Once upon a time there was a contemporary American short story class which forced its characters to rethink what the story genre could and should do. Sometimes the characters weren't actually characters at all and the plot rarely showed up to class. And one time the denoument got into such a heated rising action with the setting that the dialogue and points of view walked right off the page, forcing your first person narrator to reign in the climax with a rather antagonistic tone. And what's the moral of the story, dear reader? This ain't your mama's short story class.
Additional information about course objectives can be found on the department webpage, http://libarts.mwsu.edu/english/.
You will write frequently in 3293, both in and out of the classroom. In-class writings will include quizzes and various other responses to prompts on topics relevant to that day’s readings or things recently covered. These writing activities will be graded on a plus/check/minus scale: a plus for doing a thorough job (100%), a check for completing the work in an acceptable fashion (70%), and a minus for not completing the work or for obvious lack of effort (0%). Some assignments, depending on length and difficulty, will count for more than one daily grade. You cannot make up in-class writing or homework. This portion of your course work can easily make or break your overall grade, so be sure to keep up with the daily work.
For each class period we have reading you need to come to class with the following (handwritten):
I will pick these up randomly at the beginning of selected classes—some days I will, some days I won’t. When I do, they will count for a daily writing grade.
To succeed on your daily writing you must show that you’ve closely read, have at least a cursory understanding of the material, and address, to the best of your ability, the writing prompts. I do not expect you to remember exact quotations, but examples from the work always help get the point across. It is also good to try to tie in any relevant terminology or critical concepts from class discussions. In-class writing assignments are generally given at the beginning of class. Keep up with the readings, take good class notes, review them before the next class period, and you will do fine.
Read the assigned material by the date listed on the schedule of readings. As you read, take notes and underline/highlight what you believe are key passages in the text (a climactic scene, crucial lines for understanding the work, a summary of the argument, etc.), or things you have trouble understanding. Come to each class with comments and questions!
Assignment % of Grade
Daily Writing/Homework/Participation 20%
Creative Episode Paper 10%
Annotated Bibliography 20%
Final Paper 25%
Final Exam/Presentation 10%
In this class, the following numerical equivalents for final grades are used: A = 100-90%; B = 89-80%; C = 79-70%; D = 69-60%; F = 59-0%.
Plagiarism is the use of someone else’s thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")–whether you use that material in a quotation, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not. I have a zero tolerance for any type of plagiarism. All incidents of plagiarism will be penalized (the paper will receive an automatic F), reported, and kept on file. The second incident of plagiarism in class by the same student will result in the student receiving an F for the course.
All out-of-class assignments must be typed in Times New Roman 12-point black font with one inch margins using MLA format.
By enrolling in this class, the student expressly grants MSU a “limited right” in all intellectual property created by the student for the purpose of this course. The “limited right” shall include but shall not be limited to the right to reproduce the student’s work product in order to verify originality and authenticity, and for educational purposes.
Note: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.
Unless arrangements are made in advance for extenuating circumstances, you will automatically lose a letter grade for each day a paper is late, including weekends. A paper that is more than a week late will automatically receive an F, regardless of the quality of work. You will not be able to make up daily work and there is no extra credit.
Because this is a writing and discussion course and the work we do in class is designed to help you understand the reading and improve your writing skills, you must attend class to do well. Although I do not take daily role, your in-class writing and participation grades should ensure your attendance and preparedness. By not attending regularly you will not understand the critical terminology and concepts necessary to successfully complete the daily writing assignments and larger papers. You are in college; come to class.
Cell phones, laptops, and other electronic devises must be turned off during class. If a student is caught using an electronic device during a quiz or test they will receive a zero on it. Other disruptive behavior, including coming in late on a regular basis, chatting with classmates during class discussion or tests, sleeping, or any other behavior not conducive to a mature learning environment, will first receive a warning; if the behavior continues, an instructor drop will be initiated.
Use staples, not paper clips, binder clips, or dog ears.
Assignments will not be accepted by email or on disk (although I will happily look at email drafts).
If you can't make it to class on the day a major assignment it due, email me in advance and hand it in either during my office hours or into the main English office (216 Bea Wood Hall) by 5:00 the day the paper is due to avoid losing a letter grade for a late paper.