ENGL 115 D: Writing Studio

Meeting Time: 
MW 12:30pm - 1:20pm
* *
A headshot of a woman smiling at the camera
Sumyat Thu

Syllabus Description:

ENGL 115: Writing Studio

Instructor: Sumyat Thu (she/her)

Ph.D., English language and rhetoric

Acting Assistant Professor of Writing

Email me by using "Inbox" on the left sidebar of Canvas (preferred); general email address: smthu@uw.edu

Virtual Office Hours: Instead of having 2 set hours per week as office hours, I find it more effective in online teaching to allow students to make appointments with me when you have questions or something you want to chat. Please let me know via email or after class on Zoom if you'd like to make a 15-20 min office hour appointment during the week.

Course Overview:

Welcome to ENGL 115: Writing Studio. ENGL 115 is a 2-credit (C/NC) course that meets two days a week for 50 minutes (Adjustments to the course schedule may be made for online teaching and learning purposes). This studio is designed for multilingual and/or international students who are currently taking an English composition class, or an equivalent writing-heavy course and want to devote extra time and effort for developing as better writers in academic and public writing contexts.

Course Objectives:

  • Learn writing as a contextual social practice mediated by cultural and socio-political contexts
  • Learn concrete and specific writing skills and strategies that will help you throughout your college career
  • Learn critical reading skills that will be a resource to you as a writer
  • Learn critically how to facilitate language and cultural resources in writing for academic and social purposes
  • Learn collaboratively with each other in a small studio class helping one another become better writers

Course Text and Materials:

No textbook needed to purchase! All of the course readings and materials will be posted for free access on weekly modules.

How to Ask a Question:

If you have questions about the course or an assignment, please follow these steps:

  • First, carefully reread this syllabus and any relevant assignment instructions to see if the answer to your question lies there.
  • If you can't find an answer to your question after rereading the syllabus and any relevant instructions, post your question in the "Community Forum" (see link in the Course Navigation Menu on the left). Posting your question here means that it can be answered either by me or any one of your classmates. The answer will be visible to your classmates as well who may have the same question. You can expect responses to questions posted in the Community Forum by the next day (It may take a bit longer to see a response over the weekend).
  • If you have a question or issue of a personal nature, please don't hesitate to contact me via Canvas inbox or at smthu@uw.edu. My line of communication is always open, and I'm happy to assist you!

Course Assignments:

Please note that the following is a quick overview of the course assignments. I'll be providing a full assignment prompt for each of these when I introduce the assignment to the class.

  1. Translational Writing (2 pgs): Translate an interesting cultural story/essay/article of your choice which is written in your first/home language into English.  Critically reflect on translational choices and how that impacts writing.
  2. Puzzles about College Writing (2 pgs): Write about puzzles, confusions, surprises, and joys that manifest in your process of learning how to write in academic contexts in the U.S. cultural context. Offer some strategies for your classmates in your essay.

Writing Resources:

OWRC: The Odegaard Writing & Research Center is a great resource where you can meet with a peer writing tutor for free for any kind of writing wherever you may be in the process of writing. Find out more info here for how to sign up for an appointment.

CLUE: CLUE is a free multi-disciplinary tutoring program available to all undergraduate students at UW. Find out here for more information on how to utilize their services. 

Resources for International and/or Multilingual Students:

Planning for Autumn 2020 (ISS Guidance)

Want to join Targeted Learning Communities (TLC) facilitated by OWRC tutors?

Student Success Coaching

FIUTS (Foundation for International Understanding Through Students)

Community Norms:

We will create these community norms together on the first day of class when we meet on Zoom!


This writing studio is 2 credits (C/NC). If you participate regularly in our class work (asynchronous and synchronous) in good faith and complete both of the course assignments, you will get the 2 credits! If there's some significant lapse in your work and participation (example: not completing the course assignments), you may not get the 2 credits. If you encounter a difficulty that impacts your participation in the course at any point, please let me know, and we can figure out a solution together.


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 here.

Note on Covid-19: 

Especially in a pandemic, if you experience any physical or mental health concerns, or other difficult issues with housing, childcare, financial and job security, etc. that impacts your learning in our class, I am committed to working with you to provide reasonable accommodations which may include extended deadlines, makeup work, and helping you catch up with class materials, etc. Please let me know via email or an appointment on Zoom to discuss and help you explore options.

Religious Accommodations:

Washington state law requires that UW develop a policy for accommodation of student absences or significant hardship due to reasons of faith or conscience, or for organized religious activities. The UW’s policy, including more information about how to request an accommodation, is available at Faculty Syllabus Guidelines and Resources. Accommodations must be requested within the first two weeks of this course using the Religious Accommodations Request form available here.

Mental Health and Wellness Resources:

Coping with stress related to Covid-19

UW Counseling Center

Six tips for self-care

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. The University of Washington expects all students to conduct themselves as responsible members of the academic community and follow the UW standards of conduct and student code, including practicing "high standards of academic and professional honesty and integrity" (WAC 478-120-020(2) (a)). Please refer to the University of Washington Student Code of Conduct.

Using VeriCite (plagiarism detection software): The University has a license agreement with VeriCite, an educational tool that helps prevent or identify plagiarism from Internet resources. Your instructor may use the service in this class by requiring that assignments are submitted electronically to be checked by VeriCite. The VeriCite Report will indicate the amount of original text in your work and whether all material that you quoted, paraphrased, summarized, or used from another source is appropriately referenced.

Statement on Educational Equity:

As an equity-minded educator, I am committed to teach with an anti-racist approach that views writing as social action and ethical communication that is often tied to asymmetrical relations of power and access. I strive to create a curriculum that honors various knowledge traditions with the criteria of selecting authors who critically urge us to consider the relationships between language as a social practice and attending to issues of equity and social justice in the world. I am committed to design writing assignments that invite students to practice their fluid language and literacy repertoires for different audiences, contexts, media, and rhetorical situations.

I am committed to develop assessment criteria that emphasize writers’ language choices and rhetorical effectiveness based on the writing occasion, genre, purpose, and audience rather than static and ambiguous standards of so-called Standard English or Edited American English.

Land Acknowledgement:

Even though we are teaching and learning in the online space during this spring quarter, the University of Washington is located on the unceded land of the first people of Seattle, Duwamish peoples and the Coast Salish peoples in Pacific Northwest at large. I ask you to join me in acknowledging the Duwamish community, their elders both past and present, as well as future generations. University of Washington also acknowledges that it was founded upon exclusions and erasures of many Indigenous peoples, including those on whose land this institution is located. This acknowledgement demonstrates a commitment to beginning the process of working to dismantle the ongoing legacies of settler colonialism.

As a starting point in making this land acknowledgement meaningful for our writing course, we should learn that Lushootseed is a Native American language spoken by several Salish tribes and has given a legacy of place names here such as Seattle, Tacoma, Issaquah, and Skagit. In my effort to encourage you all to learn writing, language, and literacy as social action with important material consequences, we should also learn that the land of the Duwamish peoples remains in fraught relationship with the Treaty of Point Elliott, which you can learn more about here.

Disclaimer: I reserve the right to change the policies/procedures/course calendar in the syllabus as needed.

Catalog Description: 
Supports multilingual students concurrently enrolled in a composition course. Builds academic reading skills in order to analyze complex texts, review, and analyze grammar structures to produce different writing effects. Also assists students to develop critical reflective skills to become better familiarized with the writing and revision process. Credit/no-credit only.
Last updated: 
July 9, 2020 - 10:50pm