Emphasize that these two sections will require regular attendance on FRIDAY MORNINGS and that, due
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Emphasize that these two sections will require regular attendance on FRIDAY MORNINGS and that, due

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Six American Authors ENGL 206 Spring 2006 University of Massachusetts Boston Division of Corporate, Continuing, and Distance Education Monday, 6:00-9:00 pm Snowden High School (Copley) Room - TBA Instructor: Craig Kasprzak E-mail: kasprzcr@bc.eduhttp://www2.bc.edu/~kasprzcr/ Office hours: by appointment CCDE Catalog Description: The achievements of American lit-erature in articulating the American mind are illustrated by works from some well-known American writers, as well as from some of those who deserve to be better known. COURSE OBJECTIVES Drawing from the works of Herman Melville, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Zora Neale Hurston, Sylvia Plath, Sherman Alexie, and Ernesto Quiñonez, we will confront as a group the vexed questions of how writers of different eras, genders, ethnic backgrounds, and status within the literary canon define, respond to, and challenge their shared “Americanness.” Given that our list thof texts spans over 150 years, from Melville’s 19 century America to Alexie’s and Quiñonez’s contemporary settings, this course is not intended as a literary survey and, indeed, could not possibly provide comprehensive coverage across such a vast and dynamic time period. What it will do, instead, is look selectively at an assortment of works that seem consistently to revisit the relationships between and among the different genders, so as to assess the various ways in which gender shapes individual experience. In the process of ...

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Six American Authors ENGL 206 Spring 2006
University of Massachusetts Boston Division of Corporate, Continuing, and Distance Education Monday, 6:009:00 pm Snowden High School (Copley) Room  TBA Instructor: Craig Kasprzak Email:kasprzcr@bc.edu http://www2.bc.edu/~kasprzcr/Office hours: by appointment
CCDE Catalog Description: The achievements of American lit erature in articulating the American mind are illustrated by works from some wellknown American writers, as well as from some of those who deserve to be better known.
COURSE OBJECTIVES Drawing from the works of Herman Melville, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Zora Neale Hurston, Sylvia Plath, Sherman Alexie, and Ernesto Quiñonez, we will confront as a group the vexed questions of how writers of different eras, genders, ethnic backgrounds, and status within the literary canon define, respond to, and challenge their shared “Americanness.” Given that our list th of texts spans over 150 years, from Melville’s 19 century America to Alexie’s and Quiñonez’s contemporary settings, this course is not intended as a literary survey and, indeed, could not possibly provide comprehensive coverage across such a vast and dynamic time period. What it will do, instead, is look selectively at an assortment of works that seem consistently to revisit the relationships betweenandamong the different genders, so as to assess the various ways in which gender shapes individual experience.  In the process of reading great books, you will also be working to sharpen your close reading and critical skills, practicing at articulating strong, wellsupported textual interpretations, and engaging ongoing critical conversations within the field of literary studies. The course will follow an opendiscussion format, with multiple short graded essays, a midterm, and a final examination. REQUIRED TEXTS The following seven texts are required for the course. I encourage you to purchase the least expensive copies available, or to borrow them from your local library. Please be sure to bring each text with you to the appropriate class meetings:
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Herman Melville,Billy Budd, Sailor(any edition – can usually be purchased used for less than $4.00) F. Scott Fitzgerald,The Great Gatsby(any edition – widely available used for $5.00 or less) Zora Neale Hurston,Their Eyes Were Watching God(any edition – available used for as low as $0.74 from private Amazon.com sellers) Sylvia Plath,The Bell Jar(Harper Perennial, 2000  $13.95 list; as low as $3.55 used from private Amazon.com sellers) Sylvia Plath, Ariel (Harper Perennial, 1999  $12.00 list; as low as $5.73 used from private Amazon.com sellers) Sherman Alexie,Indian Killer(Warner Books, 1998  $14.95 list; as low as $6.49 used from private Amazon.com sellers) Ernesto Quiñonez,Bodega Dreams(Vintage, 2000  $12.95 list; as low as $5.00 used from private Amazon.com sellers) COURSE REQUIREMENTS 1) Regular, punctual attendance (ungraded): Attendance is a basic expectation of any discussionbased class, but in our case it is doubly important—missing even a single meeting equates to missingan entire weekof most other classes. Because I recognize that attending every class can sometimes be impossible, however, you will be allottedtwo missed classes without penalty. For every absence after your second— or for flagrant and/or habitual lateness—your class participation grade will be lowered based upon a percentage of our total meetings. Four missed classes will seriously jeopardize your grade; five will result in failure for the course. For special circumstances, a note from the appropriate school Dean is required. In the event of any absence, it is your own responsibility to find out what you have missed, as well as to turn in missed assignments; I am not the course secretary, and will not chase you down to bring you up to speed. 2) Active participation in class (20% of final grade): My aim in this course is to do as little lecturing as possible and, instead, to use what I feel are provocative texts to facilitate engaging class discussions. As such, I expect students to come to class having read the assigned materials fully and carefully, and prepared to raise questions, interrogate issues, and listen and respond to their classmates both critically and respectfully. Ideally, everyone will feel comfortable with such a format; realistically, of course, such will likely not be the case. Therefore, so as not to penalize those naturally disposed to be less talkative than others (or to reward the characteristically garrulous),I will define your participation for grading purposesas “demonstrated commitment to the class,”meaning that you will also have the opportunity to prove your engagement with the course readings alternatively through email exchanges and/or discussions with me during office hours. Your participation grade will also include one opportunity to “spark” a single class discussion by submitting to your classmates in advance a short list of discussion questions about the assigned reading. There are no “dumb questions” in this regard; you will be assessed not so much on your profound insight into any given text, but upon your willingness to articulate your reading of the material and to tackle its challenging issues head on.  Finally, I reserve the right to hold periodic unannounced quizzes and/or offer inclass writing prompts throughout the course of the semester. 3) Oral presentation (10% of final grade):
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 Each student will be responsible for presenting, either individually or with a partner, background information on a particular author. Presentations will be evaluated based on both informativeness and creativity 4) Essays (combined 40% of final grade): Over the course of the semester, you will compose three papers of 10001200 words each, including one exegesis of a critical article and two interpretive essays. 5) Midterm examination (15% of final grade): The midterm examination will take place in the second half of class during week eight (3/20), and will cover everything up to and including the first half ofThe Bell Jar. 6) Final examination (15% of final grade): The final examination will take place one week from the official end of classes (date TBA), and will cover everything fromArieltoBodega Dreams. GRADING SUMMARY Class participation (including “sparking”) – 20% of final grade Oral presentation (with or without a partner) – 10% Essays (composite grade) – 40% Midterm examination – 15%Final examination – 15% COURSE POLICIES (A) Paper formatting: All writing for this course should betyped and doublespacedin a sensible 12point font (in other words, noCopperplate Gothic,Lucida Console, orVerdana), with standard one and onequarter inch margins on all sidesandsome kind offastener(i.e., a staple, or a paper clip) to safeguard against runaway pages. Works cited, when applicable, should follow MLA format. (B) Meticulous proofreading: It isn’t just a good idea; it’s arequirementfor all written assignments, and students who fail to do so will be penalized accordingly. (C) Late papers: To avoid the standard repertoire of student excuses, and to ensure that no one ever has to skip class to get an essay done on time,I will allow for a 24hour leeway period without penaltymeans as long as you mail your essay to me within 24 hours of the original inclass. That due date, I’ll consider it “on time.” For every two hours thereafter that your essay remains late, however, you will be penalized 1/3 of a full letter grade (hence, a B+ becomes a B, which then becomes a B, and so on). (D) Extensions on papers: I generally frown upon the granting of extensions, and will grant them underonly the gravest circumstances, but never on the day immediately preceding a deadline, nor on the same day that an assignment is due. (E) Academic support:
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All students are encouraged to take advantage of the services offered by Academic Support Programs (Campus Center 11300, 617.2876550), which include individual subject tutoring, study strategies instruction, writing tutoring, and language support for nonnative speakers. You are free to utilize these services—or any other tutorial—as often or as infrequently as you like, and your decision to do so will have no direct influence on your grades. (F) Academic Integrity: I take seriously any and all breaches of academic integrity—including, but not limited to, cheating, plagiarism, and collusion—and adhere strictly to the university’s official policies and procedures on the matter. It is each student’s own responsibility to familiarize him or herself with the official language of the university’s standard, which I will distribute to you on the first day of class and which is available online at http://www.umb.edu/students/student_rights/code_conduct.html If, after reviewing these guidelines, you remain uncertain about the definitions or procedures associated with academic integrity, it is imperative that you see me for clarification beforeany potential violations occur. Any students found to have violated these guidelines purposefully will be subject to the standard judicial procedure, with penalties ranging from failure of the assignment, to course failure, to retroactive revocation of a received degree. It is always best to err on the side of caution, so be ever certain that your work is original—meaning both that it is your ownandthat you have produced it exclusively for this course—and take all of the necessary steps to acknowledge clearly the intellectual property of others. PROVISIONAL COURSE CALENDAR (Subject to change) All assignments aredueon the particular date indicated, unless otherwise noted. WEEK ONE Jan. 30 – Introduction to the course; syllabus review; student introductions;Alexie, “What You Pawn I Will Redeem” (in class reading)  WEEK TWO Feb. 6 –Melville,Billy Budd, Sailor WEEK THREEst Feb. 13 –Fitzgerald,The Great Gatsby(1 half – pages TBA) Note: Feb. 18 is the official deadline for adding/dropping the course.  WEEK FOUR Feb. 20 – NO CLASS – PRESIDENTS’ DAY / VACATION WEEK  WEEK FIVE Feb. 27 –Fitzgerald,The Great Gatsby(2nd half);Critical exegesis
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WEEK SIXMar. 6 –Hurston,Their Eyes Were Watching God WEEK SEVEN st Mar. 13 –Plath,The Bell Jar– pages TBA)(1 half  WEEK EIGHT Mar. 20 –Plath,The Bell Jar(2nd half);midterm examination WEEK NINE Mar. 27 –Plath,Ariel;Interpretive essay #1 WEEK TEN st Apr. 3 –Alexie,Indian Killer– pages TBA)(1 half  WEEK ELEVEN Apr. 10 –Alexie,Indian Killer(2nd half)  WEEK TWELVE Apr. 17 – NO CLASS – PATRIOTS’ DAY / VACATION WEEK  WEEK THIRTEENst Apr. 24 –Quiñonez,Bodega Dreams– pages TBA)(1 half  WEEK FOURTEEN nd May 1 –Quiñonez,Bodega Dreams(2 half);Interpretive essay #2 WEEK FIFTEEN May 8 – NO REGULARLY SCHEDULED CLASS (SNOW/MAKE UP DAY)  FINAL EXAMINATION TBA – One week from the official end of classes.
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Appendix I: Grading Criteria for Written Work Grading is an imperfect and admittedly subjective science. To render it more systematic, and to help you to better understand how I will read and evaluate your writing for this course, I have devised the following basic criteria: An “A” range paper isexemplary. Such a paper typically… ƒPresents an original, compelling thesis in a lively style. ƒDemonstrates a willingness to take interpretive risks. ƒDelivers a focused, clear, seamlesslytransitioned line of argument. ƒMakes skillful use of textual evidence to support its claims. ƒConsiders all of the textual details that may be relevant to its argument. ƒEngages the material thoroughly, and without redundancies or extraneous digressions. ƒAnticipates and responds to possible counterarguments. ƒContains few, if any, grammatical errors. ƒEvinces careful revision and meticulous proofreading. Note:An “A” paper is outstanding and fulfills most, but not all of the above criteria; a “B+” paper constitutes substantial achievement, but fulfills still less of the above criteria than an “A” paper does.A “B” range paper isgood. Such a paper typically… ƒPresents a debatable, worthwhile thesis, but may not take the same risks as an “A” range paper. ƒDevelops its argument clearly and presents sufficient evidence to support its claims, but may overlook certain relevant details from the text. ƒFollows logically from its thesis, but may include some lapses in organization, ineffective transitions, and/or redundancies. ƒContains a few grammatical flaws and/or faulty constructions, but not enough to impede the reader’s comprehension. A “C” range paper issatisfactorya paper typically…. Such ƒDemonstrates a sufficient grasp of the text, but presents a thesis that is too vague and not fully developed. ƒLacks a strong organizational strategy, such that the argument can at times be difficult to follow. ƒContains paragraphs that do not consistently reflect logical progression, and that typically reflect problems with transitioning. ƒMay resort occasionally to plot summary instead of critical interpretation. ƒRefers too generally, or not at all, to details from the text, resulting in underdeveloped claims. ƒAddresses the reader in a generic or lifeless voice, with a limited range of vocabulary. ƒIs characterized by frequent grammatical mistakes, repetition, and sentencelevel awkwardness that make reading challenging, albeit still allowing for overall comprehension. A “D” range paper ispassing, but unsatisfactory. Such a paper typically… ƒOffers no thesis and no clear sense of purpose. ƒDeploys long stretches of plot summary in place of argumentative claims. ƒResorts to redundancy to fill space. ƒProves consistently difficult to follow, at times even unintelligible. ƒContains basic misreadings of events and details from the text.
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ƒMisuses or inadequately explains quotations, sometimes failing to provide any substantiating evidence from the text whatsoever. ƒSuffers from a profusion of grammatical errors. ƒExhibits signs of careless proofreading (or none at all), including typographical and basic spelling errors. An “F” range paper isfailing. Such a paper typically… ƒDemonstrates no effort to engage seriously with the assignment or the subject matter. ƒFalls significantly short of the length specifications for the assignment without attempting to engage the material fully. ƒEvinces plagiarism or academic dishonesty.