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University English II / MUW EN 201

Course Syllabus

First Semester: Fall, 2014 (MWF)



Instructor: Emma Richardson

Classroom: Hooper 107

Office: Hooper 108

Phone: 662/329-7360, ext. 8507 (office)

Office Hours: MWF 9:00 –11:00 a.m. T 8:00 – 11:00 a.m. Th 8:00 – 9:30 a.m.

1:00 – 2:30 p.m. 1:00 – 2:30 p.m.
Tutorial: Tuesday 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Textbooks: The Norton Anthology of English Literature (7th ed.), vols. I and II

Three Tragedies (Folger ed.) The Pizazz Factor

The Little Seagull Handbook (Norton, 2011)
Length of Course: One year (for University English II); one semester (for MUW EN 201)
Objectives: This course meets the Common Core State Standards for twelfth-grade language arts by

addressing the following literacy outcomes:
Reading, Viewing, & Listening:
This advanced, yearlong course is a chronological and thematic survey of British literature from its beginnings in the Anglo-Saxon period to the contemporary age. In this class emphasis is given to the historical and social contexts which produced the literature and on the resulting intertext of literature and society. Expectations for student success in this course reflect the rigorous standards found in college- or university-level survey courses. The syllabus and its accompanying assignments express in detail the elevated expectations as they would satisfy university requirements.
Specifically, students will


  • Read numerous texts (literary and informational works of increasing complexity and range) closely to make logical inferences, citing textual examples to support conclusions

  • Determine central ideas or themes in poems, plays, stories, and novels and analyze their development through details of craft and structure, assessing their social contexts and impact on society

  • Analyze non-print texts and portrayals of texts in a variety of media (e.g. video production of a play) and evaluate their interpretations of source material

  • Synthesize material from informational texts with works of literature for the purpose of analyzing and evaluating claims and interpretations


Writing & Speaking:
Students will


  • Produce clear and coherent prose for literary analysis (including a literary research paper) in which the development, mode, and style are appropriate to the task and intended audience

  • Develop extensive arguments logically by presenting information in appropriate sequences (e.g. introduction, claims/support/explanation, conclusion), using all phases of the writing process (planning, drafting, revising)

  • Analyze and use compelling support from a variety of primary and research sources (literary and informational) to buttress arguments

  • Establish and maintain scholarly voice for expository writing, adhering to Standard English conventions

  • Establish and maintain a voice appropriate for personal descriptive and narrative essays to write the college-application/scholarship essay

  • Participate in collaborative discussions with classmates and instructor, building verbal arguments that draw on textual evidence and respond to the diverse perspectives in the classroom

  • Produce and present oral presentations that utilize multiple modes of verbal expression (written words, technology, sound, etc.)


Attendance: According to the attendance policy of the Department of Languages, Literature, and Philosophy of Mississippi University for Women, students must attend a minimum of 75% of the class meetings in order to receive credit for the course. There are no excused absences for purposes of the MUW attendance requirement. Students who do not attend class for the full period will be counted absent. For purposes of MSMS credit, the policy on “Attendance” in the MSMS Student Handbook should be reviewed.
Grades: Quarter grades are determined by the following percentages:

50% “Daily work” (pop quizzes, announced quizzes, homework assignments, informal essays, in-class daily assignments, class presentations, “creative responses,” blogging assignments, and so on)

The “daily work” has points that the student accrues during the quarter. At the end of the quarter, the total number of points earned by the student is divided by the total possible points. This percentage counts as 50% of the quarter grade. For example, if 150 points can be accrued during the quarter, a student who earns 140 points will receive a 93 for 50% of her quarter grade. Extra credit points are occasionally offered during the semester.

50% Major Tests and Major Essays (minimum of two major assessments per quarter)
Semester grades are determined by the following percentages:

40% First Quarter grade

40% Second Quarter grade

20% Semester Exam

N.B. The semester exam is comprehensive and is required for all students. The literary research paper is a requirement for first semester credit for all students in the course.
Reading: In order to participate fully in each class session, students must have read all assigned material prior to class. Readings for each day are included in this syllabus. In addition to the assigned literature, students also should read the introductions to each author. It is expected that students will participate in class discussion.
Make-up Work: Students should follow the requirements for make-up work as prescribed in the 2014-2015 MSMS Student Handbook.
Academic Honesty: Students are expected to be academically honest. That means the work you do should be your own work. By all means study together, discuss reading assignments together, and even discuss “strategies” for approaching written assignments together if you need to. But when it comes time to committing something to paper, do not consult another student’s work. Do not allow another student to read any of your written assignments before you hand them in. If another student’s paper reflects your own work, your own work will be called into question. Academic dishonesty will not be tolerated.
True confession: I have a near-photographic memory for “words on the page.”

I’ll explain this in class.
Read the section on “Academic Honesty” in the MSMS 2014-2015 Student Handbook. Also, read Section R-4, “Integrating Sources, Avoiding Plagiarism,” on pages 82-92 of The Little Seagull Handbook. Additionally, please see MUW’s policy on academic dishonesty, which is published in the current Bulletin and the Student Handbook (both of which are available on the university’s website at www.muw.edu).
If you have any questions regarding plagiarism or “academic honesty,” you need to ask them by the end of the first week of class. Consequences for academic dishonesty at MSMS are prescribed in the Discipline Section of the MSMS 2014-2015 Student Handbook.

My high school English teacher used to say that using as many as three words in the same order from another person’s work without sufficient attribution and documentation constitutes plagiarism. That is a good thing to keep in mind. Additionally, you must provide a reference for any idea you borrow from a source. If you consult any reference “help” in order to write papers (from The Internet or other sources), you need to acknowledge that reference as you would in a research paper. This includes—among others—Cliff’s Notes, Spark Notes, and Wikipedia (N.B. These sources are not considered valid references by many academic institutions. Consult The Little Seagull Handbook for appropriate MLA documentation style.)
A word to the wise: The technology that makes it easy for dishonest students to find papers/information in cyberspace that they pass off as their own work also makes it easy for someone grading papers to locate the sources.
ADA: It is the responsibility of students who have professionally diagnosed disabilities to notify the instructor so that necessary and appropriate modifications can be made to meet any special learning needs.

(Syllabus distributed to students on 8 August 2014.)
Assignments: Below is a list of major assignments to be prepared for class dates indicated; the reading assignments are found in The Norton Anthology of English Literature (vol. I; 7th edition), in Three Tragedies, in The Pizazz Factor, in The Little Seagull Handbook, or in handouts (given out in advance of the date they are to be read). Please note that during class the instructor may alter, add, or delete assignments or test dates listed below; therefore, be sure to contact a reliable classmate or the instructor if you miss class.
Page numbers for The Norton Anthology appear in parentheses after titles; unless otherwise indicated, the entire selection should be read, as should the biographical introductions to authors. The Norton should be brought to class every day unless told otherwise by the instructor.

August
Fri 8 Course introduction: Syllabus and course assignments, course overview,

attendance, tutorials, evaluations/grades, due dates for assignments, pop quizzes (a.k.a. “little opportunities”) reading notes, reading responses (on paper and blogging), academic honesty, essays, textbook issuance, letters of recommendation, the research paper, “how to succeed in this class” (cont. next page)

The Research Paper (due Monday, November 17th): The primary source for the research paper must be a novel or poetry by one of the contemporary Scottish writers listed below:
Novelists
Kate Atkinson William McIlvaney

Iain Banks Naomi Mitchison

A.J. Cronin Agnes Owens

Margaret Elphinstone Ian Rankin

George McDonald Fraser James Robertson

Alasdair Gray Alexander McCall Smith

Janice Galloway Ali Smith

Robin Jenkins Iain Crichton Smith

James Kelman Muriel Spark

A.L. Kennedy Alan Spence

Val MacDermid Alice Thompson

Alistair MacLean Alan Warner

Allan Massie Irvine Welsh

Louise Welch



*Poets
John Burnside Jackie Kay

Robert Crawford Tom Leonard

Carol Ann Duffy Liz Lochhead

Douglas Dunn Norman MacCaig

Philip Hobsbaum Edwin Morgan

Kathleen James Don Paterson

Robert Alan Jamieson Robin Robertson
*If you choose poetry to analyze, a good place to start your research is by

accessing information in The Poetry Library (Edinburgh, Scotland) by using the

link below:

http://www.scottishpoetrylibrary.org.uk/


The research paper project will require you to read a “primary text” (in this

assignment, a novel or a group of poems) and to analyze a noteworthy

element of fiction or poetry that you notice from your reading (characterization,

setting, uses of language or dialogue, symbolism, theme, and so on for fiction;

persona, imagery, figures of speech, sound devices, symbolism, theme, and so on

for poetry). You will 1) “pit yourself” as literary critic against the primary text,

and 2) use other critics’ responses to the text to support your critical analysis. It

would be helpful for you to read the model research papers on the instructor’s

webpage as soon as possible.

August
Mon 11 The entire course syllabus must be read for today’s class, paying special attention

to the “back matter” pages (pp. 12-16).



The Pizazz Factor (1-20)

N.B.: Bring with you to class today any applications that have assigned essay topics for colleges or universities where you are considering applying. (If you don’t have any authentic topics, don’t worry, you’ll be provided them in class.)


Wed 13 The Pizazz Factor (21- 40)

Continue discussion of college-application essays


Fri 15 Continue discussion of college-application essays

Due Today: Blog Response (250 words) in which you identify and discuss

passages from four (4) essays in The Pizazz Factor (giving title of essay, author, and quoted passage[s]) that you consider effective because they show instead of tell. Give the page number for what you quote in a parenthetical notation. As you discuss, be sure to use the vocabulary from The Pizazz Factor below:
The writing achieves effectiveness by
a. Using active verbs instead of linking verbs
b. Eliminating “empty” adjectives (especially “labels,” such as interesting, cute,

nice, great, pretty, sweet, gross, ugly . . . )

c. Eliminating adverbs (especially “intensifiers” or “qualifiers,” such as



very/really and rather/fairly)
d. Using participles
e. Using sensory images
f. Using figurative language
g. Using dialogue
h. Achieving specificity or “chunkiness”; using items-in-a-series
N.B.: Blog responses must be posted to EduBlogs before midnight the night before the response is due for class. For example for today’s response to be on time, it needs to be “posted” by 11:59 p.m. on August 14th.

August
Mon 18 Complete discussion of college-application essays

N.B. Due on Monday, August 25th: First paragraph of college-application essay
NA (I): “The Persistence of English” (xlvii – lxi)

N.B. Beginning today, bring The Norton Anthology (vol. 1) to class each day.
Wed 20 Handout: “The History of English”
Fri 22 Continue discussion of “The History of English”

(Be prepared for a quiz today! Review notes from Wednesday; look at the Study Guide on my webpage!)


Mon 25 Due Today: Opening paragraph of college-application essay (The “finished

product” will be 600 words and is due on Friday, September 5th. If you are a National Merit or National Achievement semi-finalist, you may respond to the National Merit or National Achievement topic.) Be prepared to read the paragraph aloud in class.
Please note that this assignment—as well as all other assignments for the course—must be typed and have the MLA heading, pagination, and a title.

Discussion of the Research Paper (especially of online indices)

(N.B. The Research Paper’s Primary Text and four (4) secondary sources, e.g. books, photocopied articles from books, articles from journals (either online or print journals) must be brought to class on Friday, September 19th.)
Wed 27 Complete discussion of “The History of English”

Discussion of dialect, “Received Pronunciation,” and “standard English”/“academic English”


Fri 29 Major Test (on history/development of English; look at the Study Guide on

my webpage!)
September
Mon 1 Holiday!
Wed 3 Anglo-Saxon Lyric Poetry

Introduction to technical features of Anglo-Saxon poetry

NA (I): “The Wanderer” (99-102) [prose translation]

Handout: “The Wanderer” [poetic translation]



September
Fri 5 Due Today: College-Application Essay (600 words); counts

as a major test grade. Be prepared to read essays aloud in class.

Film text: Interview with Seamus Heaney

NA (I): “Caedmon’s Hymn” (23-26)

NA (I): “The Dream of the Rood” (26-28)

Mon 8 Complete discussion of Anglo-Saxon lyric poetry

Wed 10 NA (I): Beowulf (29-79)

Have you chosen, located, and read the primary text for the research paper?

(N.B. Ask today about the creative response due on Monday, September 15th.)
Fri 12 Continue discussion of the first two “plot episodes” of Beowulf.

(N.B. Ask today about the major essay due on Monday, September 29th .)
Mon 15 NA(I): Beowulf (79-102)

Due Today: Creative Response to Beowulf (must be on 8 ½” x 11” paper)
Wed 17 Complete discussion of Beowulf
Discussion of the thesis statement and expository/analytical essays (Thesis statement for Beowulf essay due on Monday, Sept. 22nd; essay on Beowulf due on Monday, Sept. 29th.)
Fri 19 Major Quiz on technical features of Anglo-Saxon poetry (while students are

taking the quiz, the instructor will check the research paper assignment due below)
Due Today: The Research Paper's Primary Text and four (4) secondary sources

(e.g. books, photocopied articles from books, articles from journals [either online or print journals])

You must bring the “physical copy” (I’ll discuss the protocol for “e-books”) of the primary text to class today, as well as physical copies of four secondary sources. In addition, you must have a bibliography of those five sources (one primary, four secondary) using MLA style requirements; use the words “Preliminary Bibliography” as the title of this page. You may be asked at the beginning of class to respond in writing to a few questions about that text and those sources.

The following sources are not allowed: 1) dissertation abstracts (from DAI), 2) Wikipedia, Spark Notes, Cliff’s Notes, Pink Monkey [etc.], or 3) excerpts of

articles from Contemporary Literary Criticism (CLC); you may use the CLC as an index and then obtain the unabridged article.
If you use sources accessed from the Internet, they must be from scholarly, "peer review" journals, not just from someone's homepage or a “popular magazine”; furthermore, any article accessed from the Internet must be downloaded and turned in to me when you turn in your paper. If you use sources (books or articles) that you obtain from a library other than Fant (e.g. another university library, your town's public library, your family's library, etc.), you must turn these sources in to me when you submit your research paper on November 17th.
You may add bibliographic sources between today and November 17th; however, at least two of the sources brought today must be used in your final paper. I’ll explain this further in class.

September
Mon 22 Due Today: Thesis statement for Beowulf/Anglo-Saxon lyric poems essay

Major Quiz on Beowulf
Wed 24 NA (I): “Anglo-Norman England” (7-14)

“Introduction to Geoffrey Chaucer and The Canterbury Tales

(210-215)

Introduction to the “conventions of satire”


Fri 26 Geoffrey Chaucer

NA (I) and Handout: “The General Prologue” (215-235)



N.B. Ask today about about the research paper proposal due next Wednesday.
Mon 29 Due Today: 750-word (minimum) essay on Beowulf/Anglo-Saxon lyric

poems (counts as a major test grade); be prepared to read the essay aloud in class.

Continue discussion of “The General Prologue”



October
Wed 1 Due Today: A proposal (of about a page in length) describing the topic you

want to pursue for your research paper that comes from your reading of your primary text and your “perusal” of preliminary secondary sources. The proposal should reflect your reading knowledge of the primary source as well as your knowledge of critical responses to it. (I’ll explain this orally.)

Continue discussion of “The General Prologue”


Fri 3 Complete discussion of “The General Prologue”

Introduction to “The Wife of Bath’s Prologue and Tale”



(N.B. Ask me today about the Blog Response due on Monday!)
October
Mon 6 NA (I) and Handout: “The Wife of Bath’s Prologue and Tale”

(253-272)



Due Today: “3 Great Treats” from “The Wife of Bath’s Prologue and Tale” (You must offer quotations from the modern English text on the handout for each “treat.”)
Wed 8 Continue discussion of “The Wife of Bath’s Prologue and Tale”

NA (I) and Handout: “The Pardoner’s Prologue and Tale”

N.B. The 1,000-word College-Application Essay is due on Monday, October

20th.
Thur 9 End of First Quarter
Fri 10 Complete discussion of “The Wife of Bath’s Prologue and Tale”

Major Quiz on The Canterbury Tales
Mon 13 Holiday!
Wed 15 PSAT

Fri 17 Major Test: In-class essay on The Canterbury Tales
Mon 20 Due Today: College-Application Essay (1,000 words); counts

as a major test grade. Be prepared to read essay aloud in class.
William Shakespeare

NA (I): Sonnet 18 (1031) Sonnet 73 (1035)

Sonnet 29 (1032) Sonnet 116 (1038)

Sonnet 30 (1032)



Ask today about the Thesis/Outline Page due on Monday, October 27th!
Wed 22 Discussion of Shakespeare’s sonnets and of the thesis/outline page

Choosing individual topic for “seminar discussion” of Hamlet (beginning Wednesday, October 29th)
Fri 24 Presentation: The Elizabethan Age and Shakespearean tragedy

The origin and history of drama

The tragic hero

The “dynamics of tragedy”

Introduction to Hamlet as a “revenge play”
Mon 27 Due Today: Thesis/Outline Page (Follow student models of thesis/outline

pages found on instructor’s webpage.)

N.B. The first page of the research paper is due on Monday, November 3rd.
October
Wed 29 William Shakespeare

Hamlet (entire play must be read by today)

Begin seminar discussion of Hamlet



Fri 31 Continue discussion of Hamlet
November
Mon 3 Continue discussion of Hamlet

Due Today: First page (and a bit) of the research paper. (Must include at

least one parenthetical notation!)

Wed 5 Continue discussion of Hamlet
Fri 7 Complete discussion of Hamlet
Mon 10 Hamlet (video text; Franco Zefirelli, Director)
Wed 12 Hamlet (video text; Franco Zefirelli, Director)
Fri 14 Hamlet (video text; Franco Zefirelli, Director)
Mon 17 Due Today: The completed Research Paper (counts as two Major Test grades); it must be written using MLA style and contain the following: *Revised and/or corrected thesis/outline page

*Minimum of 10 pages of text (not counting thesis/outline page or works cited page)

*Citations (with notations) from at least 4 secondary sources plus the primary source

*Works cited page



N.B. If for any reason you know in advance that you will not be in class today, you must submit your research paper before leaving school; otherwise, it will be penalized.
Wed 19 William Shakespeare

Macbeth (entire play must be read by today)
Fri 21 Continue discussion of Macbeth
24 – 28 November

Thanksgiving Holidays

December
Mon 1 Continue discussion of Macbeth

Due Today: Blog Response (“3 Great Treats”; 250 words; be sure to offer quotations from the Folger text.)
Wed 3 Complete discussion of Macbeth

Fri 5 Introduction to the 17th Century and Metaphysical Poetry

John Donne

NA (I): “The Flea” (1236)

“The Sun Rising” (1239)

“A Valediction Forbidding Mourning” (1248)

“Meditation 17” (1277)
Mon 8 John Donne

NA (I): “Holy Sonnet 10” (1270)



“Holy Sonnet 14 (1271)
Wed 10 Complete Donne
Fri 12 Tutorial Day
Semester Exams

15 - 19 December

DUE DATES FOR ASSIGNMENTS

&

POP QUIZZES
Written assignments are due at the beginning of the scheduled class period the day they are due. Blog responses must be posted to EduBlogs before midnight the night before the response is due for class. With the exception of blog responses, assignments will be accepted late one class date after the due date for a 15% penalty. Assignments offered later than one class day late will be accepted at the discretion of the instructor for no more than half credit. Blog assignments that are late will receive no more than half credit.
Students should write “-15%” at the top of the assignment when offering it one-day late to the instructor.
Students who do not turn in work with the rest of the class will not receive reminders to turn it in later; the burden is on the student to offer late work to the teacher. Students returning to class after absences should check the Student Handbook for the policy regarding make-up work.
If you know ahead of time that you will be absent from class (because of a field trip, doctor’s appointment, college visit, and so on), you must inform me and write your name and the reason for your absence on my classroom desk calendar. Be prepared to turn in any assignment due the day of your absence ahead of time to me, or send the assignment to class by your “battle buddy.”
Please be aware that absence from class does not excuse you from fully participating in class the day of your return. For example, if a quiz (whether a pop quiz or an announced quiz) is given the day of your return, you are required to take it, even if you were not in class to hear an assignment or to take notes. Always check with a reliable classmate regarding what went on in class the day you were absent. Choose a classmate (your “battle buddy”) on the first day of the course to pick up any handouts to take to you if you have to be absent. You may email me for clarification about assignments.
Pop quizzes will be given often on reading assignments; questions will come from facts in the works, from the biographical introductions to the authors, from vocabulary from the readings, and from information presented in class (and which should be in the student’s notes!). Always consult the syllabus for daily readings. Regardless of what we cover in class discussions or presentations, always read the syllabus assignment for the class dates indicated. If a reading assignment was not discussed during class, review it for the next class period; you may have a pop quiz!
Pop quizzes usually consist of four to ten questions; “announced” quizzes are generally longer. Questions for oral pop quizzes asked at the beginning of class will not be repeated if a student arrives tardy to class.

ESSAYS
Type (double-spaced) all ESSAYS (as well as other homework assignments) and use the MLA heading for your name and other pertinent information; use MLA pagination (last name, space, numeral in upper right margin). The font size should be “12 pt.” and the font Times New Roman. The course title used in headings is as follows:
University English II or British Literature
Sample paper heading: Sally Johnson

(top, left margin; double-spaced) Mrs. E. Richardson

University English II

29 August 2014


Have a title for both informal and formal essays that reflects the topic and purpose of your paper. The name of the work the essay is about should never simply be the title of your paper, but by the same token, the title of that work should be contained in your title. An appropriate title for a typical essay might be:
The Use of Ironic Juxtaposition in “A Modest Proposal”

For formal, expository ESSAYS do the following:

1. React to the prescribed question or topic in a 5-paragraph, formal essay of three to four pages (length is usually prescribed in the assignment on the syllabus).

2. Introduce the thesis in three or four sentences. The very first sentence of the introductory paragraph should contain the title of the literary work (and author) that is being discussed.

3. Place an elaborated thesis (i.e., a simple thesis with a three-point enunciation) as the last sentence of the introductory paragraph. Offer proof of each of the three points in three body paragraphs that are connected to each other through the use of smooth transitions. (The “proof” will be evidence in the form of explanations, examples, facts, and especially, many quoted textual references). Begin each body paragraph with a topic sentence that uses the wording of the respective enunciated point. Be sure to “echo” the appropriate enunciated point during its body paragraph (otherwise, the discussion loses focus). Finally, in the last paragraph, offer a brief conclusion that summarizes the major points of the “argument” and re-states the thesis (avoid a “mechanical reiteration,” though!)

4. ESSAYS are due at the beginning of class.

5. The ESSAY will be graded for the fullness of the discussion, for the sustaining of an idea, and for efficacy of form. ESSAYS that are vivid, mature, incisive, focused, responsibly addressed, offer original insights and/or uses of language, and that employ many textual references will receive highest marks.

6. Consult the attached rubric as a guideline for grading.



RUBRIC FOR ASSESSMENT OF ESSAYS OF LITERARY ANALYSIS AND THE RESEARCH PAPER


A A clearly delineated idea is presented by a thesis elaborated into a three-point enunciation; the discussion is full, and ideas are sustained for a thorough presentation of the thesis; the response exhibits a maturity of mind and expression by being incisive, focused, responsibly addressed, and containing many appropriate, persuasive textual references (especially many quotations); the response will often contain a unique, original insight from the student’s interaction with the text. The writing is unified by the use of smooth transitions. For the research paper, at least 4-5 secondary sources are used effectively to support the thesis.

B An idea is presented in a thesis elaborated into a three-point enunciation; an attempt is made to offer a sustained discussion; the paper meets the minimum length requirements; the response is focused and responsibly addressed and contains a few appropriate textual references (especially quotations); the response shows that the student has read the text and can utilize it to prove a thesis. The writing has some cohesion by the use of some transitions. For the research paper, at least 4-5 secondary sources are used effectively to support the thesis.

C An idea is stated weakly in a thesis which may or may not be elaborated or enunciated; some discussion which supports the thesis is present, but the discussion is superficial; the paper might be less than the minimum required length; the response is unfocused with few or no textual references (especially quotations); the response does not show that the student has done a close reading of the text. The writing lacks cohesion with little or no evidence of the use of transitions. For the research paper, some secondary source references are used to support the thesis, but they are too few and/or too ineffective.

NC Some attempt has been made to respond to the prompt, but discussion is superficial and brief; the response is unfocused; the writing exhibits little or not attempt at organization with a delineated thesis; the response contains no significant evidence of the student’s familiarity with the text. The writing lacks cohesion. Few valid or effective secondary references are used to support the thesis.

If otherwise effective content is undermined by mechanics/usage errors, at least one rubric designation will be lost. For the research paper there must be adherence to requirements of MLA style; if MLA style is inaccurate, at least one rubric designation will be lost.
HOW TO SUCCEED IN THIS CLASS (!)

  1. Be in class as early as possible every day.

  2. Have all homework assignments ready to be turned in (already stapled) at the beginning of class.

  3. Bring your syllabus, textbook, and/or handouts to class every day in a ring-binder notebook.

  4. Have texts open to syllabus assignment and notebooks open ready to take notes when class begins.

  5. Take copious notes. If the instructor “says it,” it’s important. Additionally, note taking is excellent writing practice. You are required to take notes during class presentations and/or discussions by hand, not by using an electronic device.

  6. Listen attentively. Get notes down the first time; don’t interrupt a presentation to have words repeated or spelled. Ask after class.

  7. Be prepared for daily quizzes on reading assignments as prescribed in the syllabus. “Psyche out” the instructor by anticipating the reading-check questions that are likely to be asked. Be prepared!

  8. Proofread all written assignments.

  9. Turn in assignments on time.

  10. If you have a problem with a grade, discuss it with the instructor outside class. Keep your grades confidential; don’t ask to see anyone else’s.

  11. Get started on the research paper in August by selecting a text and reading it.

  12. Make use of tutorial times; one-on-one help is invaluable. Don’t wait too long to ask for assistance.

  13. Avoid ever saying after an absence: “Did I miss anything? Did we do anything important while I was out?” Rather, consult your “battle buddy” about what went on in class during your absence.

  14. Come by tutorials to talk with me about your interests and goals. This will help me get to know you individually, and that’s important when it’s time for me to write letters of recommendation.

15. If I’m getting to know you for the first time during fall semester of your senior year, I need to “see you through” the research paper—and preferably the semester exam—in order to write a full letter of recommendation with lots of “anecdotal evidence.” On the other hand, if you were in one of my courses as a junior, or if you were my work service student as a junior and were “faithful in small things,” I can write a letter for you that’s due to a college before December 15th.


Request letters of recommendation via email; I will email you in return. If I agree to write a letter for you, the next step is to fill out the “Interactive Teacher LOR Request Form”; find it on the J Drive in the “Counseling Office” > “Forms” folder. Bring a hard copy of the completed form to me before 4:00 p.m. the next day after my email response; have it already filled out (always fill in the address lines, even if another form is given to me with that info. on it). Often there is a “checklist form” for the referee to fill out; supply your name, social security number (if applicable), and the “waiver” on the form, and give it to me with a stamped envelope addressed to the college to which it will be sent. Refer to this website for how to address an envelope: https://www.google.com/search?q=how+to+address+an+envelope&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=TAj8UfeDL4KG9gSW9oHIDQ&sqi=2&ved=0CC8QsAQ&biw=1152&bih=626
Do not put a return address on the envelope; I will supply that, since the letter is from me.
I do not need a résumé from you, but I will ask you to remind me in which extracurricular activities I’ve seen you “perform” (choir, Voices in Harmony, Tales from the Crypt, band, soccer, tennis . . . .).
I now choose the electronic option for the Common Application.
Be considerate when requesting letters from faculty. Always get permission from a referee before putting that person’s name on a form!
Feel free to ask for letters for additional colleges after I’ve written the initial letter.
16. Use the “language and demeanor of the classroom.” (I’ll explain this.)

17. Make sure your cell phone is OFF during class and in your backpack (not pocket) as soon as you enter class.

18. Be prepared to sit through tests/exams without leaving the classroom in order not to have to re-schedule the test/exam. After finishing a test/exam, all students must remain in class until the end of the period.

19. Be a “class reinforcer.” Be positive; maintain eye contact with the instructor; look interested, even if you’re not. Stay awake!






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