Welcome to English 131: Composition (A7 Fall Quarter 2005 Archive)
Ursula K. Le Guin once wrote, "First sentences are doors to worlds." In a manner of speaking, English 131 is the first sentence of your university experience. This class is a first step, a first look, and often a first in-depth exploration of academic writing, of reading for writing, of scholarly research, and of rhetoric. The class takes as a basic assumption that writing is a skill and that, like any skill, it can be improved through guided practice. In this class, we will work to develop, challenge, and enhance the writing skills you already possess into the skills and intuitions necessary for academic and professional success. In a fundamental way, English 131 is a gateway class, a class that will set a critical and analytical standard and inform and influence and hopefully enrich your other courses.
English 131 promises a quarter of writing, reading, discussion, library research, asking questions, more writing, revision, more reading, more discussion, critical thinking, analysis, fun, and even more writing and revision. It is a writing class after all. We will engage texts small and large, everyday and theoretical and pay close attention to the tactics of writing and rhetorical devices the authors employ. This particular incarnation of 131 also promises a healthy inclusion of popular culture, cultural studies, politics, gender studies, everyday activism, new media, and experiential learning. Through all of these things, you will learn the principles behind academic arguments, claims, evidence, and analysis; you will develop rubrics of proofreading, revision, workshopping, research, and MLA citation; and you will learn how to apply these skills in your writing persuasively, responsibly, thoughtfully, and stylistically. By the end of the quarter, the goal is that you will be well versed in the English 131 course outcomes and be prepared to face the writing and reading challenges you encounter with the confidence and competence of a critical reader, writer, student, and citizen.
For many, the prospect of taking English 131 is less than ideal. The course, over the years, has grown in both renown and infamy. English 131 is a difficult class, a time-consuming class, a meticulous class, a challenging class. It is a skills class. And at times it is a hard class. For many, it is only a required class that must be suffered and survived. Hopefully, though, English 131 will be more than just a requirement. Hopefully, you will come to realize that it is necessary and a foundation-building class with benefits that reach into your other classes, your time at the university, and beyond.
Message of the Day
Important class announcements, notes, comments, and suggestions will be made in-class and via email. Please be sure to check your email regularly for messages of the day. Messages will have "[English 101]" in the subject line. MOTDs will also be archived here.
About the Instructor
Edmond Chang is currently a English Literature graduate student pursuing his Ph.D. His main areas of interest are digital studies, cultural studies, gender studies, film, literary nonfiction, visual rhetoric, myth, and popular culture.
He has extensive teaching experience at the university level. Prior to coming to UW, he taught English 101: Introduction to Academic Writing at the University of Maryland for a total of eight years while he worked on his Master's in English. In total, Ed Chang has taught thirty sections of English 101. In addition to the standard ENGL101 class, he has taught sections for the Honors program, for the First Year Focus program, and for the College Park Scholars program. He has also taught sections of ENGL 101X for English as a second-language students. He has received consistent and excellent evaluations from students, peers, and supervisors.
While at UMD, he also served as a graduate academic advisor for the Division of Letters and Sciences , which serves freshmen and sophomores who are undecided or applying to a limited enrollment major. Furthermore, he taught UNIV100: The Student and the University, a transition course for incoming freshmen, for Division of Letters and Sciences. In the summer of 2005, he taught a three-week, intensive ENGL101 preparatory course for the Scholastic Transitions Educational Program (STEP).
In addition to teaching, Ed Chang is also committed to student affairs and student advocacy. He served a year as faculty advisor to the P.G. County Community College student literary magazine Reflections. He has also served a year as facilitator for University of Maryland's Safe Space, a peer support group for LGBT students. He also worked as a member and panelist for UMCP’s Speakers Bureau program and the newly created Rainbow Terrapin Network.
Ed Chang has written and self-published a book of poetry, Lost One Found One, and two role-playing games Tellings and Archaea: Live-Action Role-Playing and Wargaming. He is a four-time participant and "winner" of National Novel Writing Month. He is also a freelance writer and desktop publisher.
© 2005 Edmond Chang. All original material. All rights reserved. Email the webmaster of this site.
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