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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Lauren M Grant
ENGL 111
Seattle Campus

Composition: Literature

Study and practice of good writing; topics derived from reading and discussing stories, poems, essays, and plays. Cannot be taken if student has already received a grade of 2.0 or higher in either ENGL 111, ENGL 121, or ENGL 131.

Class description

In this class we will use two Jane Austen novels, "Mansfield Park" and "Emma," as the sources for our practice of crafting academic arguments about literature.

We will begin the quarter with "Mansfield Park" and explore the types of written arguments we can construct when only using a single primary text. Next, we will expand our project and turn to "Emma," this time supplementing our primary text reading with five distinct critical arguments about the novel. We will discuss the ways in which new historicists, cultural, feminist, gender, and Marxist critics pick up "Emma" for their own purposes, and we will also reflect upon the ways in which the chosen critical lens influences the stakes of academic argument. With the completion of "Emma" and our secondary sources we can begin to craft our own literary arguments that respond directly to our secondary sources. At the conclusion of the quarter we will analyze how our arguments become much more complex and specific, and perhaps even easier to make, when we consider academic argument as a conversation with a specific community of scholars, rather than an isolated meditation on a literary text.

Texts: Austen, Jane. Emma. Alistair M. Duckworth, Ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's Press, 2002. ISBN: 0312207573

Austen, Jane. Mansfield Park. June Sturrock, Ed. Ontario: Broadview Press, 2003. ISBN: 1551110989

Student learning goals

1. To demonstrate an awareness of audience in your own writing and revision process.

2. To read, analyze, and synthesize complex texts and incorporate multiple types of evidence purposefully in order to generate and support writing.

3. To produce complex, analytic, persuasive arguments that matter in academic contexts.

4. To develop flexible strategies for revising, editing, and proofreading writing.

General method of instruction

This is a writing intensive composition course. Students should be prepared to work both independently and collaboratively on their writing and the writing of their peers throughout the quarter.

Recommended preparation

If you would like to get a head start on the reading for this class, you can begin reading "Mansfield Park." Please be sure to purchase the exact editions of the novels listed on the textbook link. You may also want to consider getting a head start on the reading if you find yourself to be a slow reader. We will be completing each novel in about a week and a half.

Class assignments and grading

Students can expect to write six 2-3 page papers and two 7-8 page papers over the course of the quarter. Approximately half of this writing will need to undergo revision for final submission in a writing portfolio. Each student will also participate in one group presentation and attend two writing conferences with the instructor.

Extensive comments on writing assignments will be given throughout the quarter; however, a formal grade will not be given until the submission of a final portfolio that includes revised versions of the student's best work. The final portfolio will count for 70% of the final grade, and in class participation will comprise 30% of the final grade.


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.
Last Update by Lauren M Grant
Date: 08/09/2012