UWP 001

Expository Writing

  1. Catalog Description

    UWP 1. Expository Writing (4) Lecture/discussion-4 hours. Prerequisite: completion of Entry-Level Writing Requirement. Composition, the essay, paragraph structure, diction, and related topics. Frequent writing assignments will be made. GE credit: Wrt (cannot be used to satisfy a college or university composition requirement and GE writing experience simultaneously). -I, II, III. (I, II, III.)

  2. Learning Objectives

The UWP1 learning outcomes are based on the Council of Writing Program Administrators Outcomes Statement for First-Year Composition. The learning outcomes focus on reading and composing knowledge, practices, and attitudes in five areas:

Rhetorical Knowledge

Rhetorical knowledge involves understanding and applying key rhetorical concepts.  

  • Students will understand key rhetorical concepts (audience, purpose, context, mode, genre, discourse community).
  • Students will apply key rhetorical concepts in a variety of genres and modes (print, visual, oral, digital, multimodal) in response to multiple contexts.


Processes involve reading and composing as recursive processes that vary among individuals, genres, and contexts.

  • Students will practice reading, researching, and composing as social processes.
  • Students will revise and edit multiple drafts based on feedback from peers and the instructor.
  • Students will demonstrate the ability to adjust their reading and composing processes for different modes, genres, audiences, and contexts.

Knowledge of Conventions

Conventions involve the expectations of form, language, and format that are shaped by discourse communities, genres, and composers.

  • Students will practice conventions across a variety of modes, genres, and discourse communities.
  • Students will explore the connections and conflicts between their home discourse communities and academic discourse communities. 


Research involves collecting and analyzing data and engaging with prior knowledge on a subject in order to make new meaning.

  • Students will use research to evaluate, analyze, and synthesize prior knowledge on a subject and create new knowledge through primary research.
  • Students will collect, analyze, evaluate, integrate, and ethically cite primary and secondary research.


Metacognition involves the ability to reflect on rhetorical choices and composing and reading processes.

  • Students will demonstrate rhetorical awareness by reflecting on the rhetorical choices they made in their compositions (organization, evidence, language, document design, etc.).
  • Students will reflect on their reading and composing processes.
  1. Entry Level Students must have fulfilled the Entry-Level Writing Requirement.
  2. Topical Outline


  • Close reading skills; analyzing different types of expository texts; reading for content and style
  • The nature of knowledge and evidence in the academy; textual and non-textual evidence
  • The concepts of audience, purpose, and authority in academic writing
  • Recognition, analysis, and practice of the rhetorical tasks of expository writing: narration, description, summary, explanation, critique, synthesis, persuasion, and evaluation
  • Comparison and contrast of texts
  • Introduction to principles of argumentation
  • Introduction to technological advancements in research and writing
  • Problems of language and style
  • Strategies for structure and organization


  1. Criteria for Grading
  1. The course will be graded by a letter grade.
  2. Grades will be based on the students' performance on in- and out-of-class writing assignments and a final exam. Class participation may be reflected in the final course grade. Students will write a minimum of 6000 words; the number of assignments and the weight of each assignment will vary according to the instructor in accordance with departmental guidelines. Some timed, in-class writing should be part of the formal requirement; an in-class final exam must be given.

    Assignments and sequencing vary from instructor to instructor, but in general, assignments over the quarter will be increasingly complex and sophisticated. While assignments should be geared toward helping students understand how various types of evidence are used in different disciplines to support claims, most of the assignments will be based on readings. At least one significant assignment will require students to synthesize multiple sources and to develop an original argument.


  1. Reading

    Instructors will typically select an anthology of non-fiction articles, such as Signs of Life , or compile a packet of readings from a variety of sources, which reflect a variety of disciplinary issues and conventions. Reading assignments are designed to develop students' reading skills and to provide material for writing assignments. The collection of readings may focus on a broad contemporary theme, such as "Law and Justice in American Society," "Work and Play," or "Science and Technology." In addition, instructors will typically select a rhetoric and/or handbook, which will allow students to study writing skills and strategies.

  2. Explanation of Potential Course Overlap

    UWP 1 does not overlap with any other course. It is distinguished from English 3 and from Comparative Literature 1, 2, 3, and 4 (all of which fulfill the lower division writing requirement) by its focus on expository writing and academic discourse rather than on literary texts.

  3. Justification of Units

    UWP 1 is a four-unit course, representing four hours of lecture/discussion per week.