Angela L Sucich
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.
Welcome to English 197, a writing class linked with English 202: Introduction to the Study of English Language and Literature. Both courses will examine the specific disciplinary contexts (literary history, critical theory, language study and cultural studies) that set literary criticism apart from other discourses and occasions for writing. English 202 will introduce students to a broad range of critical, historical and theoretical approaches to language and literature and thus will provide a valuable framework for the kind of writing that students will do in English 197. In English 197, students will learn how to write from within these disciplinary contexts by composing three formal essays that engage with selected works of literature from the English 202 reading list. Having extended, focused time in English 197 to write about these works will deepen students’ engagement with the texts and with the concepts introduced to them in English 202.
As a writing link, the writing and discussion topics in English will be closely related to the material covered in English 202; however, English 197 is a separate, full-credit course with its own specific objectives. English 197 asks students to use writing as a tool to draw them closer the reading material, to investigate a text as subject of inquiry, to develop and deepen their understanding of the critical questions and issues that a text may raise, to present their critical ideas in the form of argument-based, academic essays, and to give and receive peer feedback for use in essay revisions.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Class assignments and grading
Essays (75%) The three argument-based, essay assignments for English 197 will generally align with the three lecture course units: (1) Plato, the idea of poetry, and poetry’s relationship to criticism; (2) Shelley, Romanticism, and the invention of Man and the State; and (3) Joyce, the modern world, and postmodern critique. However, we will not be writing about all the material covered in lecture, nor will the reading schedules for English 197 and English 202 parallel each other exactly. Since the underlying principle behind the structure of writing assignments in English 197 is the notion of writing as a process rather than a product only, it is often necessary to introduce some material slightly earlier than is addressed in lecture to spend more time developing and revising an academic paper. Similarly, students can anticipate working with the same text for a significantly longer period of time than will be the case in the lecture or discussion sections.
Writing Process and Peer Critique Workshops Since this course emphasizes writing-as-process, students will be asked to complete a number of short, building-block writing assignments to prepare for each of the major essays. Students will also be asked to collaborate with peers in various writing workshops to provide and receive written feedback. In general, these peer critique sessions will emphasize evaluating an essay for the clarity of its purpose, for the logic of its argument, for the authority of its supporting evidence, for the coherence of its organization, and for the effectiveness of its rhetorical strategies. These peer critiques must be completed prior to the submission of the final essay in each essay sequence, as part of the collaborative, writing-as-process model of this class. All final essays will be submitted electronically using E-Submit, which can be done from any computer. Upon submission, E-Submit will send an email confirmation showing the time that the submission was received. Instructions about how to use E-Submit will be provided.
Participation (25%) This category includes the timely completion of homework and classwork; class participation in group work, E-post discussions, and peer critique workshops, and general preparedness for class and for individual conferences. To be prepared for each class meeting, students will need to read any assigned texts (preferably more than once) and bring them to class along with assigned homework (remember to always bring a backup hard copy to class, even when we are meeting in the LAN). For every class meeting, even on days when no homework has been assigned, students should be prepared to respond to a writing prompt at the beginning of class. This “freewriting” will allow you to collect your thoughts before presenting them to the class and to keep a written record of your ideas for later development.
The time we spend in class is designed to help students generate ideas about the reading material and, with the help of their peers, develop these ideas through writing. Because this class emphasizes collaborative learning, participating in class discussions is an important part of the overall grade. Although sharing one’s work with others may seem daunting at first, we can make the classroom a safe space where everyone can expect to be treated with respect and consideration. Students can also expect portions of their writing assignments to be used respectfully and constructively in class discussion and workshops.