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ENGL 130W: Academic Writing
Spring 2020
Section 42—TR 3:30-4:45


Instructor: Dr. Kim Jaxon
Office Hours: Email me now that we’re virtual. We’ll also have optional Zoom meetings on Tuesdays at 3:30. 
Email for sharing Google Docs:

Teaching Associates (TAs):

Course Description

English 130W, “Academic Writing,” is a core General Education Foundation course (Area A2) that introduces you to the challenges of university level writing, reading, and critical thinking. This course uses writing to develop your scholarly curiosity. To do this, instructors focus on:

  • deepening your research skills,
  • developing your ability to read and respond to difficult texts, and,
  • most importantly, helping you through the writing process in a social, collaborative, revision-focused environment.

All writing-intensive GE courses require a minimum of 2,500 words, and students enrolled in English 130W must demonstrate the ability to criticize, analyze, and advocate ideas with persuasive force in writing. A grade of C- or better is needed to pass this course.

Our Section of 130: Heritage Speakers

Our section of Academic Writing will focus on celebrating and supporting language diversity. We will think and write together about language and identity, language policy, the role of schooling in language development, and ultimately, celebrate language diversity. We will weave the practices of academic writing–research, citation, revision, editing, etc–throughout a variety of papers and multimodal compositions.

Required Materials:

  • If you have a laptop, bring it to class each time.
  • Readings available as pdfs or links through our course website. Either print out or bring readings to class on laptop/tablet.

Determining Your Final Course Grade:

275 points total

(Grade: 95-100%=A, 90-94%=A-, 85-89%=B+, 80-84%=B, etc)

Attendance: Seriously, I am not a fan of attendance policies. They are uninviting and too much like school for me. Over 20 years of teaching, I have tried out every possible configuration, including no policy at all. This is the one I’ve landed on that makes me, and hopefully you, the most comfortable: you may miss class 4 times for any reason. After 4, you’ve missed more than two weeks of class and you’ll need to retake the course. Our job as a class: create an environment where you want to be here and missing is simply due to some life going on…

I look forward to working together this semester!

Course Responsibilities

Our section of English 130 rests upon the assumption that writing is a social process based in a struggle to make sense of ideas, and that that struggle happens over time, between and among people in reading, writing, and discussion. You will write a lot and revise constantly.

Written Peer Response

We will often read each other’s writing and offer feedback and support. Students frequently feel as though they don’t have the authority to comment on their fellow students’ writing, but we will work throughout the course to show how, as writers, we don’t need to be “experts”; we just need to be open to sharing ideas and reading with care.

Reading and Research

The reading we do for this course will be challenging: some of it is detailed, written for a specialized audience other than college freshmen. Some of it is written in a style that is unfamiliar and daunting. Rather than avoid essays and articles on topics you care about because they seem unfamiliar, part of the work of English 130 is to develop strategies for creating meaning from these texts, and dialogue with their points and ideas in our own writing.

Campus Support

Wildcat Basic Needs Program

Any student who has difficulty affording groceries or accessing sufficient food to eat every day, or who lacks a safe and stable place to live, and believes this may affect their performance in the course, is urged to contact the Wildcat Basic Needs Program. Furthermore, please notify the professor if you are comfortable in doing so. This will enable her to provide any resources that she may possess. You can find many, many campus resources HERE too.

Americans with Disabilities Act

If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability or chronic illness, or if you need to make special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please make an appointment with me as soon as possible, or see me during office hours. Please also contact Accessibility Resource Center (ARC) as they are the designated department responsible for approving and coordinating reasonable accommodations and services for students with disabilities. ARC will help you understand your rights and responsibilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act and provide you further assistance with requesting and arranging accommodations.

Confidentiality and Mandatory Reporting

As a Chico State professor, one of my responsibilities is to help create a safe learning environment for Chico State students.  It is my goal that you feel able to share information related to your life experiences in classroom discussions, in your written work, and in our one-on-one meetings. I will seek to keep information you share private to the greatest extent possible. However, I am required to share information regarding sexual misconduct with the University.

Students may speak to someone confidentially by contacting the Counseling and Wellness Center (898-6345) or Safe Place (898-3030).  Information about campus reporting obligations and other Title IX related resources are available here.

Mechoopda Acknowledgement

CSU, Chico stands on traditional Mechoopda Indian tribal lands. Without them and other native peoples, we would not have access to this campus or our education.