English 115: Approaches to University Writing


115 Calendar (Click here)

Assignment 1: Rhetorical Analysis of a Media Artifact

Assignment 2: Argument Essay Assignment

Assignment 3: Text to Web Remediation Project

Fall 2019
Instructor: Dr. Santosh Khadka                                       Email: santosh.khadka@csun.edu
Office: Sierra 834                                                             Office hours: Friday 12:00-1:30

Course Description
Expository prose writing with a focus on both content and form. Specific emphases shall include the exercise of logical thought and clear expression, the development of effective organizational strategies, and the appropriate gathering and utilization of evidence. Includes instruction on diction, syntax, and grammar, as well as the elements of prose style.

Course Objectives

  •  Demonstrate competence in university writing
  •  Demonstrate the ability to use rhetorical strategies that include the appeal to audience, logic, and emotion
  •  Understand writing as a recursive process and demonstrate its use through invention, drafting and revision (creating, shaping, and completing)
  •  Demonstrate the ability to use conventions of format, structure, style, and language appropriate to the purpose of a written text
  •  Demonstrate the ability to use library and online resources effectively and to document their sources.


  •  Students will gain the ability to read critically.
  •  Students will gain the ability to write effectively.
  •  Students will gain knowledge of the cultural diversity of literatures.

General English Student Learning Outcomes
Analytic Reading and Expository Writing
Goal: Students will analyze and reflect on complex topics and appropriately synthesize their own and others’ ideas in clearly written and well organized edited American English.
Student Learning Outcomes:
Students will:
Analyze and compare perspective, meaning, and style in different texts, including those that reflect multicultural images and voices;
Construct a theme or thesis and organize and develop a substantial, balanced and convincing defense of it in a voice, tone, language, and format (e.g., essay autobiography, report, editorial, case study, inquiry, and research) appropriate to the purpose of the writing;
Use logical support, including informed opinion and fact, as well as their interpretations, to develop ideas, avoiding fallacies, biased language, and inappropriate tone;
Demonstrate satisfactory competence in the conventions of Edited American English and the elements of presentation (including layout, format, and printing);
Select and incorporate ideas derived from a variety of sources, such as library electronic and print resources, books, journals, the Internet, and interviews, and document them responsibly and correctly;
Apply a variety of strategies for planning, outlining, drafting, revising and editing written work.

Course Themes: Popular Culture, and Global Crises

This course will ask you to take your research and writing skills to an advanced level through several writing and reading assignments. The topics we research will revolve around popular culture, and Global Crises.

Our Method: The Progressions and a Collaborative Project

A progression is a series of interconnected reading, writing, and thinking exercises that link to class work. As each progression is completed, the combined drafting builds the foundation and process of an essay. This movement grows out of the specific assignments and collaborative nature of the progression and leads to essays that bear marks of distinction, direction, and development.

There are three progressions, each requiring three exercises and one final project. There is also a fourth, informal, reflective essay. This fourth essay serves as your portfolio’s introduction. The portfolio is a compendium of the semester’s work.
Your Progressions handouts will explain each assignment in detail, but here they are in brief:

A. Project I: Rhetorical Analysis of a Media Artifact
Exercise 1: Description of a Chosen Artifact
Exercise 2: Visual and Multimodal Analysis
Exercise 3: Rhetorical Reading
Rhetorical Analysis Essay (two drafts-rough draft and polished draft)

B. Project II: Argument Essay on a Global Crisis
Exercise 1: Argument and Analysis
Exercise 2: Annotated Bibliography
Exercise 3: Essay Proposal
Argument Essay (two drafts-rough draft and polished draft)

C. PROJECT III: Remediation of Argument Essay into a Web Form, Presentation and Blog Post  (Details of the Project here)

You will remediate your project text  in a web form for two different target audiences–first for general American audiences, and second for the community of your peer. The assignment is intended to give you an understanding of relationship among audience, medium, content and style. Upon completing the assignment, you will see, learn and experience how audience and medium shape the content and style of presentation.

Connected with the remediation project, you will also compose and post a 3-page long blog post on your own digital portfolio about the rhetorical situation and composition style; audience factor and source and language variety choice; audience and document or web design, and media and composition patterns or forms. You must consider how the media shape the messages/contents or more explicitly, you must talk about what changed or did not during your remediation of the project text into two different versions of websites, and why. In other words, in your blog post you must engage the dynamics of media and message, content and forms, audience and rhetorical choices. You should also explain your projects’ targeted audiences, contexts and their purposes. Your blog post should also talk about the differences in terms of site design, content or resources inclusion or exclusion, and language variety choice between your two projects (project text and two versions of web design). While explaining the differences in those rhetorical choices, you should also try to answer why you made some particular choices for project text and the first and second versions of the website.

D. Informal Reflective Essay
E. Portfolio (Revised Essay 1, Revised Essay 2, Revised Essay 3, and Reflective Essay)

TEXTBOOKS (Available in Matador Bookstore, CSUN)

  1.  Everyone’s an Author with 2016 MLA Update (Second Edition)  by Andrea Lunsford, Lisa Ede, Beverly J. Moss, Carole Clark Papper, and Keith Walters. W.W. Norton Company, 2016.


1000-940=A 930-900=A- 890-870=B+ 860-830=B 820-800=B- 790-770=C+
760-730=C 720-700=C- 690-670=D+ 660-630=D 620-600=D- 590 or <=F


10 Reading Summaries (100 points/10 points each)
Students will complete a total of ten Moodle posts throughout the semester. Additionally, students will be required to respond to 5 of their classmates’ posts.

Progression exercises (100 points total)

Students will complete three exercises for each Progression that will allow them to practice various writing skills. Progression exercises will also provide the foundation for each formal essay.

2 Peer reviews (50 points total/25 points per each essay)
Students will be required to participate in a peer review session for each essay. If you are absent on the day of a peer review, or do not bring an essay draft to class on the day of a peer review, you will not receive credit. Missed peer reviews cannot be made up.

3 Essays (600 points total/200 points each)
Students will compose and revise three formal essays (one for each Progression)

Reflective essay: (50 points total)
Students will write a reflective essay that will address their writing progress during the semester. The reflective essay will be included in your portfolio.

Final Portfolio (100 points total) – REQUIRED FOR COURSE CREDIT
In lieu of a final exam, students will submit a final portfolio at the end of the semester. Your portfolio will include your final “polished” formal essays and your reflective essay. For this reason, save all your work. You must submit a final portfolio in order to pass the course. You will NOT earn a final grade in the course without submitting a complete final portfolio. Late portfolios will NOT be accepted – NO EXCEPTIONS! All portfolios are examined and assessed by a panel of English Department faculty. Portfolio readers will evaluate each portfolio as representative of students’ ability at the end of the semester.
Students will NOT be eligible to submit a final portfolio for any of the following reasons: Missing any of the Project essays (final draft)
Not receiving credit in UNIV 062E as of Week 13
A grade of D or lower in 113B as of Week 13
You have to complete and revise all 3 project essays in order to submit your portfolio to pass the class!!!


Attendance will be recorded at the start of each class. Missing more than 2 class meetings will result in you failing the class–regardless of the reason. I do not respond to emails asking what you missed in class; it is your responsibility to find out from a fellow classmate.

Tardiness/Leaving Early
Arriving to class late and leaving class early is rude and disruptive. Please take parking conditions and traffic into consideration when commuting to campus. Two events of tardiness and/or leaving early will equal one absence. As with absences, please inform me if there is an emergency.

Classroom Conduct
Each student is expected to conduct themselves in a respectful manner. If you are disruptive or inconsiderate in any way (talking, texting, doing work for another class, etc.) you will be asked to leave. Dismissal from the class will count as one absence.

Turn off ALL electronic devices (cell phones, i-Pods, etc.) at the start of class. Laptops or electronic notebooks/tablets may only be used in the classroom for note-taking or research, if appropriate – not for email, Facebook, etc. Students using laptops may be asked to show me class notes at anytime. You will lose the right to use your laptop and will be docked Participation points if you don’t have notes to show me and/or you use the internet/email during class time.

Submitting Assignments
All assignments are due on Canvas by their designated deadline. Even if I ask for a hardcopy, please post all assignments on Canvas or you will not receive credit.Do not email me any assignments. Emailed assignments will NOT receive credit. Please see the consequences for late assignments below:
1.) Canvas responses: No credit. Late responses will automatically receive a zero. 2.) Project exercises (homework & in-class assignments): Five points deducted per day, starting on the due date. Exercises submitted more than one week late will automatically
receive an F. 3.) Preliminary essay drafts: No credit. Late drafts will automatically receive a zero. 4.) Final essay drafts: Ten points deducted per day, starting on the due date. Final drafts submitted more than 5 days late will automatically receive an F. Note: If you are missing ANY of the Project essays, you will not be allowed to submit a final portfolio.

E-Mail Policy
You must have a working CSUN email address to be able to send and receive class emails. Please check your email frequently, as well as our class Canvas page, for updates and reminders about the class. You are welcome to email me regarding questions or concerns about the course; however, no emailed assignments are accepted.

Please put the name of the course (ENGLISH 115) in the subject heading of your email; any other subject line may cause your email to be mistakenly deleted. Also, keep in mind that emails to your instructors should be respectful and appropriate.

Office Hour Policy
Although I have a set time for office hours, I can also arrange appointments. If you need to visit me at a time that is not within my scheduled office hours, please email me or talk to me after class.

Simply put—don’t do it! Plagiarism is the act of “intentionally or knowingly representing the words, ideas, or works of another as one’s own in any academic exercise” (CSUN catalog 553). Specific forms of plagiarism include:

Turning in material that was written for any other class (high school included). Offering a restructured, reworded, version of someone else’s text as your original work. Downloading essays from the Internet, or purchasing papers, and offering them as your own work. Practicing any variation of not turning in original work for grades.
If you do plagiarize it will result in a failing grade on the plagiarized assignment and is grounds for disciplinary action by the university. Any instance of plagiarism will be reported to the Assistant Vice President for Student Life. If you are unsure how to avoid plagiarism when incorporating other sources into your writing, please meet with me. We will spend time in class reviewing how to properly cite sources. Remember, when in doubt, don’t do it! You cannot become a better writer if you don’t do the writing yourself. Furthermore, I check for inconsistencies and if I feel that your paper may be plagiarized I may ask you to submit your work electronically to www.turnitin.com (a website that checks for plagiarized material).

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