CLASS HOURS: T TH 2:00-3:15 PM, JR244,
Class Number 16111
OFFICE: 803 Sierra Tower
WEB SITE: http://www.csun.edu/~sk36711/WWW/355/
Writing about literature involves a complex assortment of skills: critical analysis, ability to perceive the formal shape of literature, historical knowledge, and an understanding of the professional conventions of literary criticism. In this class we will explore these fundamental skills and practice them using a variety of literary texts of different types and from different periods.
Students in this course will
- Learn to employ the vocabulary and conventions of professional writing about literature.
- Read a number of literary texts and learn to demonstrate their interpretive skills on these works in written form.
- Become familiar with the techniques of formal and historical literary analysis.
- Old English Riddles (Handout)
- Selected Poems by Tony Harrison and others (Handout)
- Selected Renaissance Lyrics (Handout)
- William Shakespeare, The Tempest
- Salman Rushdie, Shalimar the Clown
Your grade will be based on three essays (75%), a midterm (10%), and your participation (15%) (which will include several small assignments for in-class discussion). The grade for the first essay is divided into two parts, an Introduction (5%) and a finished essay (20%). The second essay will be worth 20%, and the third essay will be worth 25%. Please read my grading policy below.
By enrolling in this course you agree to have read and to abide by the policies listed below the timetable.
Please have the readings done by the day they are listed. If you miss a class, it is your responsibility to find out from me or a classmate if there are changes to the timetable in the course of the semester.
|Week 1||23 Aug||Introduction|
|Week 2||28 Aug||Components of the Literary Essay|
|30 Aug||The Old English Riddles|
|Week 3||4 Sep||Considerations: Audience and Prior Scholarship|
|6 Sep||Introductions Workshop|
|Week 4||11 Sep
||Citation: What to cite and why?|
|13 Sep||Citation format: some examples|
|Week 5||18 Sep||Literary Theses|
|20 Sep||Class Cancelled.|
|Week 6||25 Sep||Using Evidence: How and How much?|
|27 Sep||Midterm Exam|
|Week 7||2 Oct||Context and Intertextuality|
|4 Oct||Reading workshop: Tony Harrison|
|Week 8||9 Oct||Form, Structure, and Imagery|
|11 Oct||Reading the Renaissance Lyric: Formal Analysis|
|Week 9||16 Oct||Practical Criticism Workshop|
|18 Oct||Genre: Literary Context|
|Week 10||23 Oct||The Tempest|
|25 Oct||The Tempest|
|Week 11||30 Oct||The Tempest|
|1 Nov||The Tempest|
|Week 12||6 Nov||Research and Using Criticism|
|8 Nov||Organisation Workshop|
|Week 13||13 Nov||Shalimar the Clown|
|15 Nov||Shalimar the Clown|
|Week 14||20 Nov||Shalimar the Clown|
|Week 15||27 Nov||Essay Workshop|
|29 Nov||Rhetorical Conventions|
|Week 16||4 Dec||Theoretical Considerations|
|6 Dec||Essay Due -- No Class|
All essays must be typed and follow the guidelines in the assignment. Late submissions of work will drop as much as one full grade. Since students in English courses are expected by society at large to be acquiring writing skills, I privilege grammar, spelling, and editing in my grading. Work containing distracting numbers of typos, spelling mistakes, or grammatical errors will be graded primarily on these criteria on a sliding scale. That is, the more distracting these factors are, the more they are worth (up to 100% of your grade). I regret that I am unable to handle extra-credit assignments.
Enrolling in this class requires a commitment to participate in a community of learners in which you agree to contribute to and not to detract from the learning environment. In order to receive full credit for participation, you must do the readings in advance, bring your textbook to each class, be prepared to discuss the materials, and complete all assignments additional to those listed on the syllabus. You must also arrive to class on time, remember to turn off your cell phones completely (vibrate is not good enough), and remain in the classroom for the duration of the class period. For disruptive behaviour (e.g. cell phones, frequent exits from the classroom), I reserve the right to increase the proportion of your final grade allotted to participation as I feel appropriate. There is no automatic credit for attendance. Frequent absences will be noted and may be reflected in your final grade.
It is extremely important that all aspects of your work are come by honourably. Efforts to gain an advantage not given to all students are dishonest and regarded as an extremely serious matter by the academic community. Consequences range from probation to expulsion. University policy stipulates that plagiarism, the submission of another person’s work as your own, is a violation of academic honesty, even if it arises out of ignorance or oversight, rather than deliberate cheating. Enrolling in this class means that you agree to abide by my decision regarding the appropriate action to take in cases of academic dishonesty. If you have any questions about plagiarism, paraphrasing, quoting, or collaboration, please consult me.
Students should make sure that they follow the university's add/drop deadlines, outlined in the Schedule of Classes. According to university policy, drops are only allowed after the set date when "a) there is a serious and compelling reason--specifically the student's emotional or physical health or financial condition is clearly in jeopardy, and b) there is no viable alternative--including repeating the class". Students will need to provide documentation on official letterhead--a letter, on official stationery, from a doctor or an employer--to support their reasons. No adds will be allowed unless a student can provide documented proof--e.g., a clerical error--for the reason for the tardiness. Please make sure to meet the deadline!
The standard grade if a student fails to complete the work for a class is a "W". This is the equivalent of an "F", but the grade may be changed if you re-take the course at a future time. This grade is also assigned to students who have not attended after the first few classes of the semester but have not officially "withdrawn" from the course.
I may assign an Incomplete ("I") if and only if you meet all of the following conditions:
You have completed the vast bulk of the work;
- You are passing the class;
- You fill out and bring to me a "Request for an Incomplete" form (also available from the English Department office), on which I detail exactly what is still needed for completion of the course.
- I can make no exceptions to this policy, even if it affects your financial aid.
Once you take an incomplete, you have a year from the date recorded on the form to complete the requirements of the course and have your grade changed; therefore, you should submit work early enough to allow me to grade your work and fill out the necessary forms to assign you a new grade.
Keep in mind that, after you take an Incomplete, any grading of your work becomes an added burden on my busy timetable during the following year. Therefore you should not expect the normal amount of comments on your work or any extra teaching beyond my normal office hours.