Composition II

*This course description is subject to change. Please feel free to e-mail me directly if you need/want more information.

ENG 200, Section 001, Composition II
The University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, Spring 2019 Semester

Class Time & Location: TR 9:00 to 10:15 AM, TBA
Instructor: Nicole Kurashige (I prefer being called by my first name, so it’s fine if you address me as “Nicole” in-person and via e-mail)
Office Location & Phone #: KUY 321, (808) 956-3036
E-mail (preferred mode of contact) (I do not respond to e-mails after 10 PM or over/during the weekend)
Office Hours: Thursdays, 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM

Catalog Description
ENG 200 Composition II (3 credits)
“Further study of rhetorical, conceptual, and stylistic demands of writing; instruction develops the writing and research skills covered in Composition I. PreFW.”

Note: If you are unsure whether you have been cleared for English 200, you should go to the General Education office in Bilger 104, e-mail them at, or call them at (808) 956-6660. The English Department does not handle ENG class placements.

Expanded Course Description

The goal of ENG 200 is to help develop your skills as a writer by building on the critical thinking and composing techniques you learned in ENG 100 and to provide you with additional rhetorical strategies for composing across a variety of textual mediums. In this course, we will examine comics and graphic novels from a rhetorical perspective to gain a better understanding of how this hybridized visual-textual medium can be mobilized to effectively communicate ideas about the world around us. 

Through a series of informal blog posts, in-class discussions, and four formal essay assignments, you will be challenged to apply what you know and what you will soon learn about comics media and its potential to generate rhetorical velocity to your writing to create not only entertaining, but also engaging pieces for an appropriate target audience. During this course, you will conduct research on the topics that interest you the most in order to support your ideas/claims with concrete evidence.

Learning to compose writing using various multimodal platforms is a skill that will benefit you beyond the English classroom, and will be useful in your everyday lives. Writing is a process, and I, therefore, encourage you all to explore and experiment as we progress through the semester. Ultimately, the activities, discussions, and assignments completed in this course should push you to become more critical, self-aware, and reflective writers.


This course draws inspiration from a similar ENG 200 course taught by Kari Clements at the University of Hawaiʻi at West Oʻahu. While some of the main assignments are similar in nature, they have been modified/adapted accordingly to fit the needs of our class and the academic structure at UH Mānoa. Thank you, Kari for your generosity in sharing reading materials and lesson ideas and for helping me develop more college-level visual rhetoric (a.k.a. comics) composition courses!

Course Objectives
By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • Further develop and refine the writing and research skills learned in English 100.
  • Discuss and cultivate advanced critical thinking, reading, and writing skills for academic and post-academic writing, with special attention to strategies applicable to particular discourse communities and disciplines.
  • Learn about ways to adapt writing to particular purposes, audiences, and rhetorical situations.
  • Conduct and synthesize scholarly research using common technologies and search techniques.
  • Develop a range of writing and revising strategies that can meet reader expectations while also fostering and maintaining individual writing approach and voice.

Access to Technology & Required Electronic Materials
In order to successfully participate in this class, you will be required to have access to reliable Internet/Wi-Fi sources and technological tools/devices (e.g. laptops, desktops, tablets, smart phones, etc.). More specifically, having regular access to a tablet or laptop is necessary for your success in the class, as you will be spending a good portion of your time completing homework assignments on our class website. While you are free to use your laptop and/or tablet to take notes or access our readings during class, you are also welcome to bring printed hardcopies of the materials to class (especially if you learn better by physically marking up your papers). You are responsible for downloading and/or printing out any materials posted to the course website for that day’s class. Unless otherwise noted or planned, I will not be providing you with handouts.

You are also responsible for regularly checking our class website for any updates to the course syllabus or schedule. You will need to make a free WordPress account to access this website. Furthermore, parts of our website are password protected for privacy. The URL and password for our class website will be given out during the first day. DO NOT share this password or any of the course materials posted on our website with anyone outside of our ENG 200 course.

Finally, if you haven’t done so already, I also strongly suggest that you download Microsoft Word to complete your assignments, as I will only accept Word.doc or Word.docx files. A free student version of Microsoft Office, which also includes Word, is offered to all UHM students ( or If you’re having trouble with downloading Microsoft Word, please contact the UHM ITS Department for more information (808-956-8883 or

Course Texts and Resources
All other supplemental reading and resource materials will be provided as PDFs or online links via the course website (See the “Supplement Readings & Videos” tab for more info). One resource we will be using is Purdue OWL:

Your discussions on these readings and resources will be vital to your development as a writer and are also part of your class participation grade for each day. Therefore, should I feel that the class, as a collective, is not keeping up with the readings, I will begin giving graded pop quizzes, which will later be factored into your final grades.

Course Assignments
To pass the course, you must complete all of the following assignments:

Four Major Essays (70%)
Throughout the semester, there will be four major essay assignments to complete (10% for Essay #1, 15% for Essay #2 and Essay #3, and 30% for the final research essay and presentation). To pass this course, you must complete all essay assignments and receive a grade for them—there is no such thing as passing the course by “cherry-picking” and “skipping” essays. If you “skip” an essay, you will fail the course.

Blog Posts (20%)
You will write 300 to 500 word semi-formal responses to various prompts pertaining to our class readings and/or discussions every other week. These blog posts are intended to help you explore, summarize, analyze, and synthesize course material so that these ideas may be incorporated into your major essay assignments. Individual blog posts are graded on a credit/no credit basis. These blog posts will be submitted to the class website by 6 PM every other Sunday. Please see the class website for due dates and assignment guidelines under the “Blog Post Requirements” tab.

Active Class Participation, Homework Posts, Discussion Facilitation, & Attendance (10%)
As mentioned previously, your discussions on the readings and resources will be vital to your development as a writer and are also part of your class participation grade for each day. I will be keeping track of everyone’s participation in the class. I do understand, however, that we all have “off” days and may not feel like speaking in class during such a time. You are, therefore, allowed one free “pass” per week to use during discussions. For example, if you use your “pass” on Monday during a discussion, you cannot use it again for Wednesday or Friday and must speak on those following days.

Your free “pass” is only applicable for large group discussions and does not extend to other in-class activities such as peer review workshops, freewrites, brainstorming sessions, small group assignments, etc. Failure to individually participate in any class activities for an entire week will result in a 2.5 point penalty to this portion of your final course grade.

Attendance is mandatory and will be a vital part of your grade (see Attendance Policy below for more information).

Extra Credit
There may be extra credit opportunities, but this will ultimately depend on the work ethic of the entire class. We can, and will, discuss these opportunities more seriously around the middle of the semester.