Writing about Literature



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Prof. Michael Gavin
English 102

Writing about Literature

We will examine literature by looking both at the literary periods and the political, social, and technological changes that occurred in the time surrounding the eras in which it was written. Through the study of different texts and literary themes, we will attempt to define how literature affects society, and vice versa. In the process we will seek to answer the following questions:

How does literature help us to understand the concept of culture, race, and history?

How does our identity become formed? Does it relate to the era in which we live, things we read, watch or do?

What is the function of literature? Does it have value beyond itself? Does literature shape our society or sense of history, or vise versa?

What is the "real world" and how do authors attempt to render that real world through their use of rhetorical strategy or characterization?



Course Outcomes for English 102

Upon successful completions of the course students will be able to:

1. Write analytical essays about literary texts by:

? Formulating restricted, unified and precise thesis statements

? Organizing essay content into introduction, body, and conclusion paragraphs

? Composing restricted, unified, and precise topic sentences for paragraphs

? Writing unified and coherent paragraphs that are well-developed with supporting materials drawn from the literary text

? Applying grammar and usage rules correctly

? Choosing appropriate diction

? Writing clear, precise sentences

2. Explain basic literary terms in the genre of poetry, fiction, and drama (for example, theme, imagery, rhythm, figurative language, tone, character, plot, etc.)

3. Write research-based essays using secondary sources to:

? Demonstrate their understanding of plagiarism

? Synthesize several different sources into an essay to support its thesis

? Quote, summarize, and paraphrase responsibly within that paper

Document sources according to the MLA format


Required Texts
Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama. Kennedy/Gioia. Fourth Compact Edition. ISBN 0-321-2731-5.

Wolff, Tobias (ed). The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Short Stories. Vintage Contemporaries (1994). 0-6797-45130.




A Word About On-line Courses

Although this course takes place in an on-line format, it is important to remember that it is still a course that is very similar to a face-to-face course. Please be sensative to the following:



  • It will take a bit of time for me to grade your assignments. Often, we are used to quick responses through email. I will do my best to return grades to you within a week.

  • Likewise, I will do my best to respond to emails within 48 hours. I rarely check email on weekends, so be aware that an email sent Friday may not recieve an immediate response.

  • To be sure that I can treat you all in the most personal fashion possible, please utilize the Public Question and Answer Forum on the Discussion Board for questions that are not specific only to you. For instance, questions about due dates, page numbers, etc. can be posted there. As well, try to help your peers out by answering those questions. If I can minimize the amont of questions I have to answer about those matters, I can spend more time with more substantive and personal issues with writing an literature.

  • It would be a good idea to print out the syllabus and course policies, to have a binder, a note book, and all other materials you generally have for a face-to-face course. Your work, in other words, should take place beyond the confines of the computer. Also, if you have other members of your family using the computer, having those materials in places other than the website will allow you to work at your pace rather than theirs.

  • Finally, be sure to visit the site at least three times a week as announcements will be posted throughout the week that you will need to read to succeed.


To login to your Blackboard course, please follow these steps:

  • Go to the Prince George's Community College Blackboard Web site which is located at http://pgcconline.blackboard.com. NOTE: There is no "www" in the Blackboard address.


  • ALL STUDENTS must login to Blackboard using their myPGCC account (this includes students who have used Blackboard in the past).


  • If you do not have a myPGCC account,

  • Go to http://my.pgcc.edu to create a myPGCC account and receive the username and password you need to login to Blackboard.


  • If you already have a myPGCC account,

  • Go to http://my.pgcc.edu to reset your myPGCC password if you created a myPGCC account prior to summer 2005. You must change your password to access Blackboard.


  • Once you have your myPGCC account information, type it in the Blackboard login box at the http://pgcconline.blackboard.com.


  • If your login is successful, you will see the Blackboard "Welcome" screen. In the box labeled "My Courses", you will see the course or a list of courses in which you are enrolled. Click on the course name to enter your Blackboard course.

Immediately change your Blackboard email address.

When information is downloaded into Blackboard from the college's database, your email address does not automatically download. The email address first posted in Blackboard is a generic address given to everyone. To ensure that your instructor can contact you by email, it's VERY important to change your email address as soon as you login to Blackboard for the first time. Here are the steps for changing your Blackboard email address:

1. From YOUR Blackboard Welcome page (you will see WELCOME, ___! In bold letters at the top of this page), click on Personal Information in the Tools Box on the left side.
2. Click on Edit Personal Information.
3. Change your email address to your preferred email address (the one you check the most often).
4. Click the Submit button in the lower right corner to save the changes you've made.

Course Requirements

List of Assignments

All of the assignments are explained in-depth through the use of an assignment sheet. (For Response Papers see 'Literature Response Papers' button. For 'Textual Analyses 1 and 2', see 'Textual Analyses' button). In each of these buttons, there is a place for you to attach your papers. That is, submit papers by attaching them in the space provided after clicking on the 'View/Complete Assignment' link underneath each assignment sheet. All papers will be submitted through the function provided there. Attach papers as Word or RTF files. Do not use the Digital Drop Box.



Assignment

Length

Weight

Discussion Board Participation




20%

Textual Analysis #1

4 Pages

15%

Textual Analysis #2

5 Pages

15%

Response Papers

1 page, three in total

30%

Research Paper

6 pages

20%










To pass the course, all paper assignments must be completed.

Plagiarism policy

Academic Integrity Code/Plagiarism: The college is an institution of higher learning that holds academic integrity as its highest principle. In the pursuit of knowledge, the college community expects that all students, faculty, and staff will share responsibility for adhering to the values of honesty and unquestionable integrity. To support a community committed to academic achievement and scholarship, the Code of Academic Integrity advances the principle of honest representation in the work that is produced by students seeking to engage fully in the learning process. The complete text of the Code of Academic Integrity is in the 2004-2005 Student Handbook (pages 41-43) and posted on the college's website.

Code of Conduct: The Prince George's Community College Code of Conduct defines the rights and responsibilities of students and establishes a system of procedures for dealing with students charged with violations of the code and other rules and regulations of the college. A student enrolling in the college assumes an obligation to conduct himself/herself in a manner compatible with the college's function as an educational institution. Refer to the 2004-2005 Student Handbook, beginning on page 39, for a complete explanation of the code of conduct, including the Code of Academic Integrity and the procedure for dealing with disruptive student behavior.

A Note: In general, if you get information, ideas, or words from anywhere other than your own head, simply make clear where the information came from by citing it according the MLA style. See pages 1471-1483 in your Literature book if you cannot remember how to cite from English 101.

Disability Support Services
Students requiring academic accomodations are required to contact the Disability Support Services Office (M 1042) or call 301-322-0838 (voicemail) or 301-322-0122 (TTY) to establish eligibility for services and accomodations. Students with documented disabilities should discuss the matter privately with their instructors at the beginning of the semester and provide a copy of their Student/Faculty Accomodation Form.

Week One: August 28-September 3



Complete the check-list in the 'Start Here' section. Here you will introduce yourself to classmates and be introduced to the class.

Read and Complete Lecture Notes for Week 1 under Lecture Notes button on the left. This is the introduction to Literature

Week Two: September 4-10

Before reading, please see the Lecture Notes for week 2 after clicking on the 'Lecture Notes' navigation button. This will help you find important materials in the literature. Note: the lecture for Response Paper Analysis is in this week, too

Read: Assignment for Response Paper #1 by clicking on the 'Literature Response Papers' button.

Read: "Cathedral" Raymond Carver (Vintage 108-125)

After you complete reading, be sure to visit the Discussion Board and complete this week's discussion assignment.

Week 3

September 11-17

Before reading, please see the lecture notes for week 3 after clicking on the 'Lecture Notes' button on the left.

Read: Joyce Carol Oates; "Where Are You Going?" (Vintage 347)

Read: T.C. Boyle "Greasy Lake" (124)

After you complete reading, be sure to visit the Discussion Board and participate in this week's discussion.

Week 4


Septemeber 18-24

Response Paper #1 due by 11:59 pm on Sunday September 24th.

Before reading, please see the Lecture Notes for week 4 after clicking on the ?Lecture Notes? navigation button. This will help you find important materials in the literature. Note: the lecture for the Textual Analysis is in this week, too



Read Textual Analysis assignment sheet by clicking on the 'Textual Analsyses' button. ****In that same section, be sure to see tips and checklists on how to write your paper well.

Read: "An Analysis of the Symbols of Steinbeck's "The Chrysanthemums" (229-231) and complete discussion board of that essay.

Andre Dubus "The Fat Girl" (Vintage 125)
Jamiaca Kincaid; "Girl" (Vintage 306)

After you complete reading, be sure to visit the Discussion Board and participate in this week's discussion.

Week 5

September 25-October 1

Before reading, please see the Lecture Notes for week 5 after clicking on the 'Lecture Notes' navigation button. This will help you find important materials in the literature.

Kate Chopin "The Story of an Hour" (322)

Charoltte Perkins Gilman "The Yellow Wallpaper" (331)

After you complete reading, be sure to visit the Discussion Board and participate in this week's discussion.

Post at least three full paragraphs of your rough draft for Textual Analysis # 1 beneath the discussion board "Peer Review for Textual Analysis # 1." Give feedback on at least 2 peers' drafts using the discussion questions I've posted in the directions on that Discussion Thread. Deadlines: Post your rough draft by Wed. Sept. 27th. Peer review is to be completed by Sat. Sept. 30.

Week 6

October 2-8

Textual Analysis #1 due by 11:59 pm on Sunday October 8th

Read Assignment for Response Paper #2 by clicking on the 'Literature Response Papers' button.

Before reading, please see the Lecture Notes for week 6 after clicking on the 'Lecture Notes' navigation button. This will help you find important materials in the literature.

Tim O'Brien; "The Things They Carried" (Vintage 366)
Wilfred Owen; "Dulce et Decorum Est" (470)

"War Poetry" (471)

After you complete reading, be sure to visit the Discussion Board and participate in this week's discussion.

Week 7, October 9-15, Dunbar and Harlem Renaissance


Dunbar and Cullen Handout

Response paper #2 by 11:59 pm on Sunday October 15th

Before reading, please see the Lecture Notes for week 7 after clicking on the ?Lecture Notes? navigation button. This will help you find important materials in the literature.



Research Booker T. Washington and WEB DuBois

Post your findings about each in Discussion Board, being sure to add to and/or respond to three students with the information you found.



The poems here should be considered in the Harlem Renaissance section of the course

Paul Laurence Dunbar; "We Wear the Mask" Handout

"Ante-Bellum Sermon" Handout

After you complete reading, be sure to visit the Discussion Board and participate in this week's discussion.

Week 8


October 16-22

Before reading, please see the Lecture Notes for week 8 after clicking on the 'Lecture Notes' navigation button. This will help you find important materials in the literature.

The Sonnet

Shakespeare; "My Mistress' Eyes Are" (841)

Countee Cullen; "From the Dark Tower" (Same handout from Week 7)

"Yet Do I Marvel" (Same handout from Week 7)

Jazz Poetry and Langston Hughes

Langston Hughes; "The Negro Speaks of Rivers" (752)

"Mother to Son" (752)

"Harlem" (758)

After you complete reading, be sure to visit the Discussion Board and participate in this week's discussion.

Finally, begin thinking of which text you will write on for Textual Analysis #2, due November 5th.

Week 9


October 23-29

Before reading, please see the Lecture Notes for week 9 after clicking on the 'Lecture Notes' navigation button. This will help you find important materials in the literature.

William Butler Yeats; "The Second Coming: (661)
Ee cummings "anyone lived in a pretty how town" (492)

After you complete reading, be sure to visit the Discussion Board and participate in this week's discussion.

Week 10

October 30- November 5

Textual Analysis #2 by 11:59 pm on Sunday November 5th

Before reading, please see the Lecture Notes for week 10 after clicking on the 'Lecture Notes' navigation button. This will help you find important materials in the literature.

Read Assignment for Response Paper #3 by clicking on the 'Literature Response Papers' button.

Robert Frost

"The Road Not Taken" (648)

"Stopping By the Woods on a Snowing Evening" (798)

TS Eliot; "Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" (791)

William Carlos Williams "Red Wheel Barrow" (462)

After you complete reading, be sure to visit the Discussion Board and participate in this week's discussion.

Week 11



November 6-12

Before reading, please see the Lecture Notes for week 11 after clicking on the "Lecture Notes" navigation button. This will help you find important materials in the literature.

Percy Bysshe Shelley; "Ozymandias" (723)

Alice Walker "Everyday Use" (92)

Alice Walker "In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens"

(click the title above for get the article).

After you complete reading, be sure to visit the Discussion Board and participate in this week's discussion

Week 12



November 13-19:

Response paper #3 due by 11:59 pm on Sunday November 19th

Before reading, please see the Lecture Notes for week 12 after clicking on the 'Lecture Notes' navigation button. This will help you find important materials in the literature.

Mona Simpson "Lawns" (Vintage 445)

After you complete reading, be sure to visit the Discussion Board and participate in this week's discussion

Week 13

Week 13 November 20-26, Thanksgiving Break!

Please read over the Assignment sheet and example for the Textual Analysis with research component, which is found in the 'Textual Analyses' section. Also, begin considering which text you will write on, what the thesis will be, and which resources would be good ones to include in the paper.

Week 14: April 24-30, 2006



November 27-December 3

In the discussion board:

Please post at least three paragraphs of your rough draft of the research paper and three examples of resources you will use for the paper to the corresponding discussion board.

Also respond to at least three other students. Specific directions for posting as well as a peer review guide are provided within the board. Give feedback to one or more of your peers.



Week 15

Final paper, the reasearch paper, due by 11:59 December 10th. Please remember no late papers will be accepted!!!
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