West Chester University

Spring 2006 and Fall 2005

West Chester University

Fall 2004and
Spring 2005

Spring 2003

Fall 2002

Spring 2002

Fall 2001






Course Syllabi and Announcements
  LIT 165 Syllabus
  LIT 165 Announcements and Assignments
  WRT 120 Syllabus
  WRT 120 Announcements and Assignments

Notebook for Topics in Literature: Imaginary Worlds (Spring 2008)
  A Reading of THE TEMPEST

Notebook for Topics in Literature: Rites of Passage (Spring 2006)
  Goals of the Course
  Fundamental Questions about Literature
  Valuing Literature
  Critical Thinking and Reading Literature
  Critical Approaches to Literature
  Literature as ART
  Approaching the Art of Fiction
  Defining the Short Story
  Evaluating Short Fiction
  Craft of Fiction: PLOT
  Craft of Fiction: CHARACTER
  Small Group Exercise
  ARABY by James Joyce
  A note about GIRL
  POE and the art of STORY OF A HOUR
  Notes on Innovative Fiction
  Assignment Sheet for Paper #1
  Fiction and Ambiguity - Your Questions
  Writing Workshop - Short Fiction
  Poetry Journal Project Assignment Sheet
  Defining Poetry
  Reading Poetry
  The Craft of Poetry
  Drama and Tragedy
  Study Questions: DEATH OF A SALESMAN

Notebook for Effective Writing I (Spring 2006)
  Paper #4 Assignment Sheet
  Critical Thinking and Commentary
  Casebook: Evaluating Sources Worksheet
  Selecting Information
  Evaluating Arguments
  CASEBOOK PROJECT Assignment Sheet
  Approaching Persuasive Writing
  Topic Development - Profile Essay
  Generating Ideas for the Profile Essay
  Paper #2 Assignment Sheet
  Profile Exercise
  Objective Writing: Selected Readings
  Writing Workshop: Paper #1
  Expressive Writing in the NYTimes
  Writing Effective Introductions and Conclusions
  Paper #1: IDENTITY
  Expressive Writing
  Open Letter Exercise and Examples
  EMERSON on Individuality vs. Conformity
  Literature related to IDENTITY
  Understanding the 'Rhetorical Situation'

Go Exploring
  Weblog for WRT 120
  Writing Assistance on the Web
  Blackboard at WCU
  WCU Homepage
  WCU's Francis Harvey Green Library

Notebook for Topics in Literature: Imaginary Worlds (Fall 2005)
  One Last Look at Imaginary Worlds
  Franz Kafka's BEFORE THE LAW
  Paper #3: Assignment Sheet
  Paper #4: Independent Project
  The Problem of Stability in BRAVE NEW WORLD
  Analyzing Huxley's BRAVE NEW WORLD
  Defining Utopia
  Embarking on Huxley's BRAVE NEW WORLD
  A Reading of Shakespeare's THE TEMPEST
  From today's news (11/3/05)
  Assignment Sheet for Paper #2
  Goodbye to Dante's Imaginary World
  Stepping Through Dante's Inferno: Cantos 10-34
  Stepping Through Dante's Inferno: Cantos 1-10
  INFERNO: Questions/Analysis: Cantos 32-34
  INFERNO: Questions/Analysis: Cantos 18-31
  INFERNO: Questions for Analysis: Cantos 12-17
  INFERNO: Structure
  INFERNO: Questions for Analysis: Cantos 1-5
  INFERNO: Analyzing Canto 1
  Relating to Dante's Inferno
  Approaching Dante's DIVINE COMEDY
  A Little Help with Dante's INFERNO
  Assignment Sheet for Paper #1
  Responses to LEAF BY NIGGLE
  ON FAIRY STORIES: An Essay by Tolkien
  Notes on Axolotl
  Reading Ovid's Tales
  From Myth to Literature: Approaching Ovid's Tales
  Functions of the Genesis Tales
  Analyzing Mythic Tales
  Defining Mythology
  Filtering the Introduction to FANTASTIC WORLDS
  Commentary on LA BELLE DAME SANS MERCI by Keats
  Commentary on DARKNESS by Byron
  Handout: Imagination Poems Set
  What is Imagination?
  Our Course Theme: Imaginary Worlds
  LIT 165 Assignments: Fall 2005
  LIT 165 Announcements: Fall 2005
  Imaginary Worlds: Course Syllabus

Notebook for Effective Writing I (Fall 2005)
  Paper #4: Independent Thinking/Reading/Writing
  Casebook Preparation Checklist
  Casebook Assignment Schedule
  Evaluating Sources for the Casebook
  Casebook Project Assignment Sheet
  Notes on Rational Argument
  Assignment Sheet: Objective Writing
  Reviewing Elements of the Profile Essay
  Writing the Profile Essay
  Readings: Objective Writing
  Assignment Sheet: Expressive Writing
  Rubric for Evaluation of Writing
  Emerson on Individuality vs. Conformity
  Mind-map: Identity
  Understanding the 'Rhetorical Situation'
  Assignments Page
  Announcements Page
  WRT 120 Course Syllabus for Fall 2005

ENG Q20: Basic Writing

Go Exploring
  Weblog for WRT 120
  Writing Assistance on the Web
  Blackboard at WCU
  WCU Homepage
  WCU's Francis Harvey Green Library

Topics in Literature: Imaginary Worlds
Paper #3

Drawing by Ashoka

Assigned Readings
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
 Gattaca (film)
Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett
Before the Law by Franz Kafka

Optional Readings
“Brave New World? A Critique of Paradise-Engineering” by David Pearce (online)
“Introduction” (Absurd Drama)
by Martin Esslin
“The Imagery Museum of Samuel Beckett” by Raymond Federman (online)
“Essay on Waiting for Godot” by Michael Sinclair (online)

Directions:  Develop your own specific topic based on either an expressive, objective, or persuasive approach to the assigned readings.  Your paper should engage one or more of the assigned readings in some depth. Research to supplement your own commentary is strictly optional, but if you do include researched material from a source other than our textbook, you are responsible for documenting it correctly using MLA style parenthetical documentation.

Topic Approaches
These notes are meant to be suggestive, not exclusive.

Write a commentary that substantively explores your individual response to one or more of the works we studied.  For instance, you can write about how you responded to the unconventionality of Waiting for Godot.  In what ways did this play met or defied your expectations, as well as how you understood the purpose or “meaning” of the play.  You can discuss the impact or relevance of the play’s dialogue, characters, situations, or imagery.  You can explore the significant ways in which Waiting for Godot either does or does not resonate with your understanding of the human condition.

Develop a paper that analyzes or interprets the meaning of one or more works assigned.
  • Write a comparative analysis.
  • Trace the development of a common theme through both works.
  • Present an objective interpretation of one or both works.
  • Write a thematic analysis of one or both works.
  • Write a critique of one or both works.

Identify the ambiguity in at least one of the works on the reading list and then argue for a particular interpretation. Acknowledge other interpretations but attempt to prove, by your close analysis of details in the text, that your interpretation is a strong one.  Argue for a particular reading of one or more of the works we studied.

  • Write an interior monologue from the point of view of something not human.  
  • Write a dramatic scene based on at least two of the characters from the readings or films.  You can invent new characters, as long as they’re inspired by or related to the characters we observed in the readings.  Include set description, character description, dialogue, and stage directions.

Topic Suggestions
Not exclusive.
  • Compare/contrast Brave New World and Gattaca.
  • Analyze the ways in which the futuristic imaginary world of Gattaca and/or Brave New World does or does not reflect our present real world.
  • Choose a question or combination of questions in the course notes on  Brave New World  to write an expressive, objective or persuasive essay.
  • Identify your ordinary expectations for drama, then discuss the ways in which Waiting for Godot meets and/or defies these expectations.  Even if you weren’t personally affected, discuss some of the ways the play might frustrate audience expectations.
  • Write an analysis of character, conflict, theme, and/or symbolism in Brave New World, Gattaca, Waiting for Godot, or Before the Law.
  • Read Martin Esslin’s essay on “Absurd Drama” (online).  Analyze the ways in which Waiting for Godot fits his description of absurd drama.
  • Compare/contrast the theme of waiting in Beckett’s Waiting for Godot and Kafka’s Before the Law.  Are there other ways you can compare/contrast these two enigmatic works?
  • Analyze the mythic overtones in Waiting for Godot.  What do you infer from the various biblical references in the play?
  • Analyze the comic elements in Waiting for Godot.  Discuss the appropriateness or inappropriateness of the play being labeled a “tragicomedy.”
  • Use the course notes or other outside resources to define “nihilism,” “existentialism,” “postmodernism,” and “abstract expressionism”; then write an interpretive analysis of the play based on your understanding of one or more these concepts.  
  • Argue for an interpretation of Brave New World and/or Gattaca as a utopia, dystopia, or utopian satire.  
  • Use the course notes or other outside resources to define “nihilism” and/or “existentialism” and then argue that Waiting for Godot is primarily nihilistic or primarily existential, or equally both.
  • Use the course notes or other outside resources to define “postmodernism” and argue for an interpretation of the play based on your understanding of this concept.
  • Use the course notes or other outside resources to define “abstract expressionism” and argue for an interpretation of the play based on your understanding of this concept.






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