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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Kimberlee Gillis-Bridges
ENGL 197
Seattle Campus

Interdisciplinary Writing/Humanities

Expository writing based on material presented in a specified humanities lecture course. Assignments include drafts of papers to be submitted in the specified course, and other pieces of analytical prose. Concurrent registration in the specified course required.

Class description

How do film scholars critically think and write about film? In English 197, we will explore this question, drawing in part on the lectures and films for Comparative Literature 272. The goal of English 197 is to help students analyze film form and style, develop arguments, evaluate their own writing as well as that of their colleagues, and use feedback to revise their drafts. Students will also learn to examine cinema studies course materials to identify significant arguments or questions in the field, beliefs about what counts as evidence, and characteristic ways of building arguments in the discipline.

Class activities in the writing link reflect the importance of writing as a means of learning. Students will write to think through particular issues or problems as well as to articulate what they already know. Students will do much of this writing as homework assignments that include analyses of films and readings as well as short pieces leading to longer papers.

English 197 is computer-integrated. The computer lab setting allows students to participate in inclusive electronic discussions, offer feedback on their peers' work, complete multi-media assignments, and incorporate visual aids into their papers. However, technical savvy is not a course prerequisite; students will receive instruction in all technical tools used in the classroom.

Although assignments done for English 197 will incorporate some Comparative Literature 272 assignments, the writing class has separate reading, discussion, presentation, and writing tasks. I attend lectures and meet with cinema studies course staff, but you serve as the primary link between the courses. To do well in English 197, you will need to keep up with cinema studies course lectures, discussions, and films. Occasionally, we will screen films and complete readings before they are due in Comparative Literature 272.

Student learning goals

To analyze the narrative and visual language of film.

To define genre, recognize genre conventions and innovations or shifts in conventions.

To develop discipline-specific claims and explore those claims in both formal and informal writing.

To evaluate their own and others' works-in-progress.

To provide detailed feedback on peers' written work and use the review process to reflect upon their own writing.

To use feedback to revise drafts.

General method of instruction

My role in the writing course is to provide the tools and resources you will need to advance your own thinking about film through your writing. I will pose questions, design activities to help you think through those questions, and respond to the substance of what you write. Your role is to do the hard work--the critical reading, film viewing, and writing. You will generate ideas, evaluate evidence, and construct arguments relevant to issues raised in the cinema studies course. You will revise your papers until they are as good as you can make them.

Recommended preparation


Class assignments and grading

You will complete three major assignments: a 1,000-word scene analysis, a 1,000- to 1,250-word comparison of two films, and a 1,000- to 1,250-word definitional analysis of the horror genre. All assignments represent opportunities to draw upon the film analysis skills developed in the lecture course. I require at least two drafts of all major assignments; only the final draft receives a grade. Before revising your draft and submitting it for a grade, you will receive feedback from your peers and me. You can also seek additional feedback from consultants at the English Writing Center, the Odegaard Writing and Research Center, or the CLUE Writing Center.

Essays should be titled, paginated, typed and double-spaced, with one-inch margins. In the upper left-hand corner of the first page, include your name, the course number, the assignment number, and the due date; this information should be single-spaced. You may use a 10 or 12 point Arial, Bookman, Century Schoolbook, or Times New Roman font for your papers. All essays will be submitted in electronic format. To avoid problems with lost files, I require you to save and transfer your work to class in two of the following electronic formats: disk, email attachment, file uploaded to Dante, or memory stick.

Please note that you must turn in all three essays in order to pass the class.

Grades in English 197 will be computed by points, with 400 points equaling a 4.0, 300 points a 3.0, and so on. If your total falls between grades, I will round up if you score one to five points below the higher grade and round down if you score one to four points above the lower grade. For example, 274 points equals a 2.7 and 275 points a 2.8. Students who score less than 65 points total will receive a 0 for the course, as the UW grading system does not scale grades lower than .7.

Apart from postings, which are graded on a credit/no credit basis, points all other assignments will be awarded based on quality of work submitted. You will receive grading criteria for the essays and Web project when I distribute those assignments.

Each component of the course is worth the following number of points:

*Class Participation: 40 points *Homework and Peer Critiques: 80 points *Writing Assignments: 240 points *Electronic Portfolio: 40 points

The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Course Web Site
Last Update by Kimberlee Gillis-Bridges
Date: 09/08/2008