Response papers (7)
These brief (300-500 words), relatively informal assignments give you an opportunity to respond to the text as you are reading it. They should demonstrate serious thinking and take up specific language and ideas from the text, but can be a site of ‘uncritical reading’ and ‘non-utilitarian writing.‘ By this I mean that you can use these response papers to experiment with different modes of making arguments, practice different methodologies, and play with different writing styles (for instance, you can write creative rather than critical responses, discuss personal, affective responses to the text, draw on knowledge from other classes/your experience but it should help illuminate the text). They will be graded with a check, check-plus, or check-minus: a check means that you have fulfilled the expectations of the assignment (written a 300-500 word argument that responds to the text in a thoughtful, engaged way); a check-minus means that you failed to meet the expectations of the assignment, and a check-plus means that you have exceeded the expectations of the assignment by writing (in just 300-500 words!) a particularly original, thoughtful, insightful response. You will be assigned to either Group A or Group B (see attached list) and responsible for writing responses on the days indicated on the syllabus. Please pay careful attention to the schedule as you will not be allowed to turn in late responses. Response Paper Schedule
Literary Analysis Papers (2)
In these 3-4 page papers you will analyze the construction of the text—its formal devices, use of language, narrative structure, inclusion of details—in order to make an argument about the work as a whole—its central concepts, overarching themes, and political meaning. I will give you prompts and a more detailed assignment sheet that will help you shape your papers. You will be required to turn in a rough draft and, taking into account my suggestions as well as feedback from your peers, a revised final draft. These papers are opportunities to write more polished arguments about the literature that we have read in class and to employ the tools and methodologies of literary criticism. Literary Analysis Paper #1
Literary Analysis Paper 2
Your active, thoughtful, and respectful participation will be essential to this course. You should plan on contributing during each class session (if you have concerns about this, please see me in office hours!) and you should be on-time, enthusiastic, and attentive during each meeting. In-class exercises and group work, such as peer review, will factor into your participation grade. Please be respectful of your classmates: this includes turning off your cell phones and proper use of computers so that there are no distractions.