Writing about Literature
Dr. Beth L. Brunk-Chavez
Office: Hudspeth 220
Office Hours: T and Th 2:30-4, W 10-12
Course: TR 9:00-10:20 (Miners 200) and 10:30-11:50 (Miners 300)
Learning to write is hard, and it takes a long time—Stephen North
Welcome to English 1313, Writing about Literature, a writing course in the analysis and interpretation of literature. While the focus is on writing as a process, you will read a variety of short stories and poetry. English 1313 is a workshop course; therefore, I will not be lecturing often. Instead, I expect you all to participate fully in sharing ideas and workshopping each other's papers. The success of this course depends on your participation.
Barnet, Sylvan, and William Cain. A Short Guide to Writing about Literature . 9 th ed.
New York : Longman, 2003.
Lunsford, Andrea. The Everyday Writer . 2 nd ed. Boston : Bedford/St. Martins: 2001.
Course packet available at Copy Mine in UTEP library.
1. Because the nature of the class largely relies on your participation, it is important for you to attend each class. Each absence after the third will reduce your final course grade by a full letter. I do not count excused or unexcused absences; you are either here, or you are not. Plan to arrive to class on time. If you arrive more than five minutes late, it will count as half an absence.
2. Daily class activities such as group work, in-class writings, and quizzes may not be made up. There are no exceptions, so please don't ask.
3. Late essays will be accepted only if you speak to me about your situation before (not on) the due date. Otherwise, papers handed in late will be penalized a letter grade for each class period they are late. Even if you are absent, you are expected to turn the work in on time. No assignment will be accepted one week after the due date. Unless asked to do so, please do not e-mail assignments to me . The last paper may not be late. It will not be accepted after the due date.
Plan to print your papers well in advance of class. Expect that, at some time during the semester, the computer equipment you are using might fail to produce an acceptable draft. Give yourself plenty of time to remedy these problems before the paper is due. Also, be sure to save your work to a disk in the event I may ask you for an additional copy.
4. You will be given the option to rewrite one essay if it receives a grade lower than a B- and you are dissatisfied with the grade. You must turn in the original paper along with the rewritten paper as well as a summary of the changes you made. I cannot accept a rewrite without these documents. I will not accept a rewrite for a grade higher than a B-.
Your grade will never go down, but it may stay the same unless you show substantial improvement. Your final score will be an average of the original and revised papers. All rewrites are due one week after the paper is returned to the class . Points lost for missing peer critiques cannot be made up. Papers eligible for rewrite include the comparison, fiction, and poetry papers. The last paper may not be rewritten.
5. Peer critiques are an extremely important element of the writing process. I will carefully check to see that you have completed them thoughtfully. Failure to complete a peer critique results in one letter grade off the final grade of your paper. To receive full credit, you must both complete and receive a peer critique.
6. Please retain all your work until final grades are posted.
7. Please do not email me to ask for your final grade at the end of the semester.
8. Incompletes will be given only in the event of an emergency. These are reserved for students who have successfully completed the work all semester and have an extenuating circumstance (death in the family, serious illness, etc.) which prevents them from completing the work by the end of the semester.
9. Academic dishonesty is an issue I take very seriously. If I discover that you have plagiarized a paper for this class, I will, under obligation of the university, submit your paper to the Dean of Students who will review the case and determine the penalty. The range of penalties may include: disciplinary probation, failing grade for an exam/assignment/course, suspension, and expulsion.
Forms of academic dishonesty include: Collusion-- lending your work to another person to submit as his or her own; Fabrication --deliberately creating false information on a works cited page, and Plagiarism --the presentation of another person's work as your own, whether you mean to or not (i.e. copying parts of or whole papers off the Internet). See the Dean of Students website at: http://www.utep.edu/dos/acadintg.htm for more information.
10. If you require an accommodation based on a disability, I would like to meet with you in the privacy of my office during the first week to be sure you are properly accommodated. You must provide appropriate documentation to receive the accommodation you require.
11. The syllabus, course schedule, and major assignments will be available on Web CT. Please do not ask me for additional copies.
12. Turn off your cell phone ringers when you walk through the door.
Your final grade will be based on written work as well as your participation in class. You must complete all assigned papers to pass the class. All writing completed outside of class must be typed. We will use MLA (Modern Language Association) documentation and formatting.
Response paper 1 10 points
Comparison paper 15 points
Fiction paper 15 points
Poetry paper 15 points
Response paper 2 10 points
Criticism paper 25 points
Participation 10 points
The papers will generally range from 3 to 6 pages in length. Detailed assignments will be provided.
Your participation grade will be based on your preparation for each class meeting, oral and written participation, and group work. A portion of your participation grade will be based on a short teaching presentation over fiction and poetry terms.
Letter grades will be assigned as follows:
This is a tentative schedule. You are responsible for noting any changes as announced. If significant changes become necessary, I will publish a revised version of the class schedule. If you are absent, be sure to check with a classmate to see what you must prepare for the next class. The readings should be completed before you come to class.
EW= Everyday Writer
WaL= Writing about Literature
Jan 13 T First day of class
Jan 15 Th P “Heroes I Have Taught”
Jan 20 T WaL Chapters 5-7
Jan 22 Th WaL Chapters 1 and 2, Packet on annotating
Jan 27 T EW 27-61, 64 (9b), 117-18 (summary) WaL 60-63
Jan 29 Th Peer Critiques
Feb 3 T Summary/Response paper due
WaL Chapter 3
Feb 5 Th Chapter 3 Readings (P Hempel, Le Guin, Walker, Wolff, Hughes (“Mother to Son”), Mora)
Feb 10 T Readings cont.
EW 118-122 (12f-12g)
Feb 12 Th Peer Critiques
EW 337 (42c), 350-51 (44d), 357-58 (46a)
Feb 17 T Conferences
Feb 19 Th Conferences
Feb 24 T Comparison paper due
Feb 26 Th WaL Chapter 9
Packet “Writing about Literature”
Mar 2 T Chapter 9 Readings (P Carver, Cheever Garcia Marquez, LeGuin)
Mar 4 Th Peer Critiques
Mar 9 T Fiction paper due
WaL Chapter 11
Mar 11 Th Chapter 11 Readings (P Bishop (“The Fish”), Dove, Frost (“Birches”),
Hughes (“I, Too”), Song (“Heaven”), Soto (“Mexicans Begin Jogging” and “Teaching English”))
Mar 16 T Spring Break
Mar 18 Th Spring Break
Mar 23 T Peer Critiques
Mar 25 Th No class
Mar 30 T Poetry paper due
WaL Chapter 8
Apr 1 Th P Faulkner and scholarship (Petry, Schwab, Wallace)
Apr 6 T Response paper 2 due
Chapter 8 Readings (P Silko, Silko commentary, Tan, Tan commentary,
Plath (“Morning Song”), Roethke (“My Papa's Waltz”), Updike
Apr 8 Th WaL Chapter 14, EW 91-104, 109-115, 123-28, 133-37 (14b)
Apr 13 T Meet in Library
Apr 15 Th Research
Apr 20 T Peer critiques
Apr 22 Th Conferences
Apr 24 T Peer critiques
Apr 26 Th Criticism paper due