West Chester University
Home Notebook for Topics in Literature: Rites of Passage (Spring 2006) Notebook for Effective Writing I (Spring 2006) Notebook for Topics in Literature: Imaginary Worlds (Fall 2005) Notebook for Effective Writing I (Fall 2005)
Notebook for Topics in Literature: Rites of Passage (Spring 2006)
Notebook for Effective Writing I (Spring 2006)
Notebook for Topics in Literature: Imaginary Worlds (Fall 2005)
Notebook for Effective Writing I (Fall 2005)
Lit 165: Topics in
Instructor: Stacy Tartar Esch
Also visit our Blackboard course site
Course Texts and Materials
The Compact Bedford Introduction to Literature, 7th ed. Michael Meyer, ed.Course Objectives
Bedford/St. Martin’s Press, 2006
A pocket folder to serve as a portfolio
As the course catalog explains, this introductory level literature course is “designed to develop an awareness of literature as being central to all the arts, to increase levels of literacy and critical faculties, and to broaden understanding of the human condition” (WCU Undergraduate Course catalogue). Furthermore, LIT 165 is designated as a “writing emphasis” course, indicating that, along with instruction in interpretive reading skills, the development of students’ creative and analytical writing skills are an objective of the course. There are several formal and informal writing tasks spread evenly throughout the semester, and the most significant portion of your final grade is derived from these writing tasks. Therefore, students should strive for clarity, correctness, and grammatical grace in all written course work. Revisions may be submitted with the final portfolio.Course Components: Reading, Discussing, Writing
The readings are the heart, mind, and soul of our course. You are expected to carefully read each assignment prior to class, even if you personally find it difficult or confusing-even if you think it's "boring." You must make the effort to read through these obstacles. Along with the literature that excites or intrigues you, or the works you find easy but which leave you indifferent, these challenging texts or passages often become excellent springboards for class discussion. Our readings will be truly diverse in range, style, and genre. In addition to a novel, an epic poem, and a play, we'll read several shorter poems and short stories. What will tie them together will our own desire and our own ability to weave a meaningful thread through the imaginary worlds they visit.
Discussion is a term that refers to several different class activities to extend or enhance your thinking about the readings: class-wide, large group discussions; collaborative, small group discussions; and individual response papers, which are meant to be shared with the instructor and potentially with your classmates. Students are expected to attend each class prepared to engage in any of these discussion activities when materials are assigned.
The formal writing assignments for this course will be very open-ended and in some cases creative (that will be up to you). You will be required to develop your own topics and make your own explicit choices regarding purpose (expressive, expository, or persuasive) for the papers you write. I expect you to use MLA style documentation when necessary for all of your formal papers. Three formal papers, 4-6 pages each, and one independent term paper (in lieu of a final exam) are required. The term paper should be longer: 6-8 pages. Students who want to keep working on the formal assignments after they've been assessed will have the opportunity to submit revisions in the final portfolio.The reading, discussion, and informal writing you do throughout the semester will combine to form the PREPARATION AND ORAL PARTICIPATION grade at the end of the semester. Absence (aside from the attendance policy) and lack of preparation for any of the assigned classwork will affect your participation grade. The formal writing assignments and the independent term paper will combine to form your ESSAY grade. If you fail to hand in one of your formal essays you cannot receive more than a "D" for your final course grade, regardless of your other scores. If you fail to hand in more than one of your formal essays, you will receive an "F" for the course. Your final course grade is calculated by compiling your PARTICIPATION, ESSAY, and PORTFOLIO scores as follows:
Late Work. All essays and other assignments are due on the date assigned. If a serious injury, illness, or other emergency prevents you or seems likely to prevent you from meeting a deadline, make arrangements with me before the assignment is due, or the day it is due. If no specific arrangement has been made, late penalties will ensue. Late papers will be assessed a penalty of one letter grade for every two days late (in our age of email, weekends count). You cannot turn in an assignment for full credit more than one week after its due date. After one week, your work can only earn a "D" (numerically 65) or lower.
Portfolio. Each student is required to hand in a portfolio of their writing at the end of the semester. The portfolio assignment (10% of your grade) will ask you to discuss your overall response to the reading and writing you did throughout the semester by compiling your work and writing a commentary.
Attendance. I take attendance each class period. Students are expected to attend every class having read assigned material or prepared assigned homework. Any student who misses more than four classes may receive a lowered grade. (Absences necessitated by a student's participation in a University-sanctioned event are not penalized if the student follows the "excused absence" policy stated in the University catalog.) After four absences your final grade may be lowered according to the severity of your absenteeism and my own discretion. Students with extended medical problems or personal emergencies should notify the Dean of Students, who will contact me about allowing for necessary adjustments. Athletes, student teachers, band members, etc., should provide me with a note from the appropriate professor or coach documenting your need to be away from class. Chronic or extended absence throughout the semester without consultation or permission from the Dean of Students will be grounds for failure. These penalties may be waived only in the case of extreme extenuating circumstances. It is up to the student to provide official verification from the Dean's office of extenuating circumstances, and preferably to discuss these issues with me directly via office visit, phone, or email.
Center. If you are having trouble with a writing assignment, do not
hesitate to bring your problem to my attention or bring your essay to
the Writing Center in Main 203. The Writing Center offers free,
high-quality tutoring to any student who is writing a paper for any
course offered by the college. The staff will assist students at all
stages of the writing process: developing ideas, organizing drafts,
revising, and editing. Tutors will not serve as your proofreaders,
however. Their aim is to help you develop your own skills. You may need
to call ahead for an appointment as the center becomes fairly busy once
the semester is under way. The number is 436-2121. Writing Center hours
Office of Services for Students with Disabilities. I will make accommodations for students with disabilities. If you have a disability, please make your needs known to me and contact the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities at 436-3217 for further support or information.
Diversity and Fair Language. You are required by University policy to use nondiscriminatory language and to treat all issues of diversity respectfully (including, but not limited to, race, sex/gender, ethnicity, disability, and sexual orientation). Read Quick Access, pp.101-103.
Academic Honesty. Plagiarism of any type is a serious academic offense that can result in a failing grade on an assignment, failure of the course, or referral to academic judicial affairs, depending upon the instructor's judgment. You are plagiarizing if you lift either ideas or word-for-word passages from a published book, article, or website without giving credit to the author; pass off another student's work as your own; or allow a "helper" to actually write parts of your paper for you. Don't do it!!! If you have any questions about how to use sources properly, approach me or one of the tutors in the Writing Center. You can also read Quick Access, pp. 126-134.
JAN 17, 19
Introduction: aims of the course, our “rites of passage” theme; defining literature.
Assignment: When you get the textbook, thumb through it until you find one or more works that appeal to you personally, regardless of whether they’re on the course reading list or part of our course theme. Read this selection, twice if you can. You’ll work with this reading in class. You’ll be asked to respond to the reading expressively and to share your response and your ideas about this work with your classmates.
Informal Writing: What makes reading literature rewarding for you personally? What do you think it is that makes someone a “good” reader? How would you define an excellent short story? An average short story? A poorly written story? What are some of the qualities of the story you read that make it either excellent or average or poor? (Due Jan. 24; 10 pts.)
JAN 24, 26
Topic: Defining the art of short fiction
Read course notes online; CBIL as assigned in class.
Read: “The story of an Hour” (15) and “A Sorrowful Woman” (38)
Read: “A & P” (553) and “Eveline” (432)
Informal writing: Once we’re physically born, we will, if we’re lucky, physically grow into adulthood. But some people reach adulthood, middle age, or even old age, and they’ve never “grown up.” In our culture, we might see this as a positive or a negative, depending on the individual. Along the same lines, some individuals try very hard to grow up while others never want to grow up. What are your thoughts about what it means to “grow up”? What are some of the milestones you’ve passed in your own life that have made you feel like you’ve been maturing? Were any of these especially difficult? Is there anything about growing up that you especially look forward to or especially resist? Does your own experience compare or contrast to the characters’ experiences or feelings in the stories we’ve read so far? (Due Feb. 21; 10 pts.)
Read “Araby” (e-reserves) an “Love in L.A.” (256)
FEB 7, 9
Read “Girl” (517) “Where Are You Going Where Have You Been” (e-reserves) and “Lust” (282)
Read “The Birthmark” (328) and “Popular Mechanics” (264
FEB 14, 16
Read “How To Tell a True War Story” (473) and “Soldier’s Home” (154)
Read “Miss Brill” (473) and “Young Man on Sixth Avenue” (154) [Also: Half a Day (e-reserves)]
FEB 21, 23
Topic: our readings in context of our course theme; discuss additional short stories on reserve.
Assignment sheet for Paper #1 will be distributed in class and available online.
Individual conferences scheduled to discuss topics for Paper #1. Work with assignment sheet to brainstorm topics for your first formal paper; bring ideas, outline, and/or draft to conference.
Meetings in Main 312.
FEB 28, MAR 2
Conferences, cont. Bring ideas, outline, or draft to conference. Meetings in Main 312.
In-class peer review: Bring a complete typed draft of Paper #1 (4-6 pages) to class for constructive peer review session.
MAR 7, 9
PAPER #1 IS DUE THIS WEEK.
NEW Topic: Defining the art of poetry
Read course notes online; CBIL as assigned.
Read “Dust of Snow” (handout); “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” (863) “My Papa’s Waltz” (745); Those Winter Sundays” (565); “You Fit Into Me” (667); “Introduction to Poetry” (584)
Informal Writing: See Assignment Sheet for Reading Journal Project distributed in class and available online.
MAR 14, 16
S P R I N G B R E A K
Assignment over break: work on reading journal project.
MAR 21, 23
Read “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love” (927); “To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time” (622); to His Coy Mistress” (624); “My Mistress’ Eyes are Nothing Like the Sun” (755); “You Fit Into Me” (667); “Ode: Intimations of Immortality” (handout)
Informal Writing: Continue working on reading journal project.
MAR 28, 30
Read “With No Immediate Cause” (handout); “Richard Cory” (688) ; “Rite of Passage” (783); “Dulce et Decorum Est” (654); “That Piercing Chill I Feel” (handout)
Reading journal project is due this week.
Assignment sheet for Paper #2 will be distributed and made available online. Work with assignment sheet to brainstorm topics for Paper #2.
APR 4, 6
In-class peer review: Bring a complete typed draft of Paper #3 (4-6 pages) to class for constructive peer review session.
Paper #2 IS DUE THS WEEK.
NEW Topic: Defining the art of drama
Read course notes online; CBIL as assigned.
APR 11, 13
PASSOVER, APRIL 14; GOOD FRIDAY, APRIL 14
Read Death of a Salesman (1373)
Read A Doll’s House (1204)
Informal Writing: Who are the characters you feel are struggling to “grow up” in these two plays? Which character moves you the most? Which character(s) strike you as tragic figures? Who arouses your sympathy and who doesn’t? Each of these plays presents a portrait of family life in a past era; what do you think a contemporary playwright with a sensibility for tragedy might focus in on looking at families in America today? What are your expectations for a happy family, either right now or sometime in the future?
APR 18, 20
Video Screening: Death of a Salesman
Assignment sheet for Paper #3 will be distributed and made available online. Work with assignment sheet to brainstorm topics for Paper #3.
APR 25, 27
No class this week: individual conferences to discuss Paper #3 and Independent Project.
Paper #3 IS DUE THIS WEEK.
PORTFOLIO IS DUE .
THIS IS THE LAST DAY TO TURN IN YOUR INDEPENDENT PROJECT.
Informal Writing: Cumulative response to the course readings.
Course Readings: Rites of Passage
Births: The Quest for Identity
Initiations / Awakenings / Transformations: growing up, coming of age, maturing
SHORT FICTIONThe Hero’s Journey: The Pursuit of Happiness
The Story of an Hour (15)
The Sorrowful Woman (38)
A & P (553) and Eveline (432)
Young Goodman Brown (309)
The Birthmark (328)
Barn Burning (400)
Love in L.A. (256)
Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? (library)
In Dreams Begin Responsibilities (library)
Trials / Adventures: reaching maturity, falling in love, getting married, having a family, working, seizing opportunity, aging
The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky (243)
Popular Mechanics (264)
Lady with a Pet Dog (179)
The Minister’s Black Veil (319)
The Yellow Wallpaper (library)
One Perfect Rose (library)
My Papa’s Waltz (745)
Those Winter Sundays (565)
Mother to Son (886)
The Passionate Shepherd to His Love
To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time (622)
To His Coy Mistress (624)
My Mistress’ Eyes are Nothing Like the Sun (755)
You Fit Into Me (667)
A Simile (handout)
Intimations of Immortality (library)
Death of a Salesman (1373)
A Doll’s House (1204)
Coming Home: A Search for Meaning
Being and Nothingness / DeatH
Miss Brill (252)
How to Tell a True War Story (473)
Soldier’s Home (154)
Young Man On Sixth Avenue (library)
Half a Day (library)
Richard Cory (688)
That Piercing Chill I Feel (library)
With No Immediate Cause (library)
Dulce et Decorum Est (654)
Death of a Salesman (1373)
Questions? Contact me.
All materials unless otherwise indicated are copyright ©
2001-2008 by Stacy Tartar Esch.
The original contents of this site may not be reproduced, republished, reused, or retransmitted
without the express written consent of Stacy Tartar Esch.
These contents are for educational purposes only.