English 1100-06: Introduction to University Writing


Mon. & Wed., 1:30-4:20 p.m., Arts and Education 208

Dr. Claire Laville


Office hours: Wed. & Thu. 11:30-1:00, AE 371. Just drop in! No appointment needed.

Extra discussion group for ESL students: Wed. 10:30-11:15, House of Learning 165 (last group July 22)

Required for purchase

S. Roe & P. Ouden, Designs for Disciplines: An Introduction to Academic Writing (CSPI, 2003)

The Broadview Anthology of Expository Prose, 2nd ed. (Broadview, 2011)

A scrapbook or journal

A set of 3 x 5 index cards

Please bring the day’s readings, your scrapbook, and a few index cards to class every day.


This course introduces students to the practices of reading and writing in scholarly contexts. Students will read and analyze scholarly journal articles from a variety of disciplines. They will also develop their abilities to compose in the genres and sub-genres of scholarly writing, including incorporating research and documentation in a grammatically correct style.


Breakdown of your grade [revised 7/19]

Attendance and active participation        10% (may include short quizzes and homework assignments)

Week 1 summaries                         10%

Documentation quiz                             10%

Wiki authoring, editing                              5%

Essay #1:

Draft                                6%

Revision                        12%

Revision statement                2%

Essay #2                                                  20%

Multimodal composition (group)          20%

End-of-term letter                                    5%


Attendance: Regular attendance is vital to your success in this class. You may miss three half-sessions (or a class and a half) without penalty, no questions asked. Beyond that, each missed class will lower your overall grade by 2%. Sleeping in class or being late regularly amounts to being absent for one full class.

Late assignments: You may submit one assignment up to 3 days late without penalty, no questions asked. Beyond that, late papers will lose 10% per day.

Email policies: Please address me as either “Dr. Laville” or “Claire.” I​ will do my best to respond to emails within a day, or 2 days over the weekend. I will not review your work the day before an assignment is due. If you have a concern with a grade, you must wait at least 24 hours after receiving the grade to contact me. I will not respond to any grade­-related questions before that.

Academic integrity:​ Plagiarism is the representation of someone else’s words, ideas, images, or data as one’s own work. When a student submits work for credit that includes the work of others, the source of that information must be acknowledged through complete, accurate, and specific citations, and, if verbatim statements are included, through quotation marks or block format. Blatant​ plagiarism usually involves copying portions of a text, having someone write your paper for you, or using software to “paraphrase” someone else’s work. Accidental​ plagiarism often involves using someone else’s idea (even if you change the phrasing) without attributing it to him or her.

The best ways to avoid a plagiarism charge is to follow the MLA Style Guide (libguides.tru.ca/mla) and keep a record of all stages of your work, including notes, outlines, and comments from peer reviewers. For more information, visit owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/589/01.

All suspected cases of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Academic Integrity Committee. Sanctions may include a mark of F (0) for the assignment or the whole class.

Access: If there is anything you think we could adjust that will help you learn, I will be happy to work with you. Here are some questions you should never feel embarrassed to ask me or your classmates:

Accommodation for students with disabilities:​ Students with physical or mental health conditions that might impact their success should register with Disability Services (www.tru.ca/disabilityservices.html). All circumstances are confidential. Students must present the Accommodation Letter from DS at the beginning of the term. Accommodations cannot be made retroactively.

Writing Centre: The Writing Centre (http://www.tru.ca/writingcentre.html) is located in Old Main 2674. It’s open for appointments Monday-Thursday 9:00-3:00. Tutoring is free and confidential.

Extra discussion group for ESL students: Some non-native speakers feel shy or uncomfortable speaking in front of the class. This group is a place to go over the week’s readings and work on language skills in a smaller group setting. You can come to as many sessions as you want.

Typical class structure



The most up-to-date version of the schedule will be on Moodle and at http://writing1100.clairelaville.net.


Week 1

Keywords: genre, discourse community, note-taking, summary and paraphrase

Mon June 22        Introductions

John Swales, from “The Concept of Discourse Community” (handout)

                Enroll on Moodle and fill out questionnaire by midnight


Wed 24        Read Designs for Disciplines (DD), pp. 65-75, 220-22 (Summaries, Plagiarism); Ed Dante, “The Shadow Scholar”; Kenneth Goldsmith, “It’s Not Plagiarism...” (both from The Chronicle of Higher Education)

Fri 26: Three summaries of Dante or Goldsmith due by 11:55 p.m., in MLA format, on Moodle


Week 2

Keywords: tone, claim, irony, truism and cliché, perspective, transitional phrases

Mon 29        Read Broadview Anthology of Expository Prose (BE): George Orwell, “Killing an Elephant” (109-15); Margaret Laurence, “Where the World Began” (164-69); Jamaica Kincaid, “On Seeing England for the First Time” (366-71); Binyavanga Wainaina, “How to Write about Africa” (528-31); Doris Lessing, “On Not Winning the Nobel Prize” (532-43)

Tue 30: “Reverse” outline of Laurence, Kincaid, or Lessing due by midnight

Wed. July 1: No class (Canada Day)

Fri. July 3: Wiki groups A and B only: Wiki entries due by midnight


Week 3

Keywords: research site, topic, abstraction, kinds of questions (fact, definition, interpretation, consequence, value, policy), contexts, thesis

Mon 6            (Bring work in progress to class)

Read DD, pp. 31-42, 122-26, 131-42, 151-54 (from “Research” and “Introductions”)

Recommended: Kyle Stedman, “Making Sure Your Voice is Present” 

Draft of Essay 1 due by 11:55 p.m. on Moodle

Wed 8             (Bring a hard copy of your draft to class.)

Read BE: Stanley Milgram, “Behavioural Study of Obedience” (130-41)

Recommended: DD, pp. 142-47, 265-86 (Methods; Writing in the Sciences)

Wiki group C only: Wiki entries due by midnight

Wiki groups D and E only: Revisions to Week 1-2 entries due

Week 4

Keywords: tradition of inquiry, theoretical framework, statement of relevance, method, forms of evidence, metaphor

Mon 13        Read DD, pp. 127-30, 185-222 (as needed); BE: Thomas Hurka, “Philosophy, Morality, and The English Patient” (420-26); Elaine Showalter, “Representing Ophelia” (298-315); Adam Gopnik, “The Corrections” (560-68)

Revision of essay 1 due by midnight. Include a revision statement (min. 100 words).

Wed 15        Read BE: Emily Martin, “The Egg and the Sperm” (347-65). Optional: Roland Barthes, “The World of Wrestling” (170-80)

Wiki group D only: Wiki entries due by midnight

Wiki group F only: Revisions to Week 3 entries due

Week 5

Keywords: rhetoric of statistics, data visualization, multimodality, affordances


Mon 20        Read DD, pp. 243-52 (Conclusions); BE: Malcolm Gladwell, “None of the Above: What IQ Doesn’t Tell You about Race” (544-52); Nathan Yau, from Data Points (on Moodle). Recommended: Radiolab, episode 11.1, “The Fact of the Matter” (we will listen to “Yellow Rain” in class)


Wed 22                Documentation quiz

Read DD, pp. 87-100 (Proposals); Scott McCloud, from Understanding Comics: “Words and Pictures” (on Moodle)

Wiki group E only: Wiki entries due by 11:55 p.m.

Wiki group A only: Week 4 keyword revisions due

Fri. June 24: Essay 2 due by midnight

Week 6

Keywords: copyright, Creative Commons, design principles (CRAP), usability and accessibility


Mon 27        In-class work

Wed 29                Presentations of multimodal group projects (written portion due after class)

Wiki group F only: Wiki entries due by 11:55 p.m.

Wiki group B only: Revisions to Week 5 keywords due 

Fri. 31: Optional revised version of Essay 2 due

Sun. Aug. 2: End-of-term letter due by midnight


Tue. Aug. 4: Wiki group C only: Revisions to Week 6 keywords due