IV Overview of the Course Purpose/ Description: Provide an introduction to the subject matter and course content.
Advanced Studies in the Novella and Short Fiction explores a limited number of extraordinary novellas and short stories from around the world in their historical, cultural, and especially literary contexts. The course aims to deepen the students’ knowledge in the following areas: 1) Literary History; 2) Literary Genres; 3) Critical Interpretation of Literary Texts; 4) Literary and Critical Terminology and Concepts; and 5) Scholarly writing.
V Learning Outcomes: Explain how each of the following learning outcomes will be achieved.
Student learning outcomes :
Use writing to learn and synthesize new concepts
For the first two (of three) essay assignments, students are asked to come up with their own topics and, where appropriate, to bring bear whatever ideas and concepts from literary and cultural theory will assist them in the exploration of those topics. In all assignments, I push the students not to do what they’ve already done in past essays, but to develop new ideas, to try out new (to them) theoretical approaches, to see what they can discover and work through; to see, in other words, where their ideas will lead. The third essay is a revision and elaboration of either essay 1 or essay 2.
Formulate and express written opinions and ideas that are developed, logical, and organized
Each essay begins with a formal essay proposal where the students outline their topic and working thesis and note key passages they will focus on. I then respond to the proposals, offering comments and suggestions where necessary. From there, especially for the first assignment, I offer a series of handouts/Moodle postings reminding students of the basics of essay writing (introductions/thesis statements, topic sentences, how to quote and analyze the key passages they quote, etc), and frequently discuss writing strategies in class. Between the handouts/Moodle postings, mini-lectures, and meetings with students during office hours, I emphasize the need for logic, evidence, close reading skills, clearly developed paragraphs, transitions, and so on: I hammer away—nicely—at the basics: be logical, impose a structure on your essay/ideas, develop ideas in depth. Once I comment on and return the essays, the students have the option of rewriting one of them to further address issues of logic, development, insight, and so on.
Compose written documents that are appropriate for a given audience, purpose and context
The handouts noted above also speak to matters of audience and purpose.
Revise written work based on constructive comments from the instructor
As noted above, the students are required to revise either essay 1 or essay 2, taking into account my comments and their own further thinking on the topic/essay.
Find, evaluate, and use information effectively and ethically (see http://www.lib.umt.edu/informationliteracy/)
At the 300 level, I encourage students to undertake (and incorporate directly into their essays) historical research relating to their topics. We discuss appropriate sources, evaluating sources, and the proper modes of documentation and citation. At the same time, I also encourage students to apply ideas and approaches from different theoretical schools. Once more, we discuss appropriate documentation and citation.
Begin to use discipline-specific writing conventions
The handouts/Moodle postings!
Demonstrate appropriate English language usage
For the first essay, I tell the students I’m looking for solid, straight-forward prose. Thereafter, depending upon the student, I get them to work on areas of specific development: if the student has problems with writing, I urge basic, straight-forward sentences/grammar; if the student is already an accomplished writer, I get them to work on their voice and style, mixing up types of sentences and experimenting with specialized effects.
Enrollment is capped at 25 students.
If not, list maximum course enrollment. Explain how outcomes will be adequately met for this number of students. Justify the request for variance.
Capped at 25.
What instructional methods will be used to teach students to write for specific audiences, purposes, and genres?
Which written assignments will include revision in response to instructor’s feedback?
Essay 3 is a revision/elaboration of either essay 1 or essay 2.
VII. Writing Assignments: Please describe course assignments. Students should be required to individually compose at least 16 pages of writing for assessment. At least 50% of the course grade should be based on students’ performance on writing assignments. Clear expression, quality, and accuracy of content are considered an integral part of the grade on any writing assignment.
Formal Graded Assignments
Essay 1: 6+ pages
Essay 2: 6+ pages
Essay 3: 8+ pages; a revision of either essay 1 or essay 2 (after it has been graded and returned to the students)
Final Exam: 2 Essays, 2+ pages each.
Informal Ungraded Assignments
VIII. Syllabus: Paste syllabus below or attach and send digital copy with form.
For assistance on syllabus preparation see: http://teaching.berkeley.edu/bgd/syllabus.html
3. Detailed requirements for all writing assignments or append writing assignment instructions
Paste syllabus here.
(Note: After not teaching this course for some time, I am currently redesigning it and will be teaching it in the Spring of 2013. I would be happy to supply the new syllabus when it’s ready. For an example of a working syllabus and first essay assignment, please see the form for LIT 314 [also submitted for review at this time].)