Composition Il

*This description is subject to change. Please email me directly if you have further questions, comments, or concerns.

ENG 200, Section 001: Composition II (NI, WI)
The University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, Spring 2020 Semester

Class Time & Location: TR 9:00-10:15 AM, Location TBD
Instructor: Nicole Kurashige (please just call me by my first name, “Nicole”)
Office Location: KUY 321, (808) 956-7619 (phone # to Main English Office)
E-mail (preferred mode of contact)
Office Hours: Tuesdays, 10:15 to 11:15 AM or by appointment on Tuesdays or Thursdays (appointments must be made 24 hrs in advance and take place before 2 PM). I am not on campus on MWF.

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 writing intensive course, we will begin with an introduction to visual rhetoric via comics and graphic novels and then branch outward to more “traditional” forms of writing. Comics and graphic novels are a fun and great way to build your understanding  of visual rhetoric because of how these mediums rely on both text and image to effectively create and convey meaning to a target audience. In a world where information is becoming increasingly visual (e.g. emojis), it’s important to build your understanding of how design elements such as color, layout, size, font, etc. can make or break interest in a particular topic.

By approaching visual rhetoric in this way, I hope that you are able to develop a deeper sense of appreciation for such multimodal forms of communication and that you can see the value in paying closer attention to the visual rhetoric embedded in such texts and, in turn, learn how to create your own compelling arguments using both written words and pictorial images.

Through a series of informal blog posts, in-class discussions, and three formal written assignments, you will be challenged to apply what you know and what you will soon learn about visual rhetoric 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 pertain to your major or other professional interests, support your ideas/claims with concrete evidence, and build your professional writing skills for use beyond a college classroom setting.

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.

Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  • Improve their ability to ask questions of and to read, analyze, and interpret complex literary and rhetorical texts, using relevant literary and rhetorical terminology critically and creatively.
  • Improve their ability to express ideas by organizing and developing and supporting a description, analysis, or argument in written formats, within the conventions of academic writing.
  • Produce a significant amount of writing such as the course fulfills the requirements of its mandatory W Focus designation (i.e., 4,000 words).


This course draws inspiration from an ENG 200 Comics and Literature 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 heavily 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 composition courses!

Access to Technology

You will be required to have access to reliable and regular Internet/Wi-Fi sources and technological tools/devices (e.g. laptops, desktops, tablets, etc.) to successfully complete your work for this class. These devices should only be used for course related purposes. Unless otherwise noted, cell phone usage is prohibitedIf I see you using your cell phone for activities unrelated to class, you will be asked to leave and will receive an absence for the day. Please turn off or silence all mobile devices before the start of class.

There are two main computer labs on campus (Sinclair Library & Hamilton Library) with over 115 computers that are free to access for all UHM students. Please see this link for more information on where to find these labs and their hours of operation.

You are also responsible for regularly checking your UHM e-mail and our WordPress site for any and all updates. You are responsible for downloading and/or printing out any materials posted to our WordPress site for that day’s class. Please note that parts of our WordPress site are password protected for privacy. The URL and password for our class website will be given out during the first day, so write it down somewhere safeDO 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 UH students ( or If you’re having trouble with downloading Microsoft Word, please contact the UHM ITS Department for more information (808-956-8883 or you cannot acquire Microsoft Word, you may also use Google Docs to complete your work, but please download your document to your desktop as a Microsoft Word.doc/Word.docx file and e-mail it to me (see this YouTube tutorial for more information). DO NOT SHARE YOUR GOOGLE DOC WITH ME.

Required Texts 

No need to purchase texts for this class unless you absolutely want your own physical copy of a certain reading. I will try, as much as I am able and allowed, to provide you will all other required texts (e.g. articles, websites, videos, etc.). These materials will be posted to our WordPress site. You are, therefore, responsible for checking our WordPress site to access, download, and/or print/watch the required readings and videos.

***Note: Should I feel that the class, as a collective, is not keeping up with the readings and videos, I will begin giving pop quizzes, which will then be factored into your final grades.

Course Assignments:

To pass the course, you must complete ALL of the following assignments:

10% – Attendance, Active Class Participation, Homework Posts, & Reading Pop Quizzes

20% – x8 Blog Posts (200-250 words each, 2.5% per post)

30% –  Major Writing Assignments (roughly 2,400-2,500 words total spread across two separate assignments)

  • Visual Rhetorical Analysis of a Comic Strip (1,000 words of polished academic prose + 250 word Writing Process Metacommentary = 1,250 words total, 15%)
  • Statement of Purpose + Résumé (850-900 words of polished prose + one page résumé that includes the required written and visual elements + 250-400 word Metacommentary = 1,110-1,300 words total, 15%)

40% – Final Project (roughly 1,600-1,800 words total broken into three separate parts)

  • Author Biography (100-150 words polished prose, 5%)
  • Presentation (4 minutes, 5%)
  • Cover Letter (250 words, 5%)
  • Critique of Institutional Document  (1,000-1,250 words of polished academic prose + 250 word Writing Process Metacommentary = 1,250-1,500 words total, 25%)

Attendance Policy
Attendance is mandatory and your timely and active participation will be a crucial part of your grade.