This course is composed of three general requirements: reading, writing, and attendance. The two former requirements will be on-going throughout the semester, will require regular contributions, and may be comprised of various assignments. Since this is a discussion and workshop course, attendance is crucial to your success and will be calculated into your grade.
Each lesson’s major focus will be reading primary texts (the literature) and secondary texts (critical response to the literature). Reading quizzes will test your knowledge of the materials, focusing on factual details like plot points, rather than interpretative readings. Students should take thorough notes as they read—like character names, plot points, and other details—that will help them on quizzes and later analysis of the texts in their writing.
Reading quizzes and in-class assignments cannot be made up for any reason.
Students will research and write four significant additions to LitWiki. These projects will involve contributions to the study guides for the literature we are studying in class. Students will research and write about an aspect of a text we are studying and present their work on LitWiki to improve and expand the study guide content. Projects could include, but are not limited to:
- textual summary;
- character overview;
- theme explanation;
- symbol/metaphor analysis;
- historical context/timeline;
- critical reaction;
- content expansion and revision;
- or propose another project.
Each student starts off with a perfect attendance score. Each class absence subtracts 10 points; tardies will cost 5 points. Note, too, students will also be held accountable for the official attendance policy under course policies.
Our introduction to college literary studies this semester will have two required texts:
- Sipiora, Phillip (January 1, 1994). Reading and Writing About Literature. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
- Wilson, August (2020) . Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. New York: Plume. ISBN 9780593184967.
Your course book(s) or readings should always accompany you to class, as we will make heavy use of them in our daily discussions. Please do not come to class without it: we need the texts for class activities, in-class writing, and all aspects of our study. PDFs must be printed if they are used in class—this includes exams. Failure to do so will earn you an absence.
You should also bring an ink interface of some sort, as well as dead trees on which to take notes. Notes should not only reflect good listening skills, but individual interest in every topic discussed in class.
- This is the general percentage breakdown for these requirements. As I use a point system for evaluation, the percentages are just an estimate.
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