MW 2 p.m. -- 3:20 p.m.
Throughout the semester we’ll be primarily doing three things: reading and discussing essays and writing essays of our own. The subject matter of the essays the students will write will often be related to the essays we have been reading. Expectations include correctness in spelling, punctuation and grammar. The essays the students will write will also be expected to be clear in their purpose, content, and development. The papers will be expected to be about 500 words in length, though several of the assignments will need a fuller sense of development than that basic length.
The aim of the writing assignments is to help develop and refine the student’s skills in presenting appropriately descriptive matter, effectively developed argumentation, and sharpness of sustained focus. At the same time, I recognize that writers often consider their writing as a process of discovery more than an articulation of what they have already decided to say before the actual writing begins, and I honor that approach.
The final examination will be an in-class theme that will count double; I do that to emphasize the worth of improvement in one’s writing, which means that when I make out grades, I’ll pay attention to any notable sense of improvement shown by the student during the semester; that means the final grade will, when appropriate, include meditative thinking about the student’s progress and not simply attention to arithmetical averaging.
Regular attendance is expected, though I understand that absences at times may be unavoidable. If possible, I expect the student to tell me about an upcoming absence beforehand. Three or more unexcused absences, however, can have a negative effect on one's grade. I also reserve the right to use my own sense of fair judgment in making that decision. I should add, too, that part of attendance includes effective participation in the class discussions we'll be having.