Special Topics: Science Fiction

Course Details

Course Number: 3723  Section Number: 101

Fall 2010

Location: Bea Wood Hall

Classroom Number: 226

Days & Times:

TR 12:30-1:50

Course Attachments

Class Schedule  Sci Fi Calendar-20120403-152709.doc


The Time Machine
Wells, H.G. The Time Machine. Penguin
  ISBN: 0-141-43997-1

Fahrenheit 451
Bradbury, Ray. Fahrenheit 451. Del Ray
  ISBN: 0-345-34296-8

Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein. Penguin
  ISBN: 0-141-43947-5

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
Dick, Philip K. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Del Ray
  ISBN: 0-345-40447-5

Childhood’s End
Clarke, Arthur C. Childhood’s End. Del Ray
  ISBN: 978-0-345-34795-4

MSU Faculty Member
Dr. David Rankin   
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Course Objectives


Fundamentals of Fiction.  Students can identify and analyze such major elements of science fiction as subject, theme, character, point of view, setting, tone, mood, irony, metaphor, imagery, and symbolism.

Critical Inquiry.  Students engage in increasingly sophisticated discourse and demonstrate aesthetic and critical discernment through close textual analysis.

Rhetorical knowledge.  Students will demonstrate stylistic maturity and rhetorical effectiveness in their discussions and written critical analyses of science fiction

Course Expectations


Class participation with daily evaluations                 30%

Four critical papers (10%, 10%, 15%, 20%)             55%

Essay final exam                                                        15%      

Grading Standards

The Writing Competency Rubric (copy attached) contains the standards for evaluating and grading writing.  Make it your friend.  Written handouts explaining each assignment will complement the Rubric.

Final Exam12/9/2010  10:30-12:30

Submission Format Policy

All papers must be submitted in the format prescribed by the Modern Language Association (MLA).

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.

Late Paper Policy

The four out-of-class critical essays are due at the beginning of class (12:30) on the day specified on the course calendar (copy attached).  Late papers turned in within 24 hours of this time will be lowered one letter grade.  Papers more than 24 hours late will not be accepted.

Plagiarism Policy 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 quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

Student Honor Creed

As an MSU Student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else do so."

As students at MSU, we recognize that any great society must be composed of empowered, responsible citizens. We also recognize universities play an important role in helping mold these responsible citizens. We believe students themselves play an important part in developing responsible citizenship by maintaining a community where integrity and honorable character are the norm, not the exception. Thus, We, the Students of Midwestern State University, resolve to uphold the honor of the University by affirming our commitment to complete academic honesty. We resolve not only to be honest but also to hold our peers accountable for complete honesty in all university matters. We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one's own, work or ideas which are not entirely one's own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student. We expect of ourselves academic integrity, personal professionalism, and ethical character. We appreciate steps taken by University officials to protect the honor of the University against any who would disgrace the MSU student body by violating the spirit of this creed. Written and adopted by the 2002-2003 MSU Student Senate.

Students with Disabilities The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, 397-4140.

Safe Zones Statement The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor's expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

Contacting your Instructor All instructors in the Department have voicemail in their offices and MWSU e-mail addresses. Make sure you add your instructor's phone number and e-mail address to both email and cell phone lists of contacts.

Attendance Requirements

With 30% of your grade based on class participation, attendance is essential for success in this class.  If you must miss a class, please let me know ahead of time (email or voicemail) and take full responsibility for all that takes place in the class that you miss

Other Policies

Draft Policy

For your four critical papers, I will read and comment on as many drafts of each paper as you are willing to write.  On each draft, I will identify 2-4 “targets” for improvement and will make suggestions about how you should proceed.  Usually (not on weekends) I will get drafts back to you the next day, sometimes the same day.  If you want a faster response, bring a draft to my office during office hours.  Give this some serious thought.

Writing Proficiency Requirement All students seeking a Bachelor's degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they've 1) passed English 1113 and English 1123 and 2) earned 60 hours. You may meet this requirement by passing either the Writing Proficiency Exam or English 2113. Please keep in mind that, once you've earned over 90 hours, you lose the opportunity to take the $25 exam and have no option but to enroll in the three-credit hour course. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at http://academics.mwsu.edu/wpr, or call 397-4131.