Expository Writing Courses

Overview - 100-level - 200-level - 300-level - 400-level - UW in the High School

Upcoming Courses

Overview/Outcomes

As gateways to academic reading, research, and writing at the University of Washington, all Expository Writing Program courses are designed around a set of shared learning outcomes. These outcomes articulate the need for students to develop and practice the skills and habits that are foundational to academic writing and to recognize how to adapt these skills and habits for the varied demands of university-wide writing that students will encounter.

100-level Courses

Our 100-level Expository Writing courses (109/110, 111, 121, 131, 182) focus on teaching transferrable writing, critical thinking, argument, rhetorical, and research skills that students will be able to use, adapt, and draw on in a variety of future contexts within and beyond the academic. These courses fulfill the university’s composition requirement.

109-110

In this two-quarter writing course students work closely with their peers and instructor to develop portfolios that reflect an ability to write papers with complex claims that matter in academic and nonacademic contexts. English 109/110 is a stretch model of English 131; the same skills are taught over a longer period, providing students with more time and resources to acquire reading, researching, and writing skills needed to compose in academic settings.

The course is designed for students who are first generation college students and/or whose educational background has not prepared them for academic culture. Such students may be marginalized on the basis of economic, educational, or racial background and are placed into English 109/110 by the Educational Opportunity Program, The Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity, or Student Athletic Academic Services.

English 111, Composition: Literature

In this writing course students work closely with their peers and instructor to develop a portfolio that reflects an ability to write papers with complex claims that matter in academic contexts. The readings in this class focus on both literary texts and scholarship about literature.

English 121, Composition: Social Issues

In this writing course students work closely with their peers and instructor to develop a portfolio that reflects an ability to write papers with complex claims that matter in academic and non-academic contexts. The course focuses on a particular social issue, the study of which is enhanced by direct service activities in the Seattle community. Students combine readings, course work, and direct service to write well-documented, evidence-based argumentative papers. Previous sections of this course have enabled students to conduct their service activiteis in the Seattle Public Schools, local women's centers, homeless shelters and soup kitches, AIDS organizations, and arts programs.

English 131, Composition: Exposition

The most popular EWP offering, in this writing course students work closely with their peers and instructor to develop a portfolio that reflects an ability to write papers with complex claims that matter in academic contexts. The readings in this class focus on academic discourse from a variety of disciplines.

English 182, Multimodal Composition

English 182 focuses on teaching strategies and skills for effective writing and argument that are required of traditional academic genres, such as the research essay, while also expanding the skills for composing in multimodal genres that our increasingly digital and media saturated world demands. 

200-level Courses

Our 200-level Expository Writing courses (281 and 282) focus on developing writing and argument skills at the Intermediate level. While these courses have no formal prerequisite, instructors expect entering students to know how to formulate claims, integrate evidence, demonstrate awareness of audience, and structure coherent sentences, paragraphs and essays. Thus we strongly encourage students to complete an introductory (100 level) writing course before enrolling and/or to feel confident in these skills. These courses fulfill the university’s composition requirement and would be appropriate for students in various disciplines seeking to improve and develop their writing, argument, analytic, and communication skills.

English 281, Intermediate Expository Writing

This course focuses on developing complex writing, analytical, and research skills for various audiences, disciplines, and genres. Classes typically focus on refining the skills required for academic writing while expanding and experimenting with non-academic genres. Topics vary per instructors but include writing courses focused on academic writing, environmental writing, public writing, and so on.

English 282, Intermediate Multimodal Composition

This course offers strategies for composing effective multimodal texts for print, digital and/or physical delivery, with focus on affordances of various modes—words, images, sound, design, and gesture—and genres to address specific rhetorical situations both within and beyond the academy. 

300-level Courses

Our 300-level writing courses focus on developing complex writing, argument, and analytical skills for advanced writers through a variety of special topics. It is expected that students who enroll in these courses are experienced with academic writing and with adapting their writing for a variety of audiences and genres. These courses fulfill the university’s composition requirement and would be appropriate for students hoping to refine their writing, argument, analytic, and communication skills.

English 381, Advanced Expository Writing

This course is designed to sharpen and develop a range of specialized and advanced writing skills around various special topics that vary per instructor and might include travel writing, writing about film, workplace writing, nonfiction writing, legal writing, business writing, and so on.

English 382, Special Topics in Multimodal Composition

This course encourages students to develop a theoretical and practical understanding of multimodal composition via sustained, in-depth attention to emerging questions, debates, genres, and methods of textual production. Course topics may range from digital storytelling, digital humanities, audiovisual essays, new media journalism, and performance. 

400-level Courses

Coming soon

UW in the High School

In cooperation with UW Educational Outreach and the UW in the High School (UWHS) program, the EWP offers UW English courses in high schools throughout Washington State. In the 2012-13 school year, 28 high schools offered UW English 131 and English 111, and the high school students in those courses can earn UW credit. Courses are taught by EWP-trained, long-term, well-qualified high school teachers. To find out more about UWHS, visit the program website.