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Barnet, Sylvan. Literature for Composition. 6th Edition.
E-reserves specified within the syllabus.
This course functions on the belief that writing is a process rather than a product. Over the course of the semester, you will learn various techniques for writing and revising a variety of papers. With the focus more on revision than on the first draft, grades will only be assigned to student writing when it is included in the final portfolio. This practice reinforces the notion that revision is both possible and necessary at every stage in the writing process, and that no piece is ever truly finished, only abandoned. Class readings will include short stories, creative nonfiction, as well as some film and other writings with the goal being to understand how ideas, paragraphs, and arguments are put together. This course is designed to hone the student’s skills of observation, comprehension, and expression, verbal as well as written.
As mentioned above, drafts of papers will not be graded until they are revised and included in the final portfolio at the end of the semester. However, you may at any time meet with me to find out how you are doing in the course in the event that it is not clear to you. Your grade will be determined by the following:
50% Final Portfolio
50% Class Participation
The components and specifics of the portfolio will be discussed in a handout during a portion of class midway into the semester. Class participation includes the quality and level of discussion you provide inside the classroom. You are expected to have read the assigned selection(s) for each class period with notes, questions, and comments to contribute. A small number of quizzes (5–7) may be given to test your comprehension of the texts, and these will factor into the overall participation grade. Group presentations will also be considered in determining your grade for class participation.
Above all things, you must be active and engaged in the discussion or activity at hand. Being on time and present is also helpful, which is to say required. In fact, missing class will not only affect your participation grade, but three absences is the magic number at which the student may be dropped from the course entirely. If you must miss a class, E-mail me ahead of time. Please note, however, that an absence is an absence, excused or unexcused. Additionally, please turn off all cell phones, pagers, and other disruptive devices during class. Make sure your tray tables are in an upright and locked position.
Students with special needs, physical limitations, learning differences, or concerns not covered in the syllabus should feel free to discuss them with me at your earliest convenience.
All papers must be typed in a normal, non-cursive font of the variety found in newspaper and magazine articles. All papers must be stapled. I am not responsible for the loss or misplacing of materials that are not stapled, which means I do not accept unstapled papers at all. Make sure your name, my name, and the course section is located at the top of everything handed in. Late papers are also unacceptable. Any paper not completed and brought to class on its due date is not eligible for inclusion in the final portfolio, which is a very bad thing. Additionally, not handing in a major paper on time results in an automatic loss of 20% of your overall participation grade, separate from any damage done to your portfolio.
Schedule (subject to change)
8/16 M First day of class. Explanation of syllabus; writing sample.
8/18 W Constructing a Narrative
8/23 M “Cat in the Rain” by Ernest Hemingway (610); “Facing It” by Yusef Komunyakaa (516)
8/25 W “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman (704); “Trifles” by Susan Glaspell (404)
8/30 M “Shiloh” by Bobbie Ann Mason (724); “A Woman on a Roof” by Doris Lessing (733)
9/1 W “A Doll’s House” by Henrik Ibsen (774)
9/6 M No class—Labor Day
9/9 W “Lust” by Susan Minot (e-reserves); “Hills Like White Elephants by Ernest Hemingway (e-reserves)
9/14 M Paper One Due; bring three copies to class for peer critiques