English 1900g: Introduction to English Language and Literature (Spring 2017)Posted: December 14, 2016
Note: This is a draft syllabus based on Fall 2014, which I am providing for planning purposes. The readings will be the same in Spring 2017. Assessment and precise scheduling are subject to change before the last day of add/drop.
About this course
English 1900 is the introductory course in our department. It is a prerequisite for all higher level courses.
The purpose of English 1900 is to introduce students to the study of literature and to provide opportunity to practice analytical reading, thinking, and writing about texts.
This section of English 1900 will focus particularly on discovery and communication: uncovering our (often unrealised) critical responses to texts and developing these into compelling and interesting arguments.
Times and location
MWF 15:00-15:50 Room B 650.
Office and Office Hours
Office hours: Mondays, 2pm-3pm; Tuesdays 1pm-2pm (and by appointment or drop in).
Note: I am usually in my office and you are welcome to drop by. If I am unavailable, if there is a yellow or a red hanger on the door handle, I am busy and would prefer if you came back later unless it is an emergency. Otherwise, feel free to knock.
My office is room B810B.
My email is email@example.com.
My telephone number is +1 403 329-2377.
English 1900 is the required introductory course in the department. The calendar description is as follows:
An introduction to the study of English language and literature, involving an exploration of various genres of literature and non-literary texts and requiring a series of critical assignments designed to encourage analytical reading, thinking and writing.
Within this broad rubric instructors are free to set their own themes and texts. In this section, our focus will be on discovery and communication: uncovering our (often unrealised) critical responses to texts and developing these into compelling and interesting conversations with others. These are essential skills in literary studies and the humanities more generally. Their acquisition is the principal goal of a humanities education.
We will be taking a constructivist approach to practising these skills. Students will be largely responsible for the direction of class content, within the framework sketched out in the class schedule below. The class will consist almost entirely of in-class discussion, with our topics for discussion being determined for the most part by student interests as reflected in weekly blogging assignments.
The section will also expose students to a variety of different communication contexts. In addition to their weekly blogs, students will also write two “unessays” (free-form writing in which the only requirement is that you develop and communicate your ideas in a compelling fashion), one formal essay (an essay in which you will be graded on both the quality of your ideas and ability to communicate and more formal aspects of style, citation format, and the like), blog responses, reviews, and a final exam.
By the end of the course students should have an understanding of the conventions, processes, and skills required for University-level literary research. This involves the ability to
- recognise and develop appropriate and original literary topics and arguments
- identify and marshal appropriate supporting evidence from primary and secondary sources
- accommodate, modify, or refute arguments and evidence of others in students’ own work
- present research and arguments in a variety of standard formats including essays and class discussion
- help themselves and others improve their work through the revision process.
- Carson, Anne. The Beauty of the Husband. Vintage. 9780375707575
- Harrison, Selected poems
- Heaney, Selected poems
- O’Connor, Flannery. “A good man is hard to find.” (Moodle).
- Sawai, Gloria. “The Day I Sat with Jesus on the Sundeck and a Wind Came Up and Blew My Kimono Open and He Saw My Breasts.” (Moodle).
- Stoppard, Tom. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. ISBN 9780802132758
- Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (O’Donoghue transl.). ISBN 9780140424539
- Thompson, Hunter S. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. ISBN 0679785892
- Woolf, Virginia. To the Lighthouse. ISBN 9780156907392
- All texts are required;
- To assist you in finding the specific copies we will be using, I have provided ISBN information for the books you are required to purchase. The format used in this list is not the same as that required for the works cited list for your formal essay.
The evaluation scheme presented here should be considered tentative and open to change until the beginning of the last class before the Add/Drop deadline.
|Quizzes and participation||5%|
|Responses on student drafts||5%|
|Other two essays/unessays||15% (7.5% each)|
In my classes, I use two grading scales: one for formative work, the other for summative.
Formative grade scale
Formative work is usually graded on a pass/fail (100/0) basis. I may also supply a letter grade to give you a finer sense of how you did, but this grade generally does not contribute to your grade. I reserve the right to award a bonus to work that significantly exceeds expectations.
Summative grade scale
I use this table in different ways depending on the nature of the work.
- For tests of specific skills or knowledge (such as identification questions in literature classes, or fact-oriented tests in grammar and language classes), I usually assign a numeric score, which is easily converted to a percentage.
- For essays, presentations, and other qualitatively evaluated work, I usually grade by letter. This is then converted to a percentage using the third row (“Conventional value”). Thus a letter grade of “A,” for example, will be converted to 92% for purposes of calculation. A letter grade of “D+” will be converted to 60%. A grade of “F” is assigned an arbitrary percentage based on my sense of your performance. Usually this is a common fraction (e.g. 40%, 33.4%, 25%, 10%).
In marking work I try to keep the University’s official description of these grades in mind (a description can be found in the University Calendar, Part IV.3.a). If you get an A it means I think your work is excellent; a B means I think your work is good; a C means I think it is satisfactory; a D that I think it is barely acceptable (minimal pass); and an F that I think it is failing to meet University-level standards.
Tests, Exams, and Quizzes
Essays and Reports
Note: This is the schedule from Fall 2013. I will be making some changes before the first class to reflect the new reading list.
|Wed. 11/1||Sawai||All students blog|
|Fri. 13/1||O’Connor||All students blog|
|2||Mon. 16/1||O’Connor||All students blog|
|Wed. 18/1||Blog audit||Please read all blogs thus far before class|
|Fri. 20/1||Sir Gawain||All students blog|
|3||Mon. 23/1||Students A-F Blog due by Sunday Midnight|
|Wed. 25/1||Students G-M Blog due by Tuesday Midnight|
|Fri. 27/1||Unessay Q&A||Students N-Z Blog due by Thursday Midnight|
|4||Sunday 29/1||Unessay 1 draft due no later than midnight (hard deadline)|
|Mon. 30/1||Unessay Draft Discussion||Come to class prepared to discuss your draft|
|Tuesday 31/1||Unessay 1 review/suggestions due no later than midnight (hard deadline)|
|Wed. 1/2||Unessay Review||Come to class prepared to discuss the recommendations you made|
|Fri. 3/2||Unessay Response||Come to class prepared to discuss the edits you intend to make|
|5||Sunday 5/2||Unessay 1 final draft due|
|Mon. 6/2||Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas||Students A-F Blog due by Sunday Midnight|
|Wed. 8/2||Students G-M Blog due by Tuesday Midnight|
|Fri. 10/2||Students N-Z Blog due by Thursday Midnight|
|6||Mon. 13/2||Woolf, To the Lighthouse||Students G-M Blog due by Sunday Midnight|
|Wed. 15/2||Students N-Z Blog due by Tuesday Midnight|
|Fri. 17/2||Students A-F Blog due by Thursday Midnight|
|20/2-17/2 Reading Week No Classes|
|7||Sunday 26/2||Unessay 2 draft due no later than midnight (hard deadline)|
|Mon. 27/2||Unessay review||Come to class prepared to discuss your unessay draft; Students G-M Blog due by Sunday Midnight|
|Wed. 1/3||Carson, The Beauty of the Husband||Students N-Z Blog due by Tuesday Midnight|
|Fri. 3/3||Students A-F Blog due by Thursday Midnight|
|8||Sunday 5/3||Unessay 2 due|
|Mon. 6/3||Students N-Z Blog due by Sunday Midnight|
|Wed. 8/3||Students A-F Blog due by Tuesday Midnight|
|Fri. 10/3||Students G-M Blog due by Thursday Midnight|
|9||Monday 13/3|| Heaney and Harrison (Moodle)
* Harrison On Not Being Milton
*Harrison Them and [uz]
*Heaney Singing School: 1. Ministry of Fear (i.e. you only have to read the first section).
|Students N-Z Blog due by Sunday Midnight|
|Wed. 15/3||Students A-F Blog due by Tuesday Midnight|
||Students G-M Blog due by Thursday Midnight|
|10||Mon. 20/3||Stoppard, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead||Free choice of blog date|
|Wed. 22/3||Free choice of blog date|
|Fri. 24/11||Free choice of blog date|
|11||Sunday 26/1||Unessay 3 draft due no later than midnight (hard deadline)|
|Mon. 27/3||Unessay draft||Come to class prepared to discuss your unessay|
|Tuesday 28/3||Unessay 3 review/suggestions due no later than midnight (hard deadline)|
|Wed. 29/3||Unessay review||Come to class prepared to discuss the essay your responded to|
|Fri. 31/3||Formal essay Q&A|
|12||Monday 4/4||Revision discussion||Come to class prepared to discuss your plans for revision|
|Wed. 5/4||Revision/editing discussion|
|Sun. 9/4||Final Paper Due.|
|11/4-22/4||Final Exam Period|