English 111 j — Composition: Literature

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English 111 J — Composition: Literature

Monday 10:30-12:20, MGH 074, Seminar

Wednesday 10:30-12:20, MGH 076, LAN

Autumn 2006

Instructor: Andy Fitzgerald Office: Lewis Annex 202

Email: andyfitz@u.washington.edu Office Hours: M/W 12:30-1:20 & by appt.

Website: http://students.washington.edu/andyfitz/english111a06


In this course we will read, discuss and interpret literary representations of Hell. Our in-class discussions and readings will serve as a starting point or pivot from which to articulate your own arguments—be they about Hell, or about the world in which we live from day to day. Don't worry if this sounds a little vague: Hell is a big place—I want you to have the freedom to engage paper topics that matter to you (within reason, of course).

While we will be centering our classroom discussions and writing around literature, please keep in mind that this is a writing class—composition is the ultimate goal. In this class, we will work to develop and challenge the writing skills you already possess, molding them into the skills and intuitions necessary for academic and professional success.

By the end of the quarter, you should be able to:

  • produce complex, analytic, persuasive arguments that matter in academic contexts

  • read, analyze, and synthesize complex texts and incorporate multiple kinds of evidence purposefully in order to generate and support writing

  • demonstrate an awareness of the strategies that writers use in different writing contexts

  • develop flexible strategies for revising, editing, and proofreading writing

Everything we do this quarter will have at least one (and often many or all) of these course goals in mind. These goals are designed to help you cultivate the critical writing skills crucial to your academic future, whatever your final field may be.

Computer Integration

This class meets once a week (Wednesday) in a Computer Integrated Classroom (CIC) where you will each have access to a computer connected to a common Local Area Network (LAN). We will be able to explore the Internet and the library system from the classroom, and you will be able to communicate with your colleagues in the classroom through an electronic Bulletin Board and discussion groups. You will also, of course, be able to use the computers for word-processing your in-class written work as well. As above, however, keep in mind that this is first and foremost a writing course: we will not necessarily use the computers every day we are in the CIC.


  • English 111J Course Pack (available at Ave Copy)

  • The Inferno (Dante, available at the UW Bookstore)

  • The Screwtape Letters (C.S. Lewis, available at the UW Bookstore)

  • CIC Student Resource Guide (available online or at the Communications Copy Center)

  • A notebook for in-class activities and note taking

  • An active UW email account


Required Course Work

Details of your homework and writing assignments will be handed out in class and posted online when they are assigned. You will be doing a lot of reading and writing on your own, as well as working in small groups and one-on-one with me and your peers. In-class collaborative participation is a critical component of this class—this is not a distance learning course.

Reading: You may find the reading for this course demanding at times. Do not leave your reading until the last minute, or you won’t have time to read with the attention this class requires. Written assignments will accompany most readings.
Writing: Expect to be writing every day. It is a writing class, after all. Assignments include brainstorming exercises, critical responses, short papers, written preparation for class discussions, in-class writing assignments, and two full length essays (5-7 pages). Because English 111 is built around the idea that writing is a process, you will be required to complete exercises that are designed to help you develop reading and writing skills, prepare you for classroom discussions, and teach you the process of writing longer essays. Remember too that the revision process is a major component of this class, so you need to keep track of your drafts for each assignment.
Formatting for Written Work (hard copies and electronic submissions):

Unless otherwise specified, all work that you turn in must be:

  • Ready at the beginning of class on the due date

  • Typed and double-spaced

  • Page-numbered

  • 12pt Times or Times New Roman font

  • Formatted with 1” margins

  • Stapled at upper left-hand corner (hard copies)

  • In MLA form (once we have gone over the rules for proper MLA citation)

  • Handed in with your name, date, and the name of the assignment in the upper left-hand corner of the first page, and your own title centered below on the first page

Class Etiquette

  • Do not come to class late or leave early. This causes major disruptions and could cause you to miss important information or activities.

  • Please turn off all cell phones and beepers and any other electronic gadgets that make noise before coming to class. If your cell phone rings during class, I will answer it.

  • Do not type when others are speaking.

  • Please help each other—some of us are more tech-savvy than others and can contribute these skills to our academic community.

  • You may check your e-mail before class begins and during the break but not during class time.

  • You may not surf the web during class time, unless our class activity involves web-based research.

  • Please log off the computer when instructed to do so or at the end of class.

  • Treat everyone in class respectfully. We will be discussing issues that will inevitably generate controversy and disagreement among students. Trust among students, and among students and myself, is necessary to foster interesting and helpful discussions. It is absolutely necessary that each of you feels comfortable sharing thoughts and ideas, and while of course you are entitled, indeed, welcome, to disagree with your classmates and myself, please do so respectfully. While I don’t expect all of us to agree, personal attacks and sexist, racist, and homophobic language will not be tolerated. If you sense that the classroom environment has become disrespectful, come see me immediately.

Absences & Late Work

Most of the skills you will need to complete your writing assignments will be obtained in class. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance that you do not miss class. If you are absent, it will be your responsibility to get any class notes and assignments from a classmate. I will not review or “re-teach” the material you missed in office hours, or over email. Keep in mind that 30% of your grade for this class is based on participation, and many participation exercises will happen in class. I will keep track of both attendance and your homework—unless you have made prior arrangements with me, you will not receive participation points for the days you are absent and you will lose participation points for late work.

Late Papers: This quarter is extremely short: I will not accept or comment on late papers. Here is what this means for you: First, if you do not turn in your paper when it is due, you will lose participation marks. Second, you will not receive the benefit of any feedback from me on that particular paper. However, this is where the portfolio system works to your advantage. The paper you failed to turn in will still be required for the portfolio, but it will only be assessed for your grade if you so choose. That being said, if you email me within 24 hours of the due date with a VERY good reason for your failure to turn in your paper, I may be nice when it comes to the participation grade. However, I reserve judgment on what qualifies as a “VERY good reason.”
Late Portfolios: Portfolios are by 12:00 pm on Monday, December 11. This due date is NOT negotiable. A late portfolio will result in an incomplete portfolio mark.

Since this class is in large part about the process of writing and revising, you will not be graded until the end of the quarter. I know that this may cause some anxiety, but it has many advantages. In particular, this model allows you time to develop new skills and techniques before being assessed—you will be graded on how well you’ve achieved the outcome goals for the class at the end of the quarter rather than the beginning. Throughout the entire quarter you will be receiving detailed feedback from me and from your peers, which should give you a good sense of what you need to work on in your writing. Your final grade will be based on your complete, revised portfolio and on your participation throughout the quarter:
Portfolio (70%) At the end of the quarter, you will turn in a portfolio that represents what you have learned in this class. Your portfolio must include all the work you’ve done throughout the quarter, including shorter writing assignments, two long essays, all drafts, peer reviews, etc. You will select for evaluation one of the revised longer essays and three revised shorter writing assignments that you think best reflect your successful engagement of the outcome goals. You will also write a cover letter 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 result in a failing grade. DO NOT THROW ANYTHING AWAY!
Participation (30%) Participation forms a large component of your final grade. Part of the rationale for this is that academic discourse takes place within a community (in this case, within our English 111 class), as well as through written texts. Reading and commenting on the work of your peers, discussing ideas, and engaging with your peers are all important parts of this course. Student-generated inquiry—your own questions, expertise, and interests—are what will drive and direct our class discussions and activities. It is essential that you attend class and participate. Class discussion, conferences and peer-review sessions cannot be made up. Much of your work will be based on in-class discussions and activities. If you miss a peer review session in particular it will seriously compromise your ability to do well in this class.


(or, what do Andy’s comments mean, anyway?)

Outstanding: Offers a very highly proficient, even memorable demonstration of the trait(s) associated with the course outcome(s), including some appropriate risk-taking and/or creativity.
Strong: Offers a proficient demonstration of the trait(s) associated with the course outcome(s), which could be further enhanced with revision.
Good: Effectively demonstrates the trait(s) associate with the course outcome(s), but less proficiently; could use revision to demonstrate more skillful and nuanced command of trait(s).
Acceptable: Minimally meets the basic outcome(s) requirement, but the demonstrated trait(s) are not fully realized or well-controlled and would benefit from significant revision.
Inadequate: Does not meet the outcome(s) requirement; the trait(s) are not adequately demonstrated and require substantial revision on multiple levels.

You are required to meet with me twice during the quarter for formal conferences to discuss your work. These conferences give you the opportunity to get individual feedback about your essays and any problems you may be encountering. I will provide a sign-up sheet for these conferences and detailed instructions about how to prepare for our meetings in order to get the most out of conferences.

Office Hours

Please come see me during office hours if you have a question, concern, or just want to talk about your writing. In addition, office hours are a great time to ask questions, make suggestions, explore new ideas, and provide feedback as to what helps you learn. If for some reason you cannot make my scheduled hours, I am happy to make appointments for other times.


Feel free to contact me via e-mail, especially if you think you might have to be late for class or absent or have a minor question about an assignment. During the week I will do my best to respond to you within 24-48 hours; however, understand that I will not accept any coursework over email. Likewise, I will not discuss grades over email, nor will I go over lengthy problems you might be having (absences, missed assignments, late work, etc.). These issues should be saved for office hours.

Technical Resources

  • LAN Classroom: Enrolled students have access to the workstations in MGH 076 after class hours. These public hours are posted in 074, 076, 082, and 082A for your convenience; any changes to them will be posted as well. (Usually, the LAN classrooms are available from 2:30 - 8pm Monday - Thursday and on weekends during posted hours)

  • MGH Computing Resource Center: First floor of Mary Gates Hall. Telephone: 543-0681. Open 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday; 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Fridays; Closed Saturdays; 7:00 p.m. -11:00 p.m. Sundays. The doors to the lab lock 30 minutes prior to closing.

  • UWired Commons: Odegaard Undergraduate Library: Telephone: 616-7173; Open 24 hours beginning Sunday at 1:00 p.m. and ending Friday at 6:00 p.m. Open Saturdays 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Writing Resources

Take advantage of the following resources as much as you feel is necessary, both for this class and your other courses.

  • The Writing Center: The English Department Writing Center, located in the basement of Padelford (B-12), is an incredible resource for you. Students can meet one-on-one with an experienced writing tutor to discuss their paper at any point in the writing process. You will be required to go to the Writing Center at least once during the quarter. Don’t wait until the last minute to do this since you will need to set up an appointment well in advance. Their telephone number is 206.685.2876. You can also set up an appointment through their website at: http://depts.washington.edu/wcenter

  • CLUE: The center in Mary Gates Hall is open Sunday to Thursday from 7pm to midnight. It offers tutorial sessions for most freshman lecture courses, skills courses, access to computer labs, and drop-in centers for math, science and writing. They can help you one-to-one with paper planning, structure, revision and grammar. You do not need to make an appointment.


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.


Please let me know if you need accommodation of any sort. I can work with the UW Disabled Student Services (DSS) to provide what you require. I am very willing to take suggestions specific to this class to meet your needs. This syllabus is available in large print, as are other class materials.


If you have any concerns about the course or me, 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 staff in Padelford, Room A-11:

Anis Bawarshi, Director: 543-2190 or bawarshi@u.washington.edu
Rachel Goldberg, Asst. Director: 543-6998 or rtg@u.washington.edu
Lee Einhorn, Asst. Director: 543-9126 or leinhorn@u.washington.edu
Angela Rounsaville, Asst. Director: 543-9126 or arounsa@u.washington.edu
If, after speaking with the Director of Expository Writing or one of the Assistant Directors, you are still not satisfied with the response you receive, you may contact Gary Handwerk, English Department Chair, in Padelford Room A101, at 543-2690.

1. To produce complex, analytic, persuasive arguments that matter in academic contexts.

  • The argument is appropriately complex, based in a claim that emerges from and explores a line of inquiry.

  • The stakes of the argument, why what is being argued matters, are articulated and persuasive.

  • The argument involves analysis, which is the close scrutiny and examination of evidence and assumptions in support of a larger set of ideas.

  • The argument is persuasive, taking into consideration counterclaims and multiple points of view as it generates its own perspective and position.

  • The argument utilizes a clear organizational strategy and effective transitions that develop its line of inquiry.

2. To read, analyze, and synthesize complex texts and incorporate multiple kinds of evidence purposefully in order to generate and support writing.

  • The writing demonstrates an understanding of the course texts as necessary for the purpose at hand.

  • Course texts are used in strategic, focused ways (for example: summarized, cited, applied, challenged, re-contextualized) to support the goals of the writing.

  • The writing is intertextual, meaning that a “conversation” between texts and ideas is created in support of the writer’s goals.

  • The writer is able to utilize multiple kinds of evidence gathered from various sources (primary and secondary—for example, library research, interviews, questionnaires, observations, cultural artifacts) in order to support writing goals.

  • The writing demonstrates responsible use of the MLA system of documenting sources.

3. To demonstrate an awareness of the strategies that writers use in different writing contexts.

  • The writing employs style, tone, and conventions appropriate to the demands of a particular genre and situation.

  • The writer is able to demonstrate the ability to write for different audiences and contexts, both within and outside the university classroom.

  • The writing has a clear understanding of its audience, and various aspects of the writing (mode of inquiry, content, structure, evidence, appeals, tone, sentences, and word choice) address and are strategically pitched to that audience.

  • The writer articulates and assesses the effects of his or her writing choices.

4. To develop flexible strategies for revising, editing, and proofreading writing.

  • The writing demonstrates substantial and successful revision.

  • The writing responds to substantive issues raised by the instructor and peers.

  • Errors of grammar, punctuation, and mechanics are proofread and edited so as not to interfere with reading and understanding the writing.

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