In this course we will
focus on key skills and strategies of effective writing that will support your
success in college and beyond. We will practice “reading” both print texts of
all kinds, including literature, newspaper and magazine articles and advertisements
as well as non-print texts such as movies, TV advertising, local performances
and events, and other instances of contemporary culture here in Hawai’i, the
US, and beyond.

During the term we will
discuss and practice writing different types of essays that feature reasoning,
argumentation and research, including personal histories. We will read and
analyze writing by published writers, as well as student work-in-progress from
our class. Class time will be structured as a workshop to a large extent, so
that discussion will take place largely in small working groups, where you can
share ideas, drafts, and constructive responses to your own and each other’s
writing. Every third class or so we’ll meet in the computer lab, where the
focus will be on practice and developing skills in proofreading, editing and

During the course you’ll
complete three formal essays and one research paper, in addition to shorter
writing assignments and exercises en route.

Students who complete the
course successfully should demonstrate (a) awareness of the ways in which
feedback contributes to the process and effectiveness of writing; (b)
proficiency in constructing reading-based analysis and argument; (c) awareness
of a variety of academic and other discourses, audiences, and forms; (d)
attention to and appreciation of language; (e) ability to locate, evaluate,
use, and document sources.

Required texts (available from Revolution Books in Puck’s

“They Say / I Say”: The Moves That Matter
in Academic Writing with Readings
Gerald Graff ,Cathy Birkenstein, Russel Durst. 2012. 2nd Edition


A Pocket Style Manual, Diana Hacker, Nancy Sommers, 6th Edition.




drive (recommended)



Course Requirements and Grading:

3 finished essays

            (1) 1-2 pages (250-500 words

            (2) 3-4 pages (750-1000 words

            (3) 5-6 pages (1250-1500 words


Paper (7-8 pages/ 1750-2000 words minimum)





All formal writing for the class must
follow MLA guidelines for scholarly writing. 
All papers should be type-written (one side of page only) and
double-spaced. If you are not able to submit type-written work, please consult
with me about options.


All work must be completed to pass the course.


Final grades will be determined along the following


Essays                                                                                              30%

Peer Review             (online & in-class)                                       20%

Mentor meetings                                                                 10%   

Portfolio                                                                                 10%

Research Paper                                                                  30%


A-F, including plus or minus


Extra credit option:


You may earn extra credit by completing
additional work above and beyond course requirements: for example, Action
Items, posting constructive responses and feedback to other students’ writing beyond
the general requirement for the whole class, and other approved work.


I do not
offer any fixed number of points for extra credit. Where extra credit can make
a difference is in the final grade, especially in borderline cases. For
example, it couldmake the difference between a B+ and A-, and so on.



Support Resources


Course Mentor

·      English Department Writing Center, Sinclair Library









  • Excessive tardinesss and/or absences will affect
    your standing in the class as well as your final grade.
  •  You are
    allowed 3 unexcused absences without penalty.  However, for each unexcused absence
    beyond that 1 , your final grade will be reduced  by 1 letter grade (ie., 4 absences/1
    letter grade, 5 absences/ 2 letter grades, and so on.) 
    A valid excuse means a doctor’s note or other written documentation from
    an authorizing third party.
  • Tardiness: 2 unexcused instances are equivalent
    to 1 unexcused absence.  If you come
    in after the roll has been taken, it is your responsibility to confirm
    your attendance for the day.
  • NOTE: Attendance at meetings with the Course
    Mentor is required for this section. These meetings will take place
    outside of class time, 1-2 times per month, each lasting approximately 15
    minutes or so. As much as possible, meetings will be arranged to
    accommodate your schedule.





  • Late assignments: 1-day grace period with
    5-point reduction per each late day following due date.
  • No Incompletes except in emergencies, with the
    same documentation required as for an excused absence above.




  • All hard copy must conform to MLA guidelines.




  • Please keep in mind that all written work must
    include appropriate citations when referring to the work of others, in
    accordance with the UH policy on plagiarism and disciplinary action
    in the UH Manoa Catalog. Any instance of plagiarism will result in
    an F for the course.





  • I will expect all class activities, including
    Email and online postings, to be informed by and conducted with respect
    for others, including those with views that may be different than your





  • If you have a physical (and/or other) handicap
    and need logistical support to participate in class, please contact the
    Kokua Program on campus (telephone 956-7511: Student Services Center Room
    013),  and/or let us know of your
    situation.  All communications in
    this regard are confidential.