- 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
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.
- MIDTERM EXAM — 25%
- FINAL EXAM—25%
- GROUP WORK—10% (NO make-ups) During
many classes, particularly during the second half of the semester
SOME BASIC WRITING RULES:
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.
2. GIVE YOUR PAPER A CLEAR THESIS SENTENCE NEAR THE END
OF YOUR FIRST PARAGRAPH.
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
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?”