Prompt: Place Essay

Observation (100 Points) Purpose:  To draw from a variety of observations that will allow you to focus on possibility through observation. Your essay will rely heavily on selective description and perspective. Instructions: Select a “place,” and describe it in detail. This could be where you grew up, a place you feel most connected to, somewhere […]

Prompt: In-class Essay

Contributed by Jen Schell In-Class Essay on Michel Foucault’s “Of Other Spaces’  and Joe McGinniss’ Going to Extremes Take the entire class period to formulate an essay around one or more of the following questions. The essay should be approximately three handwritten pages (single spaced) or as long as it takes to adequately answer the […]

Lesson: The Mind as Place

  The Mind as Place “The mind is its own place, and in itself Can make a heav’n of hell, a hell of heav’n.’ —Paradise Lost, Book I Though he’s the devil, Milton’s Satan makes a keen point–our perceptions are the governing principle in how we process where we go and where we’ve been. It’s […]

Writing in Place

“Place-based” pedagogy attempts to engage the world around us and our students with our classrooms. A place-based pedagogy means bringing current events into your classroom (what’s the relationship between time and “place”?) or taking a class field-trip to the transfer site. It means engaging Alaska as place or assigning a prompt that encourages students to […]

Prompt: Journal Assignment

    You are free to choose a notebook of any kind for your journal, however, please keep the notebook exclusive of coursework from other classes. In class we will discuss various pieces of literature as well as approaches to academic writing about the literature. The journal assignment is intended to be a place for […]

Prompt: Research Wikis

    Research Wikis (300 Points) Research plan post (10 points) due: Thursday 3/31/11 on blog Research paper prospectus (40 points) due: 4/5/11 and 4/7/11 in conferences Rough draft (50 points) due: Thursday, 4/14/11, in class for peer review session Final draft (200 points) due: Tuesday, 4/26/11 in class  (turn in all drafts, research plan, […]

2014 Program Assessment

All English-111X classes taught on Fairbanks West campus (12) participated in the  assessment by submitting Diagnostic essays, Research papers, and Reflective assignments as an electronic course portfolio through Google Drive. The University Writing Director then led a group of 6 teachers in applying the program-designed, AAC&U-based rubrics to student work in course portfolios. You can […]

Concepts for Your Writing Classroom

The university writing classroom can be a challenging space. Oftentimes our students are entering at different levels and with different awarenesses of and vocabularies for the ideas that matter in a writing classroom. Below, we’ve listed some key concepts for your writing classroom. Raise these ideas with your students. Are they aware of their rhetorical […]

Theoretical Notes on Academic Literacy

Literacy can mean different things, and placing the modifier academic before it certainly does not lighten this concern. Presented below are our Writing Program’s beliefs about academic literacy, intended to respond to assumptions about literacy as well as attitudes about students and their learning that are counter-productive to the aims of writing development at UAF. […]

Sample Syllabus: ENGL 213, Connecting Humans and Landscapes

English 213x- NORTH AMERICA: CONNECTING HUMANS AND LANDSCAPES Course Description: This course is an exploration of the natural and cultural landscape of North America for students who wish to study the continent we live on from a variety of perspectives. We will examine writings that combine cultural, environmental and historical views of different people, issues […]

Observation Unit Plan: Authority

The general theme for this observation unit is “Authority.’ Using Lad Tobin’s Writing Relationships model, this unit has been designed with fostering dynamic student-teacher and student-student relationships within the composition classroom. As the observation unit is the first in the curricular sequence, it is incredibly important to develop the relationships that the students and teacher […]

Sample Course Sequence: Autoethnography

Definition: Autoethnography is a blending of autobiography and ethnography. Autoethnographers describe and analyze personal experience in order to understand cultural experience. This genre acknowledges subjectivity, emotionality, and the researcher’s influence on research — rather than ignoring these matters or claiming to be objective. The genre demonstrates that cultural research does not have to come from […]

Observation Unit Plan: Food, Culture, and Language

  Great fun for Lovers of Food! English 111x Unit 1 Observation and Food! A Sequence. Why food? Food is a great way to introduce thinking and writing about culture and language to the class. It opens a natural dialogue between you and the students, and between the student’s themselves– they disclose their cultural backgrounds […]

Lesson: How to Analyze a Text

  Group 1: Discuss the author’s attitude toward the subject or theme. Explain what type of essay it is – argumentative, persuasive, exploratory, narrative, or otherwise. Define what the subject or theme of the essay is. * Try to sum up the subject/theme in one word or one sentence. Cite specific sentences or paragraphs where […]

Lesson: Sentence and Context

This activity asks students to look closely at sentences and challenges them to create and change meaning through a variety of techniques. The goal is to get students thinking carefully about how they construct meaning, at a sentence level. It’s also FUN – there’s lots of room here to play around. I’ve never gotten through […]


In the classroom, observation transcribes to students’ abilities to use description and summary effectively in their writing. Observation in writing is about options. The concept of observational writing is to show students how to examine their intellectual choices, as it encourages students to consider all of the decisions they can take in an essay. Observation […]

English 111x: Introduction to Academic Writing

Below, you will find catalog and course descriptions, course outcomes, scheduling sequences, and curricular sequences for English-111x. These guidelines form the scaffolding structure for your course; however, the “content’ of your course is completely up to you. The readings you choose should be in service of the writing project anchoring each unit.  While planning your […]