FYW 110/111: Writing & Inquiry (ESL)


English Composition through
the *5 Senses


Instructor: Marlen Elliot Harrison, MA, PhD
About the Instructor: Marlen’s CV
Courses: English 110/111
Phone: 954-913-2261
Email: meharrison@ut.edu
Office and hours: TBA
FALL 2013 Schedule:

Instructor’s Description and Rationale: “Nothing can cure the soul but the senses, just as nothing can cure the senses but the soul” (from The Picture of Dorian Gray). We experience and interpret our worlds in unique ways by employing each of our five senses, sometimes individually, often collaboratively. Likewise, our languages, communities, relationships, and cultures all influence the numerous identities we construct and perform. In this course, students will keep classroom blogs and develop projects inspired by an examination of both the five senses (is there a sixth?) and linguistic cultures, inquiries that will serve as introductions to the various genres, conventions and structures of English composition. Such writing will also aid us in a deeper understanding of the ways we experience the world and what we bring to our writing. We’ll begin with a Japanese folktale, as told by Dr. Hayao Kawai, that asks the question “What is I?” and use Diane Ackerman’s A Natural History of the Senses and Wendy Lesser’s (Ed.) The Genius of Language as our main texts. From there, we’ll examine a diverse array of writing from Plato’s Allegory of the Cave to Lamott’s “Shitty First Drafts”. Through self-directed writing projects; sensory workshops (such as taste and smell testing); small group and instructor-student discussion; and writing, reading, and revising activities, students will be introduced to qualitative inquiry and achieve a greater understanding of how they come to know themselves and the worlds in which they inhabit. The course will culminate in a final autoethnographic work that uses the course projects as data for analysis to answer the question “What IS I?”, offering an introduction to phenomenological research and synthesizing sensory, cultural and linguistic experience.

Catalog Description: “Writing and Inquiry” invites students to explore questions and think of themselves as writers, constructing answers rhetorically in academic and community contexts. During the writing process, students will consider their own and others’ perspectives on a variety of vital personal, historical, philosophical, and social issues. Taking their own experiences and their peers’ perspectives as credible sources of knowledge, students will expand their inquiries beyond the personal into complex discussions in academic, literary, and public textual forms. Students will also practice appropriate use and critique of technology, using digital sources as support for their arguments and grounds for further inquiry. Students must complete FYW 101 with a grade of “C” or better to register for FYW 102. May not count for the English or writing major or minor. (*fall and spring semesters)

Goals and Objectives:

  • Via the course assignments you will experience, discuss, and practice composing a variety of writing styles, genres, and structures including writing for the digital age and an introduction to qualitative, phenomenological inquiry.
  • You will learn about and consult course assistants, online and print resources for revising, editing and documenting your writing. Through regular in-class revision workshops; interaction with course assistants and tutors; and through blog participation, you will develop your ability to respond to the writings of peers and your own writings in helpful ways.
  • You will discuss, consider, read, and write about the abilities and limitations of human experience, perception, and interpretation through the senses.
  • You will discuss, consider, read, and write about language and culture.
  • You will practice integrating your reading by way of referencing words, phrases, and sentences that are meaningful to you as you develop your own blogs, projects, presentations, and final papers.
  • You will develop an on-line presence (blog) and create an online portfolio that includes a variety of written work.
  • You will practice presenting a topic of your choice using a presentation aid for a small group of your peers.
  • You will develop deeper understandings of the pre-writing, planning and revision processes in writing.
  • You will practice writing for a variety of audiences and develop a sensitivity to audience identity.
  • Develop effective writing rituals and interventions for writing and language anxiety.
  • You will achieve success as writer-investigators; better understand your own composing processes as well as strengths and weaknesses as writers; understand how to plan and revise your work; and most importantly, you will gain a deeper understanding of how to use language and technology to communicate in academic, community and online environments.

Required Materials: A laptop computer with power cord and power strip/extension cord; an active email account; a notebook; a pen; a highlighter; and a folder in which to keep handouts and other printed matter. It would be wise to also have a familiar dictionary/thesaurus bookmarked in your browser. If you have your own laptop, please bring it to each class meeting. Even if we are in a computer lab, you may prefer using your own computer. We will also read the following texts; please be green and frugal by purchasing them used. I have provided links to Amazon.com but please shop anywhere you wish. You will need them within 7 days of the start of classes so order them asap!

Required Texts:

In addition to the above text, your instructor will provide you with additional reading materials throughout the course. You are responsible for having your texts and reading materials with you at all class meetings.

Class Format: In this class, you will do a lot of individual reading and writing, and you will also work together in small groups for feedback and discussion. At the beginning of each class, we will review the homework posted to our blogs by our group members and offer comments and questions. We will then spend time reading literature reflective of the week’s theme and then discuss the reading first within our groups and then together as a class. We may also spend some time exploring our senses by watching film and television excerpts and enjoying related activities when applicable. The remainder of the class will be scheduled for writing activities.

Assignments: All assignments will be posted to your blogs, including your 4 main assignments, drafts, final paper and reflective letters. All assignments are designed to develop your ideas and writing skills as you move from short reflections, to longer projects, and finally, to a research paper.

  • Blog/Homework: Weekly assignments will be posted to the blogs. You will often be given time in class to start/complete these assignments. Consider the blog a place where you can explore and develop your ideas and get feedback from classmates. The process of reading and commenting on our classmates’ blogs is just as important as writing the blogs. These assignments are designed to support your main writing projects and final paper. Feel free to use your blogging homework as the start of your projects.
  • Writing Projects: There will be 3 original writing projects and one multimedia presentation that you will use to create your website. These 3 projects will be approximately 900-1200 words and the presentation 10-15 minutes. They must be appropriately formatted (APA/MLA/AMA/CMS/etc) and the texts written in a variety of academic genres that you would typically find within your field. These writing assignments will be both posted to your websites and used for peer review assignments with classmates. All writing assignments are graded Excellent/Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory; students should expect to revise each writing a minimum of two or three time.
    • NOTE ABOUT REVISIONS: When revising an essay, please follow these instructions:
    • Please post the revision on the same website page as your original essay and clearly designate which is the original and which is the revision.
    • Rather than creating a new set of goals, I would like you to thoroughly explain the changes you made from the previous draft. BE SPECIFIC. I will not accept revisions without a strong 2-3 paragraph explanation statement! Same goes for your peer-editing projects.
  • Peer Editing Projects: You will be responsible for responding to and evaluating three projects (2 written by your classmates, 1 written by you). You will explain your edits and responses in a 3-5 paragraph blog entry and discuss them with the writers.
  • Final Paper: The final paper will be an auto-ethnography and will be approximately 5 pages (double-spaced) in length. We will discuss our ideas for this paper before beginning. You will analyze your blog assignments and projects in order to complete this assignment.
  • Portfolio and Cover Statement: You will keep all of your work, including ALL pre-writing such as mind maps, outlines, etc, and all drafts of your projects on your blogs. By the end of the semester, you will have fulfilled the requirements for a final portfolio; you will complete this process by writing an additional “cover statement”. Review the guidelines for the Final Portfolio (adapted from Indiana University of Pennsylvania Dept of English).
  • Reflective Letters: Your reflective letters will be written to your instructor and should be written with an appreciation for and an understanding of the letter genre. Your voice may be informal and you may use “you”. You will think about your progress throughout the semester and discuss your conclusions both at the mid-term and at the end of the semester. You may make suggestions for future courses, comment on specific assignments or components in the course, reflect on your progress, etc. 2-3 pages each, double-spaced. I will provide more information in the syllabus below.

The Writing Center: Please remember that UT has an incredible Writing Center located in Plant Hall. http://www.ut.edu/academic-support/saunders/. They have walk-in and appointment times, and can assist you in a number of ways. Please consider visiting the Writing Center if you’re feeling anxious or stressed about your writing for this class. They will not help you with grammar, punctuation, etc, but they will help you to organize your thoughts, plan your projects, and develop your ideas! And best of all, it’s FREE!

Course Assistants:

There will be a number of students available to you who have completed English 101/110/111 with me in the past. You’ll find their contact information on their blogs, listed on the Blogroll with your classmates’ blog links.

  • You are requested to communicate with your assistant outside the classroom at least three times during the semester to discuss either 1) a specific text or 2) blog use. In addition, assistants will be making regular contact via your blogs.
  • Assistants have been requested to reflect and draw on the types of feedback and discussion they encountered with their professor, fellow students and other sources of support when communicating with you, the student writers. They successfully passed FYW 101/110/111 with me at UT and have likely worked with course assistants themselves.
  • Additionally, assistants have been specifically told not to formally assess student writers’ work nor to act as editors but rather to discuss ideas for projects, help brainstorm and make comments about formatting, organization, language use and other such aspects of the writing process. They can also assist with blog use, presentations and reading aloud.
  • Participating in this project is voluntary; students may choose not to work with a peer mentor at anytime and may also choose not to participate in an end of semester survey for the current project at no fear of harm to their grades or relationships with instructor. Should any conflict occur with a course assistant, please contact your instructor and consider switching assistants before withdrawing from the project altogether.

Plagiarism Statement: “Unacknowledged borrowing of ideas, facts, phrases, wordings, or whole words in a paper, as well as the copying of another Students’ work all constitute plagiarism and are unacceptable in the university community. Students turning in plagiarized work may receive a failing grade for the project or for the entire course. For more information, see the university policy on plagiarism in your student handbook, or ask me. We will also be discussing this topic more in class” (Schragel, 2006, Plagiarism statement).

Schragel, J. (2006). English 101 syllabus. Retrieved August 20th, 2007, from http://www.people.iup.edu/gxzl/ENGL101.htm

(N)etiquette and Respect: All learners should consider and abide by the following (click the links to read more):

ADA Compliance: The University of Tampa fully supports the efforts and welfare of all its students. The University faculty and staff are mindful of the diversity of the student body and act in ways to promote the academic success of each individual. One such avenue of support lies in the provision of reasonable accommodations to eligible students who may have disabilities as defined in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). UT is fully committed to act in compliance with all ADA mandated requirements. The Academic Center for Excellence, under which Student Disability Services fall, is committed to the principles and practices of universal design, and provides students with disabilities their needed accommodations that equalize students’ access to the educational experience. If there is any student who has special needs because of a disability, please go to Jennifer Del Valle at the Office of Student Disability Services in North Walker Hall Room 102 to report your needs and provide documentation of your disability for certification. Please feel free to discuss this issue with me, in private, if you need more information.

Attendance and Participation: You will receive points for every class you attend, based on your communication and participation. These points will be part of your final grade and cannot be made up if lost.


  • Let’s face it, everyone thinks that class is boring and quiet when you’re not there, so please try to plan on 100% attendance. More than four absences FOR ANY REASON (excluding week 1) may result in a lowering of your final grade.
  • Welcome to college…a place where it is your responsibility to complete all assignments by their due date, whether you are present in class or not. LATE WORK FOR ANY REASON WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED. Period. Done Deal. No questions asked. No excuses. No discussion.
  • I worry about my students. So, when you are absent, you will email/text me and inform me of your absence and the reason for this absence. In addition, you will state the name and email address of the student you will contact to ask about what you missed due to your absence. You will then email that student (and cc your instructor) to inquire about missed work. I will not contact you about missed work or conferences.

Participation is defined (but is not limited to) as follows:

  • Being prepared for class (supplies, texts, etc)
  • Actively participating during class activities
  • Completing all assignments (including readings) by their due dates
  • Asking and answering questions during discussions and volunteering your thoughts
  • Showing up to class on time and being ready to work when your instructor begins class

EVALUATION: You may earn the following points…

NOTE: All work that is completed according to instructions will likely be considered satisfactory. You must ask yourself what you can do with your work, as a student and as a writer, to move it beyond satisfactory to truly noteworthy. You must go beyond “average” to receive such a grade at the end of the semester. You should consider satisfactory/unsatisfactory as pass/fail and noteworthy to be bonus for outstanding efforts. If a student completed solid, satisfactory work throughout the course, the highest grade that could be earned is 766 C. What will YOU do in this course to shine and achieve the higher grade?

  • 10 Reflection, Reading & Planning Posts: 60/40/0 pts (6 pts each x 10; evaluated Noteworthy (6pts), Satisfactory (4pts) or Unsatisfactory (0pts); may NOT be revised for a higher score; all must be completed on time in order to receive full credit; one late/missed assignment allowed)
  • 20 Comments on Websites: 20/15/0 pts (1 pt each x 20; evaluated as a group Noteworthy(20)/Satisfactory(15)/Unsatisfactory(0))
  • 4 Main Projects (4): 400/300/0 pts (100 pts each x 4; evaluated Noteworthy(100)/Satisfactory(75)/Unsatisfactory(0); all may be revised for a higher score)
  • Presentation: 50/40/0 pts (15 pts for first draft evaluated Pass/Fail; 35 pts for final; evaluated Noteworthy (35pts), Satisfactory (25pts) or Unsatisfactory (0pts))
  • Autoethnography: 85/70/0 pts (evaluated Noteworthy (70pts), Satisfactory (55pts) or Unsatisfactory (0pts))
  • Peer Editing Projects: 45/36/0 pts (15 pts x 3; evaluated Noteworthy (15pts), Satisfactory (12pts) or Unsatisfactory (0pts))
  • Portfolio Cover Letter: 50/40/0 pts (evaluated Noteworthy (75)/Satisfactory(60)/Unsatisfactory(0); may NOT be revised for a higher score)
  • Meeting & Book Reflections: 50/35/0 pts (10 pts x 5; evaluated Noteworthy (10)/Satisfactory(7)/Unsatisfactory(0); may NOT be revised for a higher score)
  • Final Exam: 100/50/0 pts (evaluated Pass/Fail; may NOT be revised for a higher score; completed/pass (100); completed/fail (50); incomplete (0))
  • Reflective Letters: 40/30/0 pts total; Mid-term, 15/10/0 pts; Final, 25/20/0 pts (evaluated Noteworthy/Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory; may NOT be revised for a higher score)
  • Participation: 100/60/0 pts (3 pts x 20 days; possible 40 pts extra for Noteworthy participation)

A 920-1000 pts; AB 880-919 pts; B 820-879; BC 780-819; C 720-779; CD 680-719 pts; D 600-679 pts; F 599 pts and below



SYLLABUS (subject to change)

Remember the Spartan Code! As a member of The University of Tampa Spartan community, I agree and pledge that I will…

  • promote and practice academic and personal honesty.
  • commit to actions that benefit the community, as well as engage in activities that better others.
  • discourage intolerance and acknowledge that diversity in our community shapes our learning and development.
  • conduct myself in a manner that makes me worthy of the trust of others.
  • recognize the ideas and contributions of all persons, allowing for an environment of sharing and learning.
  • accept full responsibility and be held accountable for all of my decisions and actions.



Today in class we will:

  • Get to know each other better
  • Review course requirements
  • Create blogs
  • Complete in-class writing assignment: What is I?

Homework (due Thursday):

  • REFLECTION: As learners, we usually start with a great deal of enthusiasm and lose energy as a course progresses. Because of this, the beginning of this course is quite intense and the majority of the workload comes at the beginning. Jump in and do as much as you can now and you will find that the pace slows down considerably and that you have much more freedom in terms of your schedule towards the end.
  • PRINT & SIGN: Please print, sign and bring to class on Thursday. Informed Consent Harrison
  • Have your books arrived yet?

A. Set up and design your website

  • Visit http://Wordpress.com. You’ll find information about setting up your website in WordPress Support.
    1) Go to WordPress.com and click the orange “get started” icon.
    2) Add your email address.
    3) Add your website address and username…
  • last name followed by first name, e.g. Angelina Jolie = jolieangelina
  • no dots, dashes or spaces;
  • no special characters like ä or ö;
  • This site has no relation to the UT university website and email. Pick a password.
  • Write down (or store in your computer or smartphone) your username and password so that you don’t forget them.

4) Next, click CREATE blog (free) at the bottom of the page. Check your email and click the activation link.
5) Login to your website if not already logged in and click MY BLOGS in the top menu of WordPress.com. Find your website and click BLOG ADMIN to get to your website’s DASHBOARD. We’ll do more in class on the first day so please have at least these steps completed.
6) Add your website info at the bottom of this page as a comment. Please include: your name, class and website address, e.g. Angelina Jolie, FYW 110 F, http://jolieangelina.wordpress.com. I will use this info to make a master list of website links for the class.


  • Pages are blank spaces where we can post information and will comprise the majority of your class-related work on writing & learning. The contents of these pages are not immediately visible on the front page of your website. Unlike posts (explained below), we cannot assign pages to categories. Create 7 new PAGES on your website by scrolling over PAGES in your DASHBOARD. You will use these later in this course: NOTES, PROJECTS, COMMENTS, PEER REVIEW, LETTERS, PORTFOLIO, & GOALS.
    • ABOUT: Edit the pre-existing ABOUT page (found in PAGES in your DASHBOARD), delete the existing text and include a short bio and a clear photo of your face (via ADD MEDIA above the text editor). Make sure to mention why you’ve chosen your magazine topic.
    • GOALS: Goal-setting is an important tool for learning. In your GOALS page, make a list of at least 3 goals you have for yourself while in this course and explain for each goal how you will go about achieving them. For example: “I want to improve my confidence in speaking to a group. To do this I will speak out in class more often than I usually do.” Part of your participation grade in this course will depend on your final reflective letter which will include an explanation of why and how you either met or did not meet these goals. Feel free to include images, quotes, outside sources, video, links, etc. Please format all information that is neither your own idea nor common knowledge according to APA/MLA/AMA/CMS/etc rules with in-text citations and a final Works Cited/References as needed. page: GOALS
    • READING & NOTICING #1: Please post reflections on your NOTES page. You may respond to each reading separately or in unison. As you reflect on what you noticed in the readings, first summarize the most important information that relates to you, a student writer. Next, respond to the article(s) with your own opinions or highlighting what you feel is most important making sure to quote, paraphrase and summarize as necessary. Feel free to include images, quotes, outside sources, video, links, etc. Please format all information that is neither your own idea nor common knowledge according to APA/MLA/AMA/CMS/etc rules with in-text citations and a final Works Cited/References as needed. page: NOTES



  • Posts will generally show up on the front page of your website in chronological order and will comprise the majority of your website’s themed content.
    • POST #1, What Is I?: Discuss today’s “What Is I?” essay with a classmate, course assistant, friend or Writing Center tutor and identify at least 5 areas in your writing that need improvement/revision.
    • First, copy and paste your essay directly below the original essay in your blog post, clearly marking it “REVISION”.
    • Next, under the copied/pasted revision essay, explain the 5 areas that need improvement and go make the changes in your REVISION essay. The goal is to become aware of your challenge areas so that we can focus on strengthening them during the semester. Feel free to include images, quotes, outside sources, video, links, etc. Please format all information that is neither your own idea nor common knowledge according to APA/MLA/AMA/CMS/etc rules with in-text citations and a final Works Cited/References as needed.



Today when you arrive in class, please immediately begin reading your BLOGROLL group members’ writing (ABOUT, NOTES). We’ll use the first 5-10 minutes of every class as time to read and comment. You’ll need to continue reading and commenting outside of class in order to fulfill the course requirement of at least 20 website comments for your group members throughout the semester. Today we will also review reading strategies, website use/development including security, review the basic requirements of the course again, and get started on our first writing project and articles.

Homework for 6/4:

  • Have your books arrived yet?
  • POST #2: Do some research online and/or by talking with or emailing professors to identify the most common types of writing you will need to undertake a) for your college major and b) as a professional in your field. Knowing NOW what you’ll need to be able to do later will help us make decisions as you plan and develop your writing projects in this course. 1-2 paragraphsplan and develop your writing projects in this course. 1-2 paragraphs
  • READING & NOTICING #2: Please post reflections on your NOTES page. You may respond to each reading separately or in unison. As you reflect on what you noticed in the readings, first summarize the most important information that relates to you, a student writer. Next, respond to the article(s) with your own opinions or highlighting what you feel is most important making sure to quote, paraphrase and summarize as necessary. Feel free to include images, quotes, outside sources, video, links, etc. Please format all information that is neither your own idea nor common knowledge according to APA/MLA/AMA/CMS/etc rules with in-text citations and a final Works Cited/References as needed. page: NOTES


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51 Responses to FYW 110/111: Writing & Inquiry (ESL)

  1. Mohammad Krkdan says:

    Hi I wish all success in this Classic and get (A)

  2. Hi I wish all success in this Classic

  3. Simon says:

    dasilvasimon.wordpress.com JB

    • sarah Althaqafi says:

      hello Jorge, that is a really good question because Alexa asked me the same question. when i talked about money it was a general example but i related to me because its hard to write about a specific person its going to be offensive.

    • sarah Althaqafi says:

      hello again :P , So in your opinion I is a definition of yourself ,right ? but what if people sees you in a different way ? what would your reaction or your feedback be if you know what they think of your personality ?



  5. There it is, Marlen.
    Thanks for the time you gave me, I appreciate that very much!

  6. Arthur says:

    The link that refers to “It’s and Its”
    The link that refers to Numbers

  7. german says:

    What are the differences between “You’re” “Your” and “Yours” ?



  8. abdulaziz alsaif says:


    This is the best website if you have question “quoting” there is more than MLA-APA and more.

  9. Danilo Nunez says:

    Hi, Marlen.

    This is my website. Hope you like it.

    See you on Thursday.

  10. Otto van Leeuwen says:


    Otto van Leeuwen, FYW 110P

  11. Jose Barahona says:

    Jose Barahona FWY 110 P

  12. Here is my blog “amazing journey”! While reading, I hope you like some of those stereotypes I mentioned about Finland and Finnish people on the “about” page. I also wanted to say that in the first class I started to think differently about the English language and ways to perfect it.

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