Rutgers University Newark English 381 section Q1 – The Short Story

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Rutgers University - Newark

English 381 section Q1 – The Short Story

Spring Semester 2007 - T/Th 2:30 – 3:55

Instructor: Michael Zeugin

Office: Conklin, Room

Office Hours: 9:25 am - 9:55 am T/Th

5:25 – 5:55 PM

Telephone: Office: (973) 353-5279 x630

Home Office: (973) 764-8900 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM


Web Site:

Required Text
Halpern, Daniel, Ed. The Art of the Story – An International Anthology Of Contemporary Short Stories. Penguin Books, New York, NY. ISBN 0–670–88761–7

Course Description

Reading and critical study of classical, medieval, and modern short stories; discussion of predominant

techniques and theories. This section of the course will focus on the contemporary short story from an

international perspective.
Topics and Methods Explored

This course in short fiction literature explores a diverse offering of styles in the short fiction genre, with a focus on international viewpoints. Students examine stories critically using a variety of critical methods; theme, voice, character development, tone, structure are just a few examples of possible points of analysis. As this is a writing intensive course, students produce frequent expository and/or analytical writings on selected topics related to readings. Students will also review, hone and polish writing and editing techniques, while further developing analytical and writing skills and applying critical methods as tools that facilitate analysis and academic, literary discourse.

Course Organization

The course is organized around a discussion and analysis format. Primary activities include presenting personal analytical response to assigned readings in both written and oral form. This will generally follow and class discussion and student presentations of analysis of readings from the required text and other media. The emphasis will be on applying techniques that yield in-depth understanding of readings and relate those to common methodologies of analysis. Analysis will be rendered in traditional essay form and also annotation reports and oral presentations.

Some Course Objectives

  • Develop an understanding of available critical and analytical methods.

  • Explore and consider others’ viewpoints, analysis and critical methodology.

Become comfortable matching methods of analysis with particular text archetypes.

Expand the critical writer's range of techniques.

Gain further understanding of how to use group critique to revise or edit original work.

Review and explore methods of research.
Course Requirements

Students are expected to have read and thought about assigned readings. Students should be prepared to discuss the readings from a variety of viewpoints, the reader’s, a writer’s and a critic’s view. Making some notes to work from is a good idea. This is intended to expand the student’s analytical capabilities towards their own writing and that of peers.

Students will be asked to highlight aspects of readings that they may find helpful or applicable to their own writing. This work will be checked periodically, at random, and be included as part of the participation grade.
Each student is expected to prepare a extensive analytical writing for examination in class by peers and the instructor. There will be more than one opportunity to present work, so this will be broken into smaller parts. That critical writing will be revised and edited for improvement, leading to a submission of a series of critical essay during and by course end.
Students will be expected to present their written work to their peers. Presentations focus on public reading skills and developing comfort in delivery. Further details on each presentation will be discussed in class. These presentations constitute to a portion of your grade and will help develop your writing skills and your public speaking abilities, while also providing creative insights for yourself and your classmates.
Each student will be required to have a conference at a time to be announced. A missed conference counts as an absence and will negatively affect your grade. Students are encouraged to schedule conferences with the instructor any time additional instruction or consultation is needed.
Student’s grades will be based partially on their active participation in class discussions, group critiques. Attendance strongly affects participation, and thus your grade, since it is impossible to participate if you are not present.
Students are expected to keep all work in a binder, which may be used as a portfolio on which final grades are based. In addition, students are expected to keep all handouts in the binder.
Final Portfolio
The final portfolio should include all edited and revised work done for the course. The student should keep all draft and process work as part of each essay project. This should result in four critical pieces, each exploring a different topic and story style. At this, the 300 level of writing, final drafts should be, publication ready, free of spelling, grammatical and other stylistic errors (you will be using your peers as secondary proof readers). A portion of your course grade will be based on your final project and possible portfolio submissions.
Attendance Policy
As college students, you are expected to develop discipline and a sense of responsibility. Failing to attend class does a disservice to you, your fellow students who may benefit from your contributions and your instructor who is committed to helping you develop new knowledge and skills.
Students are expected to attend each class, arrive on time, remain for the duration, and actively participate. You have two, no questions asked; there are no excused absences. At three absences, your final grade will be lowered. After four absences, you will be advised to drop the course or you will receive a failing grade (if the drop deadline has passed). Late arrival and early departure will be counted as 1/2 an absence. An arrival is considered late after the class has begun (ie. roll call is over). A departure is considered early if the student leaves before the instructor dismisses the class. If you are asked to leave the classroom because of a behavioral problem, a record will be sent to the dean of students and an absence will be added to your attendance record. Absences are counted from the first day of class or the first day of class from the moment of registration (if you late registered within the allowable period). Sleeping in class is considered being absent.
Although the instructor may announce attendance figures, students are responsible for their own attendance. Students are also responsible for everything covered in class, although in-class assignments may not be made up.

Students who will be absent due to an official school-related activity (such as athletic) or students who will be absent due to the observance of religious holidays must alert the instructor prior to class(es) missed. In such cases, students will be responsible for making up all work, including in-class assignments.

Computer Work

Students may be required to use a computer to download handouts that will be used in class. Students are encouraged to use e-mail to correspond with the instructor. The university has computing facilities staffed by individuals who can help solve difficulties you may be having with computer use.

Academic Integrity
Plagiarism is a serious offense and will not be tolerated. Any instance of plagiarism will be dealt with severely and may result in a failing grade for the class and expulsion from the university. What constitutes plagiarism will be discussed in class.

Other issues concerning academic integrity including, but not limited to, cheating on exams and/or quizzes, handing in

work that is not solely your own (excepting group assignments), and buying or selling papers, will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. Possible repercussions include failing the assignment, failing the course, being expelled from the course, and being expelled from the university. Information about academic integrity policies is available through the University and is printed in the Student Handbook.

This advanced writing course is about getting better at writing. As such your grade will be dependent on you improving your writing skills and presentations through the course. All aspects of this syllabus will be factored into grades. Writing and presentations will carry the most weight, but each item could equal the difference in a letter grade. Students who miss in-class presentations or discussions will receive zero credit for that day. In-class assignments may not be made up.

Work is weighted approximately as follows:
Essay 1 – 15%

Essay 2 – 20%

Essay 3 - 20%

Essay 4 – 25%

Final Portfolio 5%

Class Participation - 15% graded as + (plus), N (neutral), - (minus), or 0 (zero) absent. (Failure to prepare for participation, speaking over other students, and interjecting inappropriate commentary result in - (minus) grade for participation. Also includes attendance component - missed class meetings mean no participation)

Late work will be assigned a reduced “late” grade. Assignments are considered late, if not handed in on the assigned due date. Questions about the grading policy or about a specific grade are welcome during the instructor’s office hours.

Tentative Class Schedule 381:Q1
T 1/22 - Course Introduction, Student Introductions.

Th 1/24 - Selected readings; Discussion; in-Class Writing - writing assignment, annotation assignment.

T 1/29 - Discussion of Amor Divino pp. 15 - ; The Immortals pp. 25 - ; writing and research assignment.

Th 1/31 – Aspects of the Short Story – student mini-presentations; Student Writing review.

T 2/5 - Discussion of The Glass Tower pp. 33 - ; Wilderness Tips pp. 42 - ; Writing Assignment.

Th 2/7 – Discussion concepts of analysis in application; Student Writing Review, Thesis and Outline for Essay One Due for discussion.

T 2/12 - Reading and Annotation Assignment My Mother's Memoirs, My Father's Lie, and Other True Stories pp. 63 - ; Essay One group editing 1st Draft

Th 2/14 – Reading and Annotation Assignment G-String pp. 69 - ; Essay One 2nd Draft Peer Review – bring copies.

T 2/19 – Essay One Final Draft Due. Discussion of My Mother's Memoirs, My Father's Lie, and Other True Stories pp. 63 - ; G-String pp. 69 -; Annotation Assignment.

Th 2/21 Discussion Are These Actual Miles? pp. 146 - ; Betrayal pp. 220 - ; In-Class analytical writing.

T 2/26 - Discussion of Never Marry a Mexican pp 179 – In-Class analytical writing. Outline assignment.

Th 2/28 – Discussion of The Prospect from the Silver Hills pp 189 – ; Outline revision.

T 3/4 – Discussion : Developing depth of analysis

Th 3/6 - - Student Writing review essay two.

T 3/11 - Rough Draft Peer Review – bring copies for group members

Th 3/13 - Essay Two Final Draft Due. Reading and annotation assignment.

Spring Break

T 3/25 – Discussion of The Old Man Slave and the Mastiff pp. 152 - ; Dharma pp 162 -

Th 3/27 - Discussion of Night Women pp. 198 - ; Ysrael pp. 211 -

T 4/1 - Discussion of Theme and Tone as applied to stories under study.

Th 4/3 - Structuring the critical essay; In-class Writing.

T 4/8 - Discussion – Finding a Critical Voice: Beyond Opinion; Student Writing review.

Th 4/10 - Rough Draft Peer Review.

T 4/15 – Essay Three Final Draft Due. Discussion of All Because of the Mistake pp. 203 - ; Reflections of Spring pp. 227 -

Th 4/17 - Discussion of The Twenty-seventh Man pp. 248 - ; The Story of the Lizard Who Had the Habit of Dining on His Wives pp. 291 -

T 4/22 - Discussion of Escort pp. 298 - ; A Family Supper pp. 338 - ; Student Discussion – Social Context; In-class Writing.

Th 4/24 - Rough Draft Peer Review

T 4/29 - Group Writing Review

Th 5/1 - Essay Four Final Draft Due. Final Project Readings.

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