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

Paper #4: Independent Project


Due: Monday, May 1, 2006
Length: 3-5 pages, typed, double-spaced

Objectives: (1) to practice and refine independent critical thinking skills; (2) to demonstrate your ability to blend or choose expressive, objective, and persuasive approaches depending on the specific context you create;
(3) to carefully match your style as well as content to your projected target audience; and (4) to continue to practice drafting, revising, and editing in order to produce your very best writing.

Ideally, college students are at a stage in their educational careers when they undertake the challenge of becoming independent, critical thinkers.  Instead of being dependent on others to dictate how they must think, they embrace the opportunity to think for themselves.  Emerging from passive habits of dependency isn’t always an easy or comfortable step to take, but it’s a necessary part of the process of becoming fully educated.  College students are therefore expected to form their own judgments about the information presented to them and the information they discover independently. It’s this ability to present an informed, respectful, and reasoned discussion on any significant topic that distinguishes an educated person.  

For this assignment, you are asked to bring all of your accumulated writing skills to the table.  This semester you have had the opportunity to fine-tune your understanding of the distinctive goals of expressive, objective, and persuasive writing; we’ve worked at identifying when each type of writing is or is not called for, and what writing style is appropriate for each purpose.  When and why will you find it appropriate and useful to write expressively, offering your own unique perspective and sharing your personal experience with readers?  When is it most effective to gain objective distance and explore your subject analytically? What information do your readers need?  What’s the best way to present it to them?  When you want to write persuasively, how do you anticipate disputes and how can you handle them when they arise?  Will it be persuasive to simply acknowledge differences of opinion, or do you need to negotiate or refute those opposing views?  These are all rhetorical decisions we have worked at defining and clarifying, and now I’d like to give you an opportunity to demonstrate how well you can take responsibility for these decisions when tackling a writing project that you choose yourself.

Directions: Select any current event, artifact, or text—any event, book, article, film, news report, television program, product, object, situation, or personal observation of the world around you—that provokes you to reflect meaningfully on and draw a carefully considered conclusion about some aspect of our larger (American) culture.  Your discussion might be in the form of a memoir that connects your experience to the larger culture; or it may be a carefully considered response, analysis, interpretation, or argument about some aspect of the subject you’ve chosen.  Once you’ve chosen your subject, you will choose the form of your presentation.  Your discussion should be in the form of a carefully crafted essay, but the exact shape of your essay is your own choice.  It can take the form of one of the genres we studied in The Call to Write (memoir, open letter, profile), one of the genres we did not study but which you can study independently (such as the “review” or the “commentary” in chapters 9 and 11).  You can also choose to approach the issue of form generically—you may write an analysis, a comparison/contrast (synthesis), an interpretation, or an argument.

Some general suggestions for finding topics
  1. Consider these broad categories: college life, teen culture, current events, pop culture, modern trends.  Is there anything that specifically provokes you to respond expressively, analytically, or argumentatively?
  2. Consider choosing one the writing suggestions that Trimbur provides in The Call to Write.   You can choose to write another memoir, open letter, profile, explanatory essay, or argument—or you can try one of the genres we didn’t study together but which you can study individually, such as the review or the commentary.  A commentary essay combines many of the expressive, objective, and persuasive goals we’ve studied.






Questions? Contact me.

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