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Writing Across the Curriculum

English 210

Spring 2004



  • Literature and the Writing Process , 6 th edition
  • New Worlds of Literature , 2 nd edition
  • The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald (This is a required purchase text that you can buy in the University Book Store.)

COURSE OBJECTIVE: This class is a writing and research course that uses literature as a springboard for ideas, so in this class we'll be writing nearly every day. You'll learn not only how to express yourself better on paper, but how to use writing to help you think better. One objective of this course is to enjoy the readings and to gain increased insight and appreciation of fiction, poetry and drama through reading, discussion and writing. Note: If you do not like to read and do not think you can learn to enjoy reading complex prose, you should not take this class. Many classes will require close to 100 pages of reading and you will be quizzed on the readings (quizzes that go well beyond Cliff's Notes). Further, you can fail this class even though it is a required course. So consider this on the first day. I do not like to hear students who are struggling in week 8 say, “I don't like to read.” This isn't an excuse, so you should consider your dislike of reading in week 1. If you haven't done the readings for the particular class, you will surely fail that class, as there will be a quiz and writings regarding the readings. There are NO make up quizzes or writing assignments.

 During the first 8 weeks of class, you will learn how to analyze fiction, poetry and plays. We will become familiar with the terminology and conventions so that we can carry on informed discussions. During the final 8 weeks of the semester, we will read a mix of fiction, poetry and plays that are focused on the particular theme of “The American Dream.”

PREREQUISITES: You must have passed 101 and 102 to take this class. I do make exceptions, but this class will be hard for those who haven't passed 101 as I WILL GRADE ALL YOUR WRITING, EVEN INFORMAL CLASS WRITING, AS IF YOU HAVE THE SKILLS GAINED AFTER PASSING A 101 CLASS.

ATTENDENCE: I will take attendance. If you miss more than 3 (three) classes, you will be dropped from the class list and will no longer be a student in the class. You need not call me about an absence.

PLAGIARISM: If you present another's work as your own, you WILL FAIL this class.

COURSEWORK: You will be required to read for each class and be prepared to discuss and be quizzed over the readings. In addition, you will have to summarize and analyze a short story, a poem, or part of a book or play for each class (depending on what we are reading at the time). These must be typed and presented in a grammatically correct form. Further, you will have a mid-term exam, a final exam, and various group work/presentations.


  • Quizzes—20% (ABSOLUTELY NO make-up quizzes) You will almost always have a quiz some time during each class
  • Summary/Analysis—20% (NO LATE S/A's allowed) —Prior to each class, you will prepare a ¾-1 page, single-spaced, summary and analysis of the story. You will first summarize the story you have chosen (from the ones listed for that class) and then analyze it. I will explain this during the first class.
  • FINAL EXAM—25%
  • GROUP WORK—10% (NO make-ups) During many classes, particularly during the second half of the semester


 1. Give your paper a title that is informative, not cute. The name of the work you are dealing with is NOT the title of your paper.


3. DO NOT use one or two sentences as a paragraph.

4. DO NOT misspell words. Misspelled words look careless; DO NOT look careless. Use a dictionary or a literate friend to check your spelling.

5. DO NOT use the first person — I, me, my, mine, we, us, our, ours, your, yours — unless I say you may.

6. NEVER JUST SUMMARIZE OR PARAPHRASE. Remember that I have already read it or seen it. I do not want to know what happened; I want to know your ideas about what happened.

7. Write about works of literature in the present tense.

8. When in doubt, use your smallest, most comfortable words.

9. Conclude your paper with a paragraph that explains the importance of your ideas to some larger understanding. DO NOT allow me to say “so what?”


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