Calendar for the Quarter, and Assignment Prompts

Elizabeth Simmons-O’Neill   esoneill@uw.edu  Office hours:  Wednesday 11:30-12:30 and by appointment,  Padelford A-14 (206) 685-3804

Canvas site: https://canvas.uw.edu/courses/1255478


  • This document, posted as “syllabus” on our canvas page, will be revised online  to include updates including the remaining major assignments and the calendar for the entire quarter.    Assignments will also be distributed in hard copy in class. You are responsible for staying current on what has been distributed and posted.
  • All work for English 298 is due in class in hard copy (printed out).  There are no electronic submissions for work in English 298.
  • There is no required textbook for this course (required resources are listed below).  You do NOT need to purchase the Turabian text that showed up initially as a required text for this course.


    Resources for our work together, such as the Communication research guide for UW Libraries and revising/editing tools, are either listed in the syllabus below or posted on our canvas site under "pages."  


    Detailed calendars and assignments will be distributed in two packets, one on the first day of class and the other later in the quarter.  Both packets will be posted under "pages" on this canvas site.

Texts and Resources

Required Course texts and resources

Readings for Communication 200

UW email account, activated and checked daily

Career Guide, UW Career & Internship Center:


Paper copies of all homework, drafts and final version of assignments


Additional Course, Research and Writing-Related Resources:

OWL (Purdue’s Online Writing Lab): http://owl.english.purdue.edu/index.htm (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

CLUE Writing Center: http://depts.washington.edu/clue/dropintutor_writing.php (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Odegaard Writing and Research Center: http://depts.washington.edu/owrc (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

UW Communication librarian Jessica Albano: jalbano@uw.edu

UW Career & Internship Center Associate Director:  Emma O’Neill-Myers, econeill@uw.edu

UW Career & Internship Center: https://careers.uw.edu/


Course description

English 298A is a graded 5-credit composition course which is linked to, but designed and graded separately from, Prof. Leilani Nishime’s Communication 200.  You may use English 298 toward either the “C” or “W” requirement, whichever you need. Our writing link assignments this quarter will be based on Communication 200 readings and concepts, and I will be in regular contact with Communication 200 staff and lectures, but you are the primary link between the classes.  English 298 assignments are based on the assumption that you are attending Communication 200 lectures and sections regularly and completing all assignments in Communication 200.

English 298 is based on values shared with Communication 200:  that Communication matters. It is powerful, personal, public -- and mediated.  Thinking about how communication shapes the world, and how we shape communication as both senders and receivers, matters.  Central questions for both English 298 and Communication 200 are how we know what we know, how the information on which we base our understanding is shaped, and how understanding the answers to these questions shapes our own lives in ways that matter, deepening our communication as a learning community, and amplifying our ability to take meaningful personal, academic, professional and civic action.

Because it is a small workshop style composition class, English 298 also provides an opportunity to increase your reading, research, planning, writing, revising and presentation skill and confidence.  In this class you will have the opportunity to develop your ability to write and conduct research within the discipline of Communication, to curate and present documents and images in support of an argument, to collaborate with members of your presentation group on a co-authored presentation and a written collection of your work,  and to deepen your understanding of reading and lecture materials from Communication 200. Your major projects will be shared in draft form for peer and instructor feedback before final versions are due, and you will have instruction in the library research necessary for these projects.

Curriculum overview: You will complete four assignment sequences in English 298.  The first will culminate in an essay (4 pages) focused on your use of media and understanding of the way reality is socially constructed by media use including news.   The second is a slightly longer essay (5 pages) in which you continue your analysis of Com 200 concepts and materials with the addition of academic journal research. The third is a multimodal presentation assignment done in groups, combining individual projects and co-authored introductions.  Groups will be organized around topics you identify as being of interest to you, based on keywords and concepts in Communication 200. The course concludes with a fourth sequence in which we will complete two short assignments designed to reflect on what we’ve learned and consider how this learning will transfer to and inform future occasions.  We will work with the UW Career & Internship Center to apply what you have learned about Communication and writing to the tasks of identifying and creating targeted application materials for a job or internship you are interested in, and the quarter will end with a short (2-3 page) metacognitive reflective/ prospective essay about what you have learned and how you might put this learning into practice.

Department of English Statement of Values

The UW English Department aims to help students become more incisive thinkers, effective communicators, and imaginative writers by acknowledging that language and its use is powerful and holds the potential to empower individuals and communities; to provide the means to engage in meaningful conversation and collaboration across differences and with those with whom we disagree; and to offer methods for exploring, understanding, problem solving, and responding to the many pressing collective issues we face in our world—skills that align with and support the University of Washington’s mission to educate “a diverse student body to become responsible global citizens and future leaders through a challenging learning environment informed by cutting-edge scholarship.”

As a department, we begin with the conviction that language and texts play crucial roles in the constitution of cultures and communities. Our disciplinary commitments to the study of language, literature, and culture require of us a willingness to engage openly and critically with questions of power and difference. As such, in our teaching, service, and scholarship we frequently initiate and encourage conversations about topics such as race, immigration, gender, sexuality, and class. These topics are fundamental to the inquiry we pursue. We are proud of this fact, and we are committed to creating an environment in which our faculty and students can do so confidently and securely, knowing that they have the backing of the department.

Towards that aim, we value the inherent dignity and uniqueness of individuals and communities. We aspire to be a place where human rights are respected and where any of us can seek support. This includes people of all ethnicities, faiths, genders, national origins, political views, and citizenship status; LGBQTIA+;  those with disabilities; veterans; and anyone who has been targeted, abused, or disenfranchised.

As an instructor, my goals are:

To create a learning community in which each student’s communities, experiences and perspectives are valued, and we learn to listen carefully to each other, and to examine our own perspectives and positions. Research confirms that this sometimes emotionally challenging work has profound benefits for learning when recognized and engaged;

To design reading, research, presentation and writing assignments that deepen your learning of Communication 200 concepts; encourage development of your research and writing process; further your ability to evaluate the rigor and reliability of evidence and the warrants that connect evidence to claims; develop your own learning and your collaboration and presentation skills; and encourage you to consider the implications of our work together on your personal, academic, professional and civic lives.

Recognize and value that each of you brings your own goals to the course.   I ask you to articulate your goals and beliefs as we begin our work together, and to continue returning to these goals throughout the quarter and in your final reflection.


Participation and late work policies: English 298 is a workshop class for which regular, timely attendance and thorough preparation for class are critical to your own learning and the learning of the group.   Homework will not be accepted for credit after the class meeting at which it is due. Late drafts, late final versions of essays, missed peer reviews, and missed presentations and conferences will each result in the subtraction of .2 from the final grade for that particular project.   Please note that if you have a fever, or need to miss class for urgent reasons or religious observances, you should  communicate by email ahead of time to let me know why you are missing class, and to discuss possible options for late or electronic submission of your work.  

There is no grade curve in English 298. I encourage you to work collaboratively and to come see me during office hours or contact me by email whenever you have questions or concerns.

All written work for this course is due in hard copy (printed out).  Unless otherwise noted, this means a hard copy (printed out) version of your work, typed and double-spaced, in Times New Roman 12 or equivalent.  In some cases the calendar will note “handwritten is fine” for some assignments.

Please bring to class with you any readings assigned for the day, along with your notes on those readings, and any questions, concerns or suggestions for the class.   Electronic readings may be either printed out or available on your laptop or other device.

Final grades for English 298 will be based on the following:

20%: participation and homework including peer reviews; graded check, check plus, check minus scale

80%:  graded work (graded on the 4.0 scale)

25%:  Assignment #1 (4 pages)

30%: Assignment #2 (5 pages)

10%: Assignment #3 individual presentation (slides + presentation)

5%: group co-authored introduction/contribution to group work

10%:  final sequence:  resume, cover letter and short reflective essay (2-3 pages)

Selected UW Student Resources

Writing Centers

CLUE writing center, open 7 pm until midnight, Sunday through Thursday.  CLUE is a first-come, first-served writing center located in the Gateway Center at the south end of the Mary Gates Hall Commons: http://depts.washington.edu/aspuw/clue/writing-center (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.. CLUE also offers late-night study sessions and other academic support, and resources such as conversation groups for multilingual/international students.

The Odegaard Writing and Research Center (OWRC) also offers free, one-on-one help with all aspects of writing at any stage in the writing process. OWRC has locations in Odegaard Library, Miller Hall and Health Sciences Libraries. To make the best use of your time there, take a copy of your assignment with you and double-space any drafts you want to bring in. While OWRC writing consultants are eager to help you improve your writing, they will not proofread your paper. To make an appointment or browse the center's online resources, visit http://www.depts.washington.edu/owrc (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Wellbeing and Community Resources

UW SafeCampus: 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 http://www.washington.edu/safecampus/ (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Student Health and Wellness: “The Division of Student Life is committed to the holistic development and support of our students, including the social, emotional, intellectual, physical, financial and the spiritual dimensions of life. The department of Health and Wellness draws from across the Division and beyond to help our students develop strategies that enable them to get the most out of their college experience.” livewell.uw.edu

Hall Health Support Groups include mindfulness meditation, mindful approaches to anxiety, and a range of groups focused on particular issues and needs including anxiety, procrastination/perfectionism and more http://depts.washington.edu/hhpccweb/support-groups (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

UW Emergency Aid assists students who are experiencing unexpected financial hardships that may disrupt their education or prevent them from earning their UW degree, including:

Emergency medical/dental costs

Housing and living expenses

Family emergencies

Natural disasters

Loss of income

And more…

Emergency Aid may come in a variety of forms, including grants, loans and/or campus and community resources.http://www.washington.edu/emergencyaid/ (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

UW Campus Food Pantry allows UW students, staff, and faculty to be supplied with nonperishable groceries and select fresh produce for no cost. Anyone with a Husky ID is eligible to receive support. The Pantry uses a pop-up model with locations in HUB 214 and the Kelly Ethnic Cultural Center, and runs once a month at each site. We also take drop-in appointments for those in need who cannot attend a pop-up. https://www.washington.edu/anyhungryhusky/get-food/ (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

UW Digital Wellness site from UW Student Life is new this year.  Check it out if you have any questions or concerns or are just curious about the risks, benefits and opportunities of your life online. https://spark.adobe.com/page/HKz3G2gRSohBO/ (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

UW Career & Internship Center offers career counseling and planning, feedback on resumes and cover letters, job postings, workshops and career fairs and much more: https://careers.uw.edu/

The Student Activities Office “is one of several units with the HUB department. SAO staff encourage UW students to participate in student activities and student government as an excellent way to experience personal growth, meet new friends, share common interests with other students, faculty and staff. The goal of SAO is to help students develop skills in leadership, event planning and management, decision-making, communication, goal setting, fiscal management, marketing and promotion, and even more importantly, to make life at UW fun and memorable.” http://depts.washington.edu/thehub/sao (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

The UW Bias Advisory Committee: “At the University of Washington, we value and honor diverse experiences and perspectives, strive to create welcoming and respectful learning environments and promote access and opportunity. At the same time, our institutional commitment to freedom of expression encourages members of our University community to hold and express sometimes unpopular views…. To help us fulfill our commitment to addressing bias at the individual, institutional and systemic levels, we have established the Bias Incident Advisory Committee to collect information and advise the vice president for Student Life and the vice president for Minority Affairs and Diversity on reports of bias-related incidents that may impact the University of Washington community. Barring unexpected circumstance, reports received through the bias incident report form will be reviewed by a member of this committee within 2-4 business days.” The form and additional information are available at https://report.bias.washington.edu (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

The Q Center : “We facilitate and enhance a brave, affirming, liberatory, and celebratory environment for students, faculty, staff, and alumni of all sexual and gender orientation, identities, and expressions. The University of Washington Q Center is a fierce, primarily student run resource center dedicated to serving anyone with or without a gender or sexuality – UW students, staff, faculty, alum, and community members.  We host and support student groups, put on regular programming events, house a lending library, and amplify student voices on our Student Blog.  Explore our website for more information or stop by the Husky Union Building, Room 315. http://depts.washington.edu/qcenter/wordpress

Foundation for International Understanding through Students (FIUTS) is an example of a campus organization that can bring together your social and academic learning “FIUTS is an independent non-profit organization which provides cross-cultural leadership and social programming. FIUTS is local connections and global community. More information at www.fiuts.org

The Samuel E. Kelly Ethnic Cultural Center has a wealth of resources and opportunities available to students including student advising, organizational development, personal growth, and referrals to different departments and programs.  http://depts.washington.edu/ecc/ (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.  

Leadership Without Borders “The Leadership Without Borders Center (LWB) works to serve and empower undocumented students at the University of Washington. LWB offers leadership development resources, college success navigators, the Husky Dream Lending Library, a space for community building, and connections to other campus and community resources.” LWB, a part of the Ethnic Cultural Center, is an important resource for DACA students and those who advocate for DACA student rights. http://depts.washington.edu/ecc/lwb/ (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Voter Registration: voting is a powerful way to communicate.   If you are a U.S. citizen, are not registered to vote, and would like to register,  you’ll find information about registering and voting in all US states at https://www.usa.gov/register-to-vote.  Information about registering to vote in Washington state is at https://www.sos.wa.gov/elections.   These sites also provide information to help you research voting decisions, inquire into voting security and more.


English 298A Class Calendar through January 30

Note: Each class day, I will assume you have attended Communication 200 lectures and sections and completed the Communication 200 readings and Prof. Nishime’s  assignments.

Wednesday January 9

Three homework assignments are due in hard copy today.  All of them are designed to engage you in the central terms, issues and concepts of Communication 200 and to begin our work together as researchers, writers, and colleagues in English 298.

1) Read the syllabus for this course (including guidelines to logical argumentation, engaging in group work, etc.) and the following short articles  (which are included in this packet): “What It Means to “Hold Space” for People and How to do it Well” (Heather Plett),  “Racial Bias, Even When We Have Good Intentions” (NY Times Business section, 1-4-2015),” “Trump’s Attacks on the News Media are Working” (Jim Rutenberg, NY Times, 10-28-2018), z’tuddisn 2016 Influence Operation Targeted African-Americans on Social Media” (NY Times, 12-17-2018)

Make notes (handwritten is fine) so you are prepared to discuss any questions about this course, and your responses to the articles assigned above, and connections to the readings ‘A faulty “gay parenting’ study,” “When rhetoric distorts statistics,” and “How to call B.S. on big data: a practical guide” (which you read for last Monday in Communication 200).     Be sure to note what the authors are arguing, what types of evidence the use to convince you to agree with them, and how you respond.

2) Experiment with learning about your own implicit (hidden, unconscious)  biases by taking one or more of the quizzes at Project Implicit.  No identifying information is collected at this site, and your results for these quizzes will be available only to you.  I will not ask you to submit or share your results.

Go to https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit Log in as a guest, choosing the country and language that best represents you

Click “go,” read the information on this page, and if you are willing, click “I wish to proceed”

Choose one or more of the Implicit Association Tests.  You might be interested in assessing your implicit biases related to race, gender, sexuality, language, disability, weight, weapons, religion etc. Complete the test(s), save/record your results

Write (handwritten is fine) one page in which you summarize your results and your response to your results, note your questions and observations about the results, and consider what you might have learned about the way you have been socialized, and perhaps the ways your response to media representations and the social world have been conditioned, by unconscious (implicit) biases.  Feel free to make connections to readings. (I will confirm that you have these notes in class so you receive credit, but I will not collect them. You are the audience for this work, and you will be given options about what you choose to share.)

3)  Due: have read and made notes on the news article you located on one of the two topics we identified in class. Bring the article with you to class (on your laptop or printed out).  Be prepared to discuss how your article FRAMES the story, what kinds of evidence is used, whether warrants are stated or assumed, and how it might relate to Prof Nishime’s discussions of fake news and the crisis of authority, and our discussion and your homework related to how your own identity and experience creates the lens through which you take in news, and our handout about appeals (logos, pathos, ethos) and logical argumentation.  

Monday January 14:  CLASS MEETS IN SUZZALLO LIBRARY Room 102  for instructional labs with Communication Subject Area Specialist Jessica Albano

DUE at the library lab  (in hard copy):

1) Have read through the Assignment #1 topic options, thought about what you might be interested in writing on, and make notes so you are prepared to ask questions about this assignment. (We’ll come back to this discussion in class on Wednesday.)

2) Have read “How Facebook makes us unhappy” (assigned in Com 200 syllabus later in the quarter and linked there and here: https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/maria-konnikova) and “How Researchers Learned to Use Facebook “Likes” To Sway Your Thinking” (NYTimes Technology section, March 20, 2018, included in this packet).

3) Have completed  a detailed media journal for at least 12 hours between January 7 and January 13.   In your media journal you should:

Create a format for tracking your media interactions.   This could be a table in word or a simple word document.  A sample table, designed to note media use for a two hour period, follows at the end of this assignment.   You could make several copies of a table of this sort in a single document, each tracking a two-hour period.  Be sure to customize the document so it reflects the types of communication/media you use.

In whatever format you have chosen, briefly record the details of the technology/ devices you use for communication and engaging with social or mass media, the ways you use the technology or devices, the amount of time you spend with each, and the medium/nature of the use for the following:

Devices: might include cell phone, landlines, laptops or tablets, desktop computers, Skype, television, newspapers, magazines, writing by hand, books, or something else I haven’t mentioned.

Ways you use the devices might include: log on to the social media and  read through without posting or liking/responding to/commenting on posts, log on and respond to posts; use social media that doesn’t automatically disappear in a set time frame or social media that does disappear;  talk, text, email or skype/facetime/WeChat; send or receive images or videos; view images or videos online; read a document; write a document, read a blog or twitter post (with or without commenting); write a blog or twitter post; read a newspaper or magazine for news content or information or for entertainment; watch a television show for news content or entertainment; read a book for news or entertainment, or something else I haven’t thought of.

4) Create a word document in which you write (type) 1-1.5 pages describing and analyzing  the patterns you found in your media journal and your responses to those patterns. Do you think this was a typical 12 hours?  Was there anything surprising to you about your media journal? What connections do you see to Communication 200 and the idea that “Communication is Personal”?  To currently unfolding stories about how Facebook and other social media are used (in some cases by non-US source) to sway political views? What observations or lines of inquiry (things you’d like to know more about)  emerged for you? Do you see connections with any of the readings or discussion of personal communication in Com 200?

Following (and continuing on the next page) is a possible template for your media journal using a table in Word.  Think about how you would find it easiest to capture and record information about your interactions using social and mass media.  Check off the boxes showing which devices you used for which purposes. (This table provides the data you will describe and analyze in assignment 4 for today.)

Date and time period here  e.g.

9/29/18, 9:30-11:30 pm








Skype, Face-











text or email

send or post image that will remain posted

Send or post image that will automatically disappear

view image or video

read post or document that will remain posted

Read post or document that will automatically disappear

seek news

seek entertainment

seek information

Skim use social media without posting or responding


Wednesday January 16

Due:  Have written down the topic(s) you are planning to write on for Assignment #1, and identified the news articles, polls, media logs, Com 200 readings or or other resources you plan to use.

Have read and be prepared to discuss:   the three sample student essays attached to this packet:  “The Framing of the Ferguson Case,” “Instagram’s Adverse Impacts on the Modern Generation,” and “WeChat: A Tool for Connection or Disconnection.”

Have available: your lecture notes from Communication 200 lecture and section discussions on the goals of Communication 200 and on lectures and readings thus far.

In class:  We will sign up for small group conferences (to take place January 23-28), discuss your plans for and questions about Assignment #1, and work with sample student writing in preparation for your drafting and our upcoming peer reviews.


Monday January 21:  MLK Holiday: No class meeting.


Wednesday January 23

Due:  Three hard copies of your Assignment #1 draft.   

In class:   Elizabeth will distribute the calendar and assignments for the rest of the quarter.  We will discuss these assignments, finalize the group conference schedule for Assignment #1, and begin preparing for small group conferences.  (Please remember that it is having these hard copies of your draft at the beginning of class that count as having the draft completed on time. Late drafts lose .2 from the grade for this essay.)


Monday January 28:  No Class Meeting Conferences Continue in Elizabeth’s office

Due at your conference:  

Completed peer reviews for your colleagues (peer reviews will be graded during the conference on the check/check plus/check minus system.  Be sure you have completed all steps outlined in the peer review process distributed in class).

Your notes (typed or handwritten, at least one page) about your own plans for and questions about revising your own draft, including any new information from Communication 200 --  such as Prof. Nishime’s discussion of rhetoric as a tool of persuasion (a further development of our own discussion of logos, pathos and ethos), research validity, qualitative and quantitative research, and survey design --  that allows you to re-see your work in progress.

Your preliminary plans for and questions about Assignment #2.


Wednesday January 30: MEET FOR A LIBRARY LAB in SUZZALLO 102  

Resources for Assignments #2, #3 and #4


Communication Studies Research Guide: http://guides.lib.uw.edu/research/commstudies


English 298A Class Research Guide created by Jessica Albano: https://guides.lib.uw.edu/ENG298


Our partner Communication Librarians:  Jessica Albano jalbano@uw.edu and Madeline Mundt mundtm@uw.edu)


OWL (Purdue Online Writing Lab -- for everything from citation and syntax to paragraphing and incorporation of evidence: https://owl.english.purdue.edu)


Your New Yorker subscription (feel free and encouraged to read more recent articles in the New Yorker on topics you’re studying in Com 200, or to consult letters to the editor following up on articles you read.)


For Assignment #3:   

For Assignment #4 Sequence:


Wednesday January 30: MEET AT SUZZALLO LIBRARY 102 


DUE:  Final draft of your Assignment #1 (printed out)


Have read carefully through this entire calendar and have re-read the Assignment #2 prompt below.   


Have looked closely at the lecture topics and readings identified in Prof. Nishime’s syllabus for the rest of the quarter in Communication 200.  


Have thought carefully about issues, concepts, readings and methods you would like to focus on for the rest of the quarter.


Have read carefully and be prepared to discuss the attached academic journal article abstracts  (1 page each) “Fact-Checking Effectiveness as a Function of Format and Tone:  Evaluating FactCheck.org and FlackCheck.org” (Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly 2018) and “Do Black Lives Matter? A content analysis of New York Times and St. Louis Post-Dispatch coverage of Michael Brown Protests” (Journalism Practice, 2017) and the complete academic journal article, “Selective Exposure to Cable News and Immigration i the U.S.: The Relationship Between FOX News, CNN, and Attitudes Toward Mexican Immigrants” (Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, 2012).  As you read the complete article, note  the way it is organized, the lines of inquiry (research questions) the writers’ methods and conclusions, your strategies for reading this article (which may include reading some sections more closely than others), your analysis of their use of evidence and their arguments, and your questions about the article.  


Have viewed the Gillette television commercial “We Believe: The Best Men Can Be”  as an example of advertising media complex engagement with Communication issues of public communication, identity, gender, power, corporate advertising and representation: We Believe: The Best Men Can Be | Gillette (Short Film)


In class:  by the end of the lab you will know how to find and make use of scholarly (academic) journal articles in the discipline of Communication and you will also have time to begin work on your projects and to ask questions about locating other types of resources we learned about in our first library lab (backgrounds, references, news, polling, etc.).   This is our final library lab with Jessica Albano and provides you with resources for both Assignment #2 (5 page analytical essay) and Assignment #3 (4-5 minute individual presentation with group co-presented introduction), both of which require the use of scholarly academic sources.




Wednesday February  6

Due:  A proposal (1 page, typed) for your Assignment #2 in which you identify your topic, your tentative line of inquiry, the sources you plan to use including at least one academic journal article,  and include a rough outline of the paragraphs of the essay in which you identify the topic, purpose and sources you plan to use. 

There are many possible topics listed in the Assignment #2 prompt. Notice that you may return to a topic from the first four weeks and you may work on a topic that will be covered in Com 200 after this assignment is due.  My goal is that you choose an issue you care about and what to know more about. 

Creating this provisional structure and identifying potential sources will help you see how you connect the topic you're interested in with Com 200 keywords, concepts and readings, and with academic research in the field of Communication.  Remember that you can use reference and background works from our library research page if you need to better understand key terms and concepts from Prof. Nishime's syllabus. 

Have reread carefully and be prepared to discuss the two sample Assignment #2 essays in this packet: “Media Portrayals of the Sorority:  Reinforcing Harmful Body Image Effects in Potential Sorority Members” (March 2015) and “Make America Factual Again: Crisis of Legitimacy Through Rhetoric” (December 2018)   

Have read, considered as possible directions for your own Assignment #2, and be prepared to ask questions about: the same Assignment #3 group presentations (we'll come back to these when we launch Assignment #3, and they also illustrate topics you could take up in Assignment #2), the “Debunking Handbook” (a debunking plan on a specific issue would be a good model for Assignment #2 or #3), and the news articles “More Republicans Than You Think Support Action on Climate Change” (NYT 12-29-2018, related to Prof. Nishime's discussion of and readings regarding communication about climate change) and “Movies Starring Women Earn More Than Male-Led Films, Study Finds” (NYT 12-11-2018, related to Prof. Nishime's discussion of representation in US mainstream media and the Bechdel test, which I encourage you to look up and consider using as the basis for an Assignment #2 or #3)

In class:  we will discuss the sample Assignment #2 essays (somewhat briefly), answer any questions about the readings,  sign up for Assignment #2 small group conferences, peer review and discuss questions about your Assignment #2 proposals,  and Assignment #1 will be returned.  

Monday February 11

Due:  Three PRINT copies of your 5-page Assignment #2 draft with additional Works Cited page

In class:  we will begin preparing for peer reviews and small group conferences.

Wednesday February 13  

No class meeting.  Small group conferences in Elizabeth’s office.


Due at your conference:

  • Your notes outlining your current plans for revising your draft.  What do you already plan to do? What do you need help or feedback on?
  • Your completed peer reviews for your colleagues.  NOTE that each of you is required to

do one extensive peer review and two reviews that use only the rubric and an endnote.  EXTRA CREDIT OPTION: complete two extensive peer reviews following the format distributed in class.


Monday February 18

No class meeting.  Presidents Day Holiday.

Wednesday February 20


Due:  Assignment #2, printed out, 5 page essay and additional Works Cited list.


Have reviewed the Assignment #3 prompt and read carefully and be prepared to discuss  the two sample Assignment #3 presentations in this packet (acknowledging that black and white pdfs don’t do justice to color powerpoint slides): “The Power of Political Persuasion: Rhetoric and the Public Sphere” (Autumn 2018) and “Effects of Identity Representation on Opportunity and Equality” (Autumn 2018).  What do you notice about the ways each of these Conference Panel presentations fulfills the goals for the assignment? Ways each might have been improved? Things you noticed and things you wondered about as you think toward your own Assignment #3?


Due (printed out):  three possible topics for your Assignment #3 individual presentation.  The topic statements can be one short paragraph each. They need to include the general topic, your line of inquiry, the connection to at least one Com 200 lecture and reading, and the reason you’re interested in this question.

In class:  Elizabeth will create Assignment #3 groups with related topics based on the topics you bring to class today, so be sure you’re clear about what you’d like to work on.  You are welcome to continue working on a line of inquiry you focused on in Assignment #1 or #2 or to take up a new issue. We will discuss the sample presentations and your groups will have time for an initial conversation.  We will also finalize the topic for Monday’s “structured academic controversy.”


Monday February 25


Due:  have completed the research and prepared your major talking points to support your group’s claim with regard to the topic/reading we selected last Wednesday for today’s “Structured Academic Controversy” (SAC).  SAC is designed to begin where debate begins (two opposing sides marshall their arguments and their counter-arguments against the opposition) but to move beyond that often false equivalency, beyond the model that every controversy has two (and only two) equally valid sides, and to engage in supporting and presenting your own view, listening carefully to and being able to restate the other “side’s” view, and then moving beyond that binary.  


Have reviewed the upcoming Assignment #4 sequence calendar and assignments (work with the Career Center, resumes and cover letter, metacognitive final reflective essay) and be prepared to ask any questions about these assignments or your Assignment #3 in progress.


Wednesday February 27


Due:  draft of your individual slides and notes for what you plan to say  for Assignment #3 presentation.  At this point you should have a least  5 slides using (among them) at least 5 sources and your notes (outline, detailed notes, or script) for what you plan to say.  


In class:  Workshop day on individual slides and scripts/notes and developing the co-authored intro:

  • Finalize schedule for presentations.  (Being present on the day your group presents is essential to your grade for this project.)
  • Test the equipment you plan to use to share your slides in class (have the laptop present and have checked for any needed equipment  to connect to the projector in our room.)
  • Create a draft of the group introductory slide(s) and script
  • Work on slides, research as needed, consider arguments being made and effectiveness of evidence, review Com 200 canvas site for relevant information, and identify any questions to send to UW-IT or Jessica Albano or Madeline Mundt about research, development or presentation of your work (slides and scripts).
  • Plan any out of class communication in preparation for your presentations.


Elizabeth will check in with each group during class today.  


Please bring your laptops.


Monday March 4


Due:  Have completed the tasks below and bring print copies of the position of interest you  have selected and drafts of your targeted resume and cover letter.

In class today:  Associate Director for Employer and Student Engagement from the UW Career & Internship Center Emma O'Neill-Myers and her colleague the Assistant Director Jessie Smith will lead discussion of sample resume/cover letters and effective use of Linkedin.   We will also peer review your draft resumes and cover letters.

Please have the Career Guide available on your laptop or other device, in addition to using it to complete today’s homework:   https://careers.uw.edu/resources/career-guide (continued)

Tasks to complete for March 4  homework:

  • Have read and completed activities on pages 6-9 (strengths activity) in UW Career Guide
  • Identify (and bring a printed copy to class) one position-of-interest (job or internship), to which you have targeted your new or updated resume and cover letter. It’s your choice whether you actually apply to this position. For the purposes of this assignment, all students need to choose one position-of-interest. Your position of interest could be anything: summer job; winter or spring quarter internship; on campus or off campus position you want to apply for now or aspire to in the future. Find the position via websites you are familiar with or from any of these resources:

https://careers.uw.edu/companies (includes an overview of Handshake and featured jobs)

http://www.idealist.org/ (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Career pages of employers’ websites (e.g. Nike; United Nations; Hopelink; Google; City of Seattle; Good Will; Big Brothers Big Sisters; Seattle or Shoreline Schools, etc.)

https://www.looksharp.com (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

http://www.indeed.com/ (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

http://backdoorjobs.com/ (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

http://www.coolworks.com/ (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

http://www.washingtonhealthcarecareers.com/ (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

  • Review pages 33-43 (resumes and cover letters) in the Career Guide.
  • Highlight key words and skills, and underline key aspects of the position (job or internship) you are targeting
  • Type and bring printed copies of your draft  resume and cover letter targeted to the position you chose:  Use what you know about resumes and cover letters to write a draft of your resume and cover letter targeted to the position of interest you chose for this assignment.  To help with your resume and cover letter, re-review pages 33-43 in the Career Guide.

Additional support for this assignment (in addition to our workshop in class today) for individual feedback and advice on your cover letter and resume you might consult OWRC (by appointment) or CLUE (evening drop in) writing centers.  Of particular help will be the UW Career Center’s individual consultations on writing and revising resumes and cover letters.  The Career & Internship Center offers 15 minute “Drop In Coaching” available from 10a-4p, Tuesday through Friday: https://careers.uw.edu/drop-in-coaching/ .  These sessions are true “drop in” -- you arrive, sign in, and see a staff person in the order you signed in.

Wednesday March 6


Due:  final draft of your resume and cover letter (printed out) and ALL slides (uploaded to Canvas Assignment).  Slides are due today whether you are presenting today or next Monday. 


Two groups will present today -- be sure you have practiced and timed your presentation

  • Group one:  Megan, Makayla, Suhani, Bacha
  • Group two:  Hannah, Jessie, Christina, Shelly


Monday March 11


Have read through the metacognitive final reflective essay assignment and be prepared to ask any questions about that, the self-evaluation or the extra credit option. 


Remaining  groups will present today -- be sure you have practiced and timed your presentation

  • Group one: Shinha, Rachel, Sunwoo
  • Group two: Lufei, Samantha, Breyen, Isabelle


Wednesday March 13



  • metacognitive final reflective essay (printed out; 2-3 pages)
  • Group self-evaluation (handwritten or printed out; format is below)
  • Extra credit (optional)


Please bring your devices (phones, laptops etc.) to complete an online course evaluation during today’s class.


Group self-evaluation format (due March 13)


Collaborative work is central to Assignment #3 and 5% of your course grade will be based on the collaborative portions of your Conference Panel both as they are presented and in the work leading up to aht presentation.   Much of the work of developing a line of inquiry and preparing for the group co-authored introduction to the Conference Panel happens behind the scenes and before the event. In order for me to better understand how your group worked and the contribution of each member to the work of the group please:


1)      List the members of your group (including yourself)


2)      Divide 100 points among the members of your group as a way to reflect the contribution of each group member (including yourself) to development of your group’s line(s) of inquiry, the shared components of the Conference Panel (including co-authored slides/sub-pages) and the shared components of your Collected Essays (including co-authored introduction).


3)      In addition to assigning a portion of the 100 points to each group member (including yourself), please provide a brief description of the work of each member of the group.)

Assignment Prompts for Assignments #2, #3 and #4 Metacognitive Reflection 


English 298A: Assignment #2


Context and formatting:  your second major project in English 298 is a 5 page analysis of a topic you care about that is covered in Communication 200.   Your essay should include 5 pages of your own writing and an additional Works Cited list on a separate page.


Citation and Required Sources:  Use MLA citation format for your name, the date and the course number (upper lefthand corner of the first page),  page numbering (your last name followed by a numeral in the upper righthand corner), the title (centered two lines below the identifying information), the text of your essay (double-spaced, 1 inch margins, TNR 12 or equivalent), and  in-text and Works Cited lists (see UW Library or OWL handouts for models). Your project should cite (that is, actually make use of) at least five sources, at least one an academic journal article and at least one a lecture or reading from Com 200.  


Topics may be selected from anything covered by Prof. Nishime in Communication 200: for example, our social identities; our own individual biases (implicit and explicit) and the dangers of confirmation bias as “receivers” as well as “senders” of communication; effective communicative strategies for addressing climate change;  whiteness; the power of communication to name, shape and challenge the world we live in, and to reinforce or resist cultural narratives both personal and public; communication within personal relationships and family and friend groups including networks, stories and rituals; mindfulness, and emotional and conflict management; the limits of research including ethics, the nature of effective surveys, “machine bias,” and distinguishing correlation from cause; living our lives online and the impacts of social media (individually, collectively, politically and economically); the core ideas of rhetoric (audience, appeals, argumentation and evidence) and the ways appeals might be used ethically or unethically; the nature of certainty, the importance of fact-checking, of debunking “B.S. in the age of big data,” and the dangers of “fake news” and disinformation; stereotypes;  social norms and the prescriptions and proscriptions that shape opportunities (including our names and the language(s) we use); developing listening skills and having civil conversations across difference; the nature and impact of media and entertainment representations and how we can assess representations based on gender, race, orientation and other identities; freedom of speech and of the press and their relationship to private and public space (including digital space); the importance of evidence-based journalism in a democracy; the role of communication in social movements and in building (or undermining) empathy; metamessages; medical communication (including between doctor and patient); the dangers of normalization and of censorship; the connections between these issues and political communication including campaigns, voting, policy and its impacts.


While Communication 200 focuses primarily on US social media, news, entertainment and social movements taking place in English in the United States, your Assignment #2 for English 298 may include discussion related to issues outside the US, and in languages other than English.  However, your essay should be in our shared language of English, and central evidence for your work translated into English.


Assignment #2 goals:

  • To support your learning of Communication 200 concepts and materials;
  • To develop analytical and expository skills related to researching, shaping, peer reviewing, revising and sharing your written work;
  • To develop your research skills and your confidence in effectively entering a conversation with scholarly academic research articles;
  • To choose something you care about for the subject of this sequence, so that you are meaningfully engaged in coming to understand more deeply both the subject and the way our views about it are shaped through communicative acts.

English 298A: Assignment #3:  Individual and Group Conference Panel Presentations

(This assignment is modeled on an academic conference panel)


Assignment #3 is a group project with two parts:  each group member will create an individual presentation (4-5 minutes) and the group will also create a co-authored introductory presentation (2-3 minutes) explaining the intersections among the individual topics, that is, explaining how they fit together in the context of our study of Communication.    Three groups will be created by Elizabeth based on the individual topics you bring to class on Wednesday February 13. Two groups will present on March 11 and one on March 13.


  • Individual presentations:  Individual presentations within the panel group should each be 4-5 minutes long, based on a combination of electronic slides/site (which you will project) and live narration based on a written script or notes you have written.   Your narration should support the information on your slides, provide discussion about your line of inquiry and conclusions, and explain why you’ve chosen the materials you are presenting as evidence in support of your analysis.  Prepare for your presentation by practicing, being sure your presentation fits into the time allocated, and deciding whether to consult your slides, your script or note-cards as you present. Effective presentations will typically include an introductory slide with the title of your presentation, a final Works Cited Slide, and at least 5 but probably no more than 10 additional slides.


  • Group introduction:  Each presentation group will begin with a collaboratively co-authored introduction, a short series of slides and spoken narration introducing the topic, methods and claims of each individual presentation, and explaining the overarching topic/theme/context

or framing of your panel, the connections to Com 200, and the larger implications and questions raised by this presentation overall.  


  • Individual and co-authored slides should each end with an MLA-format Works Cited list for all sources used in that particular presentation.


  • Works Cited for individual presentations should include a total of at least five sources,  at least one an academic journal article and one a Com 200 lecture or reading.  Other sources might include personal research (e.g. survey you created or video you made), Communication Studies reference or background sources, news articles, documentation of public events or debates, or additional academic and Com 200 sources.  (Note: the co-authored slide does not need to have five sources.)


Some topics students have worked on recently for Assignment #3

  • The impact of social media on happiness , relationships, and civic life including the positive benefits of social media (especially for international students), and the political implications of  the younger generation's "addiction" to social media (with reference to Com 200 discussion of social media and polling), or effective uses of social media for political engagement and knowledge among youth, and of external manipulations of social media (e.g. facebook hack, Russian use of social media re: 2016 election etc.)
  • Rhetorical analysis of campaign speeches (Rossi vs. Schrier), political speeches and audience response (Trump), climate change persuasion/debunking, and the impact on both asylum seekers and Latinx Americans of misrepresentations of the nature of people arriving at the US-Mexico border with reference to Com 200 discussion of the crisis of legitimacy, ethical and unethical uses of rhetorical appeals, the connection between free speech and the public sphere in terms of both journalism and policy development, and effective political/public health speech
  • Representations of Asian-Americans in popular culture and entertainment with a consideration of the impact on Asian-American children, with reference to Com 200 discussion of the impact of names and identities, stereotypes, normalization and cultural narratives, and the personal consequences of public, mediated Communication
  • Representations of African-American and Native American people as it impacts their access to political representation, with specific focus on the 2018 election and the protection (and lack of protection) of voting rights with reference to Com 200 discussion of public sphere, representation, and consideration of voting as a communicative act
  • Representations of Fraternity/Sorority “Greek” Life in press and popular media with consideration of the impact of stereotypes on current and prospective members, influence on the ways sororities promote themselves using instagram based on popular misconceptions, the impact of “tier” ranking on individual and group identities,  with reference to Com 200 discussion of framing, stereotypes in media and their impact on individuals, and the rhetorical contexts for the perpetuation of caricatures/stereotypes
  • Communication and sports reporting, including consideration of debates about NFL players (and other athletes) taking a knee during the national anthem, the history of sports-related protests, and the impact of stereotypes on women’s access to recognition as analysts, with reference to Com 200 discussion of stereotypes, implicit and confirmation biases, freedom of speech, public vs. private space, and the role of Communication in understanding social movements and protest
  • Analysis of debates about freedom of speech, hate speech, constitutional rights and the purposes of higher education both in the classroom and in responses to controversial speakers on campus, with reference to Com 200 analysis of free speech, public vs. private space, and resisting/reinforcing  normalization and (often unexamined) cultural narratives
  • The challenges of debunking a myth, with reference to Com 200 analysis of  “fake news,” the crisis of authority, and the “bullshit asymmetry principle” and strategies for debunking from the UW Course “Calling B.S. in the Age of Big Data” (https://callingbullshit.org). (This is a method that could be applied to a wide range of communicative acts/myths to be debunked)
  • Analysis of  free speech and the  press in relationship to government (in the US in contrast to China), first amendment and hate speech, dangers of normalization/self-censorship, the role of journalism in a democracy
  • Analysis of the role of normalization/stereotyping related to women in music industry (especially DJing and production), normalization/censorship in hip hop, influence of rap/hip hop on younger listeners
  • Media Representation of Black families, nature and impact of intersectional representations of African American women, racial and gender representations in film (with a focus on Academy Awards), and media representations of race on TV

English 298A Assignment #4 Sequence:  resume and cover letter targeted to a specific job or internship (details are in the class calendar) and metacognitive final reflection


Resume/cover letter assignment guidelines are included in the class calendar for March 4 and 6.


Topics for Metacognitive Final Reflection


Write an essay of 2-3 pages (double spaced) on ONE of the following topics.  Research confirms that reflecting on and articulating your learning is one of the best ways to ensure you can transfer what you’ve gained in this course to future writing occasions.  Effective essays will make and support clear claims, and will include specific references to your work this quarter.

  1. In the process of researching, drafting, revising and editing your Assignment #1, and the Assignment #2 presentation and essay, you had to choose one topic and not choose others;  you had to eliminate many possible topics and positions and ways of representing yourself which were just as interesting and important as the topics you chose and the resources you used.  If you were going to write another assignment for this class, what would you write about? What would be your line of inquiry? What do you think you might argue? Why would you choose this topic?
  2. We’ve noticed this quarter that understanding the audience for a piece of writing is a critical part of understanding the piece itself.  However, audiences aren’t static; they change over time. How have you changed as a reader and writer of Communication theory this quarter?  You might go back to the notes you made at the beginning of the quarter -- about your “lens,” your Implicit Associations, your social identities – as well as reviewing what you’ve learned in Com 200 or in your work in English 298 that has changed your understanding of the way Communication shapes the narratives, norms and institutional practices we inhabit.  Perhaps you’ve also changed your understanding of your own role as both receiver and sender of these communicative acts, and the ways you reinforce and resist their consequences.
  3. Explore the ways in which your learning (in Com 200, English 298 and through your research, writing and collaborative work on Assignments #1 and #2) has shaped your understanding and analysis of a news story or current event.   Cite and briefly summarize the news story or current event, and explain how your thinking has been affected by your work this quarter. You are welcome to consider how your future actions – personal, academic and civic -- might be shaped as well.
  4. Consider the ways in which your learning this quarter has affected your understanding and development of your own skills and strengths as a researcher, writer, collaborative group member and perhaps as a future employee and citizen.   What can you do or understand now that you couldn’t do or didn’t understand at the beginning of the quarter? What goals do you still have as a researcher, writer, group member, citizen or employee?
  5. Write an essay of 2-3 pages on a topic you create that reflects back on and looks ahead from your work this quarter in Com 200 and English 298.  Please check in with Elizabeth about your topic before writing the essay.


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: 
December 4, 2018 - 10:20pm