English 130: Introduction to Literature

Spring 2008 Syllabus

 

Section: 1DL                                                                                         Instructor: Geneva Chao

Room: clark.blackboard.com                                              Office: Foster Hall 105

Meeting Times: online, M-F                           

E-mail: gchao@clark.edu                                                       

Office Hours: by appointment or see http://web.clark.edu/gchao for drop-in times

 

Course Description:

This class is an introductory three-credit literature course that aims to give you a broad-based understanding of poetry, fiction, and drama both as genres and as they contribute to and intersect with your everyday life.

 

College Abilities:

We will hone our skills in Critical Thinking, Communication, and Lifelong Learning in this course.

 

Course Requirements:

There are three main requirements for this course:

Requirement:                                                                                    Why we do it:

Weekly readings using active reading (note-taking/question-answering) techniques, documented by hand in the Active Reading Notebook. Specific requirements for the Active Reading Notebook are in the Assignments section of your Blackboard course.

Two reasons: 1)our normal interaction with literature is as a reader, not writer or critic; this requirement recognizes that reading is a skill and gives you a chance to get credit for reading. 2)“Active Reading” is a specific reading technique that helps you start thinking critically about literature.

Weekly Discussion Board posts (based on readings). Each week there will be a set topic for DB with a prompt. Posts are due twice weekly, on Mondays and Wednesdays (by end of day, 11:59 p.m. at latest).

Discussion Board is our chance to exchange ideas and offer help and perspectives to others. This expands our own understanding of literature and how it relates to us both as individuals and as a community.

Papers: we will write three papers over the course of the quarter. The first paper will be on poetry, the second on fiction, and the third will be interdisciplinary. Details on paper requirements/topics are available in the Assignments are of Blackboard.

Critical essays on literature give you an opportunity to articulate your thoughts in a cohesive, organized way. They also help you practice and improve your sentence, paragraph, and argument-writing skills.

 

Your grade is based on the following:

 

1.       Thought, effort, and progress in noticing and reading critically displayed in Active Reading Notebook. (20 pts)

2.      Participation: timeliness of posts, courtesy, and peer helping in Blackboard discussion. (20 pts)

3.      Three papers:

a.       Poetry paper (20 pts)

b.      Fiction paper (20 pts)

c.       Cross-genre or drama paper (20 pts)

 

 

TOTAL 100 pts. (standard grade scale)

 

 

 

For specific grading guidelines, refer to the assignment sheet for each individual assignment.

 

Content Areas for the class:

 

Assignments, Discussion Board, and Readings are all due by a specific date and time. Our weekly readings should be complete before the start of the week; thus, they’re listed on the Calendar on Sundays. Weekly DB posts are due Monday and Wednesday. You’re responsible for reading all DB posts, those by your instructor and your peers, and I will assume you’re familiar with all ideas/information contained therein.

Papers are due to Assignments by 11:59 p.m. on the day they appear on your Calendar.

 

 

Texts and Materials

 

Texts:

 

1.       The Compact Bedford Introduction to Literature, 7th Edition, by Michael Meyer.

2.      Companion website for the book, http://bcs.bedfordstmartins.com/meyercompact/default.asp

 

Other Materials:

 

1. Active Reading Journal. Your Active Reading Journal must be contained within one of the following:

                  - a spiral notebook (zip-out pages recommended in case you need to use a piece of paper for something else), or

                  - loose-leaf notebook paper contained in a binder.

Your ARJ must be kept by hand; you will hand it in at the end of the quarter, and I will return it to you. Keep in mind that if you do not come to campus you may mail it to me, but you are responsible for return postage.

 

Class Policies

 

Late Policy: late work receives zero credit unless you have prearranged for an extension. The only exception is unforeseeable catastrophic illness or accident (e.g. you were in a car accident the day something was due and ended up in the hospital), which I sincerely hope you avoid! If you have a situation that may cause you to need an extension on an assignment, please discuss with me well before the due date.

 

Class Participation: Please participate as generously, respectfully, and thoughtfully as you can. This is a three-credit class and is designed to be flexible and enjoyable. Your thoughts and comments can really change someone’s experience of the readings. By the same token, please try to keep your posts thoughtful, dense, and informative so that your classmates don’t end up spending hours clicking on posts, only to read things like “Thanks!” or “Great idea!”

 

Plagiarism: This class is about expanding your understanding and enjoyment of literature and practicing expressing your thoughts in an articulate and responsible way. Plagiarism is both unnecessary and demoralizing. It will result in a failing grade on the assignment, in the course, or both.

Standard documentation format for this class is MLA style. If you have a question about how to use MLA documentation to avoid plagiarism, ask me or visit the Cannell Library pages on plagiarism: http://www.clark.edu/Library/Plagiarism/index.html and on citing using MLA format: http://www.clark.edu/Library/Instruction/citing_sources.html.

 

 

Americans with Disabilities Act Accommodations: If you have, or think you have, a disability that interferes with your performance in this course, you are invited to speak with the Disability Support Services office in Gaiser Hall or at 992-2580 for assistance.

 

Emergency Information (included in all syllabi per college policy):

 

In emergencies, students should do the following:

  1. Inclement weather or emergency information

Go to www.clark.edu or call 360-992-2000 as your first means of getting information.  The College does send notices to radio and television stations, but the College’s web site and switchboard are the official platforms for the most accurate information.

 

  1. Immediate emergency communication alert

To receive immediate notice on emergencies, you can register your cell phone number to receive text pages and your email address to receive email messages.  To do this, go to www.flashalert.net .  Select “Subscribe” on the left, and follow the instructions. Mass communication will also be sent to all college employee phones and computers.

 

  1. Fire Alarm

Evacuate the building through closest exit; evacuation maps are located in the hallways. Take personal belongings only if it is safe to do so.  Remain at least 50 feet from the building.  Notify others of evacuation.  Do not re-enter building until instructed to do so.

 

  1. Parking Lot Identifiers

New parking lot identifiers using colors and numbers have been assigned to all Clark parking lots.  To help emergency or security personnel locate you, please refer to these identifying features.

  1. Security Escort

Security Officers are available for escorts; please call 360-992-2133.

 

 

Course Calendar: The Course Calendar is included in the Course Information folder and lists all due dates. Please print out a copy and keep it in your Active Reading Journal.

 

 

Course Calendar:

 

Introduction to Literature:   Assignments   Readings   Discussion Board   Reg. Deadlines     Other

Note: All dates listed are dates by which readings/assignments must be complete, not when they are assigned.

 

Wk/Mo.

Sunday

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

1

April

6

Introduction, pp. 1-7: “Reading Poetry,” pp. 563-571, 582-584

7

 

 

 

First day of classes

8

 

 

 

Last day to register online

9

DB: guidelines for posting and introductions

Learning Contract due; no-show drops processed

10

 

 

11

DB: paraphrase Billy Collins

 

Last day to drop online/Last day for 100% refund

12

2

13

“Poetry in Popular Forms,” 593-595; “Images,” pp. 644-651

14

DB: response to Williams, Solway, Arnold, or Baca

 

15

16

DB: response to poets (tone).

 

17

18

Last day to drop without a “W”

19

3

20

“A Study of Emily Dickinson,” 803-829

21

DB: “I like a look of Agony”

22

23

DB: “I dwell in Possibility”

24

25

Last day to drop for 50% refund

26

4

April/May

27

“A Study of Robert Frost,” 844-875

28

DB: “Mending Wall”

29

30

DB: “The Gift Outright”

May 1

2

Poetry Paper Due

3

5

4

“Reading Fiction,” 13-19 and 23-45

5

DB: Compare and Contrast: “Secret Sorrow” and “Sorrowful Woman”

6

7

DB: Response to Jefferson (45)

8

9

10

6

11

Hemingway/Weldon, 154-167

12

DB: Setting and Place

13

14

DB: B.S. detector (per Hemingway)

15

16

17

7

18

 Moore/  O’Brien, 466-482

19

DB: Advice on Storytelling

20

21

DB: What is a “true” story? Where is the “truth” in fiction?

22

23

Last day to withdraw for the quarter

Fiction Paper Due

24

8

25

“Reading Drama,/Trifles” 997-1018

26

DB: Elements of Drama

27

28

DB: Elements of Drama

29

30

 

31

9

June

June 1

The Reprimand, 1528-30

2

DB: Dialogue in Drama

3

4

DB: Relationship in Drama: Trifles/Reprimand

5

6

Last day to change to P/NP option

7

10

8

 “Seinfeld”/ ”Will and Grace,” 1018-1035

9

DB: Characterization

10

11

DB: Jack/George  

 

Active Reading Notebook Due to my office, FHL 222

12

13

Last Day of Classes

 

Final Paper Due

14

11

15

16

 

17

18

19

 

 

    

 

Further notes: per the legend at the top of this page, all Calendar items are color-coded according to content area.  All due dates end at 11:59 p.m. on the day listed; after that, a requirement is late and earns zero points.

 

Readings are in Blue. For each reading, you are expected to have one Active Reading Journal entry (~1 page) in your Active Reading Journal when you hand it in on or before June 11.

Assignments are in red. Assignments handouts are posted in the Assignments area of Blackboard and are handed in there by uploading a .doc or .rtf. Note that no other file types (no Works or .docx, the new Word, files) are accepted.

Discussion Board posts are in green. These are listed on the days they are due. The DB forum for each week will be posted by Thursday of the previous week (including detailed instructions on what/how to post) in the Discussion Board area of Blackboard.