Some Topics that We Will Address in this Class:
"Close reading" is a skill that can be
applied to your reading regardless of the theoretical orientation that
you are exploring. We will begin the semester with close reading of short stories and poems to analyze content and form.
In this class, we will explore different approaches and techniques for reading, so be ready to look at texts from a variety of different perspectives.
We will use Culler's Literary Theory
to give you an overview of the key theoretical issues for literary
studies in the early 21st century. We will also consult
various sources online and at the library to help you develop a
vocabulary of key terms and concepts necessary for English
studies. The research project will require reading and
understanding what you read.
All reading assignments will be listed on the Schedule of Assignments. (This will be linked to your D2L page and regularly updated.)
am interested in seeing how you respond to texts and in helping you use
texts to rethink and develop your ideas. Expect detailed comments
on proposals and papers. My usual turn-over for grading is 10
days to two weeks (less for exams, more for the final paper).
essays and most out-of-class assignments will be submitted to a D2L
drop box. Deadlines for all essays are Fridays at midnight.
The penalty for all late graded assignments is one point off for the first 1-24 hours that it is late, 2 additional points for the next 1-24 hours, and 3 points off for each of the next three days. After five days, the penalty goes up to 10 points for each day. This very lenient late work policy is aimed at encouraging students to do their best work without encouraging them to delay submitting their work indefinitely. Perfection is impossible. A timely submission (no more than 24 hours late) is usually in a student's best interests.
your work is very late (more than 5 days), my turn-around time
for grading your work may be longer than my usual estimate. This is not
intended as a punishment but is a side-effect of my having other things
scheduled for the relevant period.
Short assignments will not receive a grade if they are more than a week late but they may still be required. Quizzes may not be made up. Exams may be made up with a satisfactory excuse, otherwise they will have a penalty of 5 points for each calendar day that the exam is delayed. (It is not fair to other students to give one student extra time without good reason.)
Attendance is important because class participation is important. If you are not in class, you can not participate.
want students to think about and discuss the assigned reading
material. I make allowances for shyness, but I want to see signs
of engagement (nodding, shaking head, smiling or frowning as
appropriate to others' comments) in all students. There are no stupid
comments, no stupid questions--only stupid silences. The
D2L message board discussion is a good place to speak up and "earn"
participation credit, but it doesn't make up for lack of engagement in
class or excessive absences.
Courtesy towards others is important. Listen when others are speaking and avoid responses or comments that others may find painful or offensive. Note that texting, tweeting, e-mailing and reading or writing any material that is not part of the class is not allowed. I do allow computers and e-readers in class, but I expect you to use them to support you through the discussion, not to take the place of classroom interaction. Because eating in class can distract other students, no food is allowed, though you may bring coffee, sodas etc. to keep you going.
For each absence over 4, regardless of reason, you will lose 5 points off the class participation grade. There may also be a grade penalty off the final grade if you are absent more than 9 times unless all nine absences are justified and you do additional work. (You must contact me about justifying absences and make up work as soon as is possible in relation to the excessive absences.)
I will average grades on the following scale:
93 - 100 A
83 - 87 B
73 - 77 C
63 - 67 D
88 - 92 B+
78 - 82 C+
68 - 72 D+
0 - 62 F
grade scale presupposed that an A+ would be 98-102. (My exams and
some other assignments add up to 103 or have extra credit possible.)
The university does not have an "A+" grade, so anything
over a 92 is an A. I do not normally give "minus" grades, but in
where a student has worked hard and is on the borderline, I may give a
B- instead of a C+ or a C- instead of a D+.
get a good grade in this class you must fulfill all course requirements
in a timely fashion according to the standards for this course.
Planning ahead and coming to me for help when you need it is your best
guarantee of success. If you are not comfortable with the grading
scale, the attendance policy, and/or other course requirements, please
do not enroll in this class.
How to Contact Your Teacher:
The best way is e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org).
You may also phone my office at X 2659. Messages left on my office voice mail are usually handled after
I deal with e-mail, so if you really want to get hold of me, e-mail.
Feel free to visit me in my office (PH 323).
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