SAMPLE SYLLABUS Queensborough Community College, CUNY EN224– Special Topics in Writing as Art and Craft Who am I? Writing and Reading the Self in Memoir Leah Anderst Email: LAnderst@qcc.cuny.edu Office: Humanities 455, Office Hours: Pre-­‐requisite/Co-­‐requisite: EN102 Course Description: Human beings have been recounting their life stories, their memories, and their exploits for thousands of years. Even early humans represented themselves on cave walls engaged in the hunt. Our need to tell our stories, whether in everyday conversations, in written memoirs, personal essays, or in self-­‐portraiture, is very strong. But what are we actually doing when we tell our stories? Are we representing our single selves? Are we telling the truth? In this course we will read and write about memoirs, personal essays, and graphic memoirs. We will explore what “truth” means for a memoirist, whether it is the same for all memoirists, and whether memory can be trusted. Course Objectives: In this course students will: • Continue to develop their writing, critical thinking, and research skills. • Write and Read in a variety of styles and genres. • Become proficient in editing and revising written work. • Conduct research in a semester long writing project. EN 224 also addresses the following General Education objectives of the college: • Objective 3: Write, Read, Listen, and Speak clearly and effectively. • Objective 13: Make informed judgments of the humanities and the arts as aesthetic and intellectual experiences. Required Texts (available in QCC bookstore) Kramer and Call, Eds. Telling True Stories (ISBN: 0452287553) Marjane Satrapi, Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood (ISBN: 037571457X) Alison Bechdel, Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic (ISBN: 0618871713) David Small, Stitches (ISBN: 9780393338966) A writing guide such as Rules for Writers, Diana Hacker (or another assigned for En101) A Course Pack with Additional readings Assignments Three Graded Papers – 65% (broken down as follows) 1. 15% -­‐ Critical Review (1200 words) 2. 20% -­‐ Personal Essay (1400 words) 4. 30% -­‐ Research Project (2000+ words) Research Project Presentation – 10% Participation – 10% (broken into a midterm and a final grade) Informal Writing/Homework/Quizzes – 15% (broken into a midterm and a final grade) EN 224 Syllabus, Page 2 -­‐Informal Writing: You will write informally outside of class and in class frequently. The topic of these responses will vary with the majority of responses being free responses to readings. Other times I will provide you with specific questions, quotations from the reading, or topics related to an upcoming assignment. These must be turned in at the beginning of class when they are due. -­‐Late Work: Informal writing will not be accepted late. For formal writing (papers 1-­‐3), turning in late work will result in deductions on your grade -­‐ one grade step per day late. (For example: one day late, B becomes B-­‐) I will not accept these papers more than one week late. -­‐Portfolios: Your three formal writing assignments that you turn in for a grade will be turned in as a portfolio. This means that what you turn in must include all of the following: 1. Final essay 2. Works Cited page in MLA Style 3. Any drafts 4. Any peer review question sheets 5. Author Letter. The Author letter that accompanies your final paper must be typed, one page long, and in it you describe your process writing the paper. You may consider these questions as you compose these letters: How did you approach the assignment? What was your strategy? What questions did you struggle with along the way? What answers did you find to your questions? -­‐Revisions: Revision is, in many ways, the heart of good writing. I encourage you to revise your papers when you can. For this class, I allow revisions for the first two formal assignments (papers 1 and 2). Revisions are due no later than two weeks after I return the graded paper back to you. Keep in mind that a revision is much more than fixing errors on your papers. I expect a significant reworking of the essay’s ideas and/or structure. All revisions require either an office hour meeting with me to discuss your revision plan or evidence of a visit to the writing center, as well as an “author’s note” of ½ to 1 page turned in with your revision describing the steps you took to revise as well as an explanation about why this new version is superior to the earlier version. You must also turn in the earlier paper that includes my comments and grade. Note: Completing a revision does not in itself guarantee a grade increase.