In this section of 2623 we will read representative works of late 19th and 20th century American literature in a roughly chronological order. We will read poetry, two novels, and several short stories, as well as examine the cross-fertilization of the arts and culture by listening to some music and exploring the visual arts. To cover this immensely rich period in our literary history at all adequately in one semester is literally impossible and means leaving out much that is undeniably important; it also means reading a lot. Although I have made a point of keeping our reading load relatively light, we will be covering a fair amount of material in each class session, some of which we might not actually discuss in class depending on where our discussions lead us. What we do not cover in discussion will often be covered in your daily in-class writings.
Additional information about course objectives can be found on the department webpage, http://libarts.mwsu.edu/english/.
You will write frequently in 2623, 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 25%
Exam 1 25%
Exam 2 25%
Final Exam 25%
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.
I will be happy to try to explain the rationale behind any grade; however, I absolutely do not negotiate, haggle, or argue about grades. Part of my job is to evaluate your work and to assign a written grade to it. I do that to the best of my ability the first time. The bottom line is that you have to take responsibility for your own education.
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. Likewise, each time a student is seen playing with his or her cellphone or ipod during class they will automatically lose credit for the day—any in-class writings, quizzes, homework assignments due that day will receive a minus. I will tell students they are losing credit for the day for the first few weeks of class, after which it is not my responsibility to alert them. 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.