Writing about Identity English 102, Fall 2010 Room: CC 3360 Instructor: Evan Peterson [email protected] Tues and Thurs, 6pm-8:20 5 credit hours Office: IB 2310 C Office hours: by appointment Course Description and Instruction Methods The goals of our course is to learn 1) clear, purposeful, informed, and effective essay writing, 2) appropriate research and citation methods, and 3) critical analysis of a variety of texts in a variety of media. Because we need inspiration and information in order to write, we will be considering many different types of texts, subjects, and media. You will also encounter controversial material in this class, some of which is potentially offensive. It is difficult to address identity without attention to the controversial. By remaining enrolled in this section, you agree to read/view/study these materials. We meet as a group to discuss and practice writing. Many class periods will begin as a lecture and then become a group discussion. We will build a writing community by sharing our work with one another. Everyone will be required to exchange a draft of each paper with a partner and review it in class. The course lectures and materials are taught and graded at an appropriate fluency level for a native English speaker. Students who are still learning English will be treated equally to all other students, with the same responsibilities as well as available assistance. Required Texts and Materials The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (1818 version in three volumes) The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde a blue or black ink pen A composition book or spiral notebook, etc., for in-class writing, notes, and your vocabulary journal (dividing into three separate sections is recommended) Internet access for regular email correspondence Some class materials and notes will be hosted at our course website, Facweb.northseattle.edu/ejpeterson/ENGL102 Outside Resources Purdue University Online Writing Laboratory (http://owl.english.purdue.edu/) This is an excellent resource, in addition to Hacker's Writer's Reference, that you may consult. The Loft Writing Center. I highly recommend that you visit the Loft, located upstairs in the library. If you have any personal obstacles to clear and effective writing, please make use of this valuable resource to help you learn and achieve higher grades. For questions or an appointment, call (206) 526-0164. Attendance Attend class regularly to protect your grade. The following situations will be considered one absence: text messaging in class, failing to attend a class meeting, being over 10 minutes late to class, being more than 5 minutes late 3 times, being without drafts on a workshop day, sleeping during class, and disruptive behavior that prevents the class from learning You are allowed three "free" absences. Each absence following the allowed three will result in a 5% deduction from the final grade. Homework Readings and/or homework exercises should be accomplished by the time you attend class on the day on which they appear on our course calendar, not the following day. So, if Tuesday's homework assignment is to read Volume 1 of Frankenstein, you should have read it by the time you attend class on Tuesday. Participation and Responsibility You are expected to actively participate in class discussions. Failure to do so will result in a lower grade. Refer to the ADA statement if you require accommodations. You are expected to leave specific, detailed comments on your partner's draft on a workshop day. You must write your name legibly at the top of your partner's draft so that you receive credit. We'll discuss this requirement in further detail in class. You are expected to come to class prepared. Have a blue or black ink pen, your inclass journal, paper for notes, and your textbook with you each day. Laptops, Phones, and Electronics All phones should be turned off. Do not use cell phones, Iphones, Ipods, or any other handheld device in class unless you have discussed it with me in advance. I allow any device needed for a medical condition or disability (with proper documentation). Laptops may be used in class, but they are only for note taking and discussionrelated information searches. Checking email, looking at websites unrelated to class, and working on materials unrelated to our class will not be allowed. These activities result in an absence. Plagiarism Plagiarism occurs under three circumstances: 1) when you knowingly submit someone else's ideas or words as your own, 2) when you submit work that you have already written for another class, 3) and/or when you fail (even accidentally) to appropriately cite or credit someone else's words and ideas. In the first and second case, it is not only dishonest but also prevents learning. If I suspect you of plagiarism, I will talk with you one-on-one and ask you to prove that the work is your own. If you are found to be dishonest, you will fail that assignment and the dean of the division will be informed. Grading This course offers a base total of 100 points to be earned, excluding occasional extra credit opportunities. At the end of the course, your percentage will be reflected easily by adding the amount of points you've earned, out of one hundred. Submit all drafts with the final draft so that I can see the feedback you have received from classmates. Points will be deducted for papers that are not stapled, not submitted with all drafts in a folder, and papers that are not in standard MLA format (discussed in class, on the Purdue OWL site, and in various writing style guides.) Paper 1: 10 points Paper 2: 20 points Paper 3: 20 points In-class timed writing: 5 points Paper 3 proposal: 10 points Self-evaluation: 5 points Two reading quizzes: 5 points each Participation and responsibility: 20 points Late Papers Late papers (final drafts) will be lowered by one letter grade for each day late, including days on which class does not meet. If you are absent on the day a draft is due, it must be submitted by email during or before the regularly scheduled meeting time (6pm-8:20). Drafts must then also be submitted in paper form to the instructor on the next day you attend class. Each draft that is not submitted lowers your final draft grade by one letter. Resubmitting Failed Papers If you receive a D (including D+), an F, or no credit on full-length essay, you may edit it and resubmit a fixed draft for a possible higher grade. This new draft can be submitted at any point before the last class meeting of the quarter, but it must be submitted on paper. Emailed submissions will not be accepted. I will grade the new draft and hand it back to you when I can, but it may not be until the end of the quarter. Rubric A: Outstanding B: Good-->Very Good C: Average/Adequate D: Inadequate F: Why Bother? Five Standards of Writing: 1. Purpose, Focus, and Development of Ideas A: thesis is specific and detailed, points are well developed and based on specific, detailed evidence that makes a logical point, paper accomplishes its goal effectively and makes the thesis difficult to deny B: thesis is simple but clear, paper stays focused on supporting the thesis, points are somewhat developed, points are made with logical and clear evidence C: abrupt jumps in focus, thesis is vague, points require more development and evidence to be effective D: paper ignores important parts of the assignment, thesis is missing or confusing, points have little to no evidence to support them, no development of ideas F: assignment is entirely off-topic, no development of ideas 2. Clarity of Information A: clear and precise communication of information, advanced vocabulary that is used appropriately B: ideas are clearly communicated but may not be precise, some grammar and spelling errors, but these do not make the paper difficult to read C: information is vague, vocabulary is used incorrectly D&F: ideas are illogical or otherwise confusing, grammar and spelling make the paper difficult to read 3. Organization and Flow A: compelling and attention-grabbing intro and conclusion, ideas are made in a logical and efficient order, paragraphs and sentences are varied in length and complexity, smooth transitions between ideas, no repetition of statements B: intro and conclusion make points rather than summarizing the paper, ideas are usually in a logical order, paragraphs and sentences show some variation in length and complexity, few transitions between ideas, perhaps one or two repetitions of information C: intro and conclusion summarize the points in the paper and are dull or forgettable, order of ideas is inefficient, simple paragraphs and sentences, no transitions, frequent repetition D&F: no intro and/or conclusion, information is in random order, author doesn't understand the form and function of paragraphs 4. Responsibility and Effort A: clear evidence of improvement and refinement through drafts, a page or more beyond minimum length while remaining focused and relevant, clearly polished and proofread, efficient and appropriate formatting B: evidence of effort to improve through drafts, minimum page length, some oversights in proofreading and formatting C: little evidence of refinement through drafts, clearly lacking proofreading, several oversight formatting, minimum length D: no evidence of refinement through drafts, drafts missing, no proofreading, clear disregard for formatting, significantly under minimum length F: paper is plagiarized or is not submitted at all 5. Style/Voice A: paper shows originality, advanced but appropriate vocabulary, and regard for audience, and it may even be compelling or entertaining to read. Any profanity, gore, or sex is presented thoughtfully and appears essential to the paper. No gratuitous gore, sex, or cussing. B: little originality present, simple but appropriate vocabulary, significant regard for audience, possibly predictable to read C: language and style are too informal for a college-level paper D & F: paper lacks any regard for college-level writing Assignments Paper 1: Media response. You will choose one text (book, film, album, t.v. show, website, etc.) and compare its portrayal of a group of people to what you consider the reality of that group. You must choose a text that deals in some way with issues of identity, and you must be able to explain what is accurate or inaccurate about it. I strongly encourage you to choose an aspect of identity that you possess (same race, gender, culture, hobby, etc.) Examples: How does 50 Cent's Get Rich Or Die Tryin' portray black American men? How are First Nation (American Indian) characters portrayed in New Moon? Do the characters on Glee seem like real high school students? Do the women on Desperate Housewives seem like real mothers? Consider the following in your paper: What is your experience with this culture/subculture/identity? On what experiences do you base your opinion of this text and its representation of this identity? Who created this text? Do(es) the creator(s) fall into this group of people? Have they ever been in this group? This may require a small amount of research and will definitely require a Works Cited page. 4-5 full-length pages, 10% of final grade Paper 2: Magazine-style essay. Pick an identity issue that you think is a problem— oppression of a specific group, limited resources for certain people, misunderstanding of a certain lifestyle or hobby. Then, propose a well thought-out solution to the problem. Speaking logically and realistically, what can we do about this problem? Do not write an essay that attacks a group of people and their behavior. You may be sympathetic to a group, but you may not attack any group. Feel free to interview people about their opinions on this issue. You may choose a specific magazine in whose style you wish to write, as long as this magazine presents college-level writing (no Highlights, please). Make sure to pick a topic that isn't too broad. "Prejudice against immigrants" would be too broad. "Prejudice against immigrants in public schools" is still too broad. "Prejudice against immigrants at North Seattle Community College" is probably just right. Start narrowly and then broaden your topic if necessary. Feel free to use visual images in your essay as a way of composing across media. Choose them wisely. Images should be used to explain and communicate information, not to make the page look cool. Any space allotted to images will not be considered toward the minimum page length. Do not neglect to cite the images within the essay as well as on the Works Cited page. Visual images do not count towards the minimum sources. 4-5 full-length pages, 20% of final grade Paper 3: Researched response. Choose one text that we have read or encountered during this quarter. Evaluate the text using the skills you've learned over this quarter and in ENGL 101. To effectively evaluate the text, you must identify ideas, issues, contradictions, themes, etc. that aren't obvious. For instance, it's obvious that Dr. Frankenstein wants to have god-like power. It's not necessarily obvious that his god-envy may reflect a creator that isn't Judeo-Christian but rather Shinto, Hindu, Vodou, etc. It's obvious that Pecola Breedlove is a powerless person. It's not obvious that her mother may be jealous of her because Cholly is attracted to Pecola. In Paris is Burning, it's obvious that the black and Latino dancers are mimicking "white" images of beauty and wealth. The ways that the director's ethnic background influences what appears in the documentary are not necessarily obvious. Remember to conduct a close reading and to be very specific in your details. Use sources to help you evaluate this text and add context. Find books, articles, etc. written by others who are commenting on this same text. Every one of our texts should have plenty of other academic critics and students commenting on it. Think of yourself as joining a "conversation," all conducted through essays, that discusses this text. See whose writing you can find to agree with you and which critics disagree with you. Some things you may wish to consider: *What is unclear, unconfirmed, or absent from the text, and how can you use what is there to draw conclusions? *What metaphors are present? What is symbolic? Are you reminded of anything? *How does this text reflect the culture (time, geography, and social trends) in which it was written? *If someone were to disagree with you, what evidence would they have that you're wrong or inaccurate? Can you refute this evidence to reinforce your argument? Select at least three sources that will help you write on this subject. Your main text from class will not count toward your three source minimum. One of these sources must have appeared in print at some point, whether as a book, article, or other publication. Other sources may include documentary films, websites, interviews, public performances, speeches, works of literature, etc. 6-10 full-length pages, 20% of final grade Paper 3 proposal: Propose a topic for your researched essay. Tell me what you want to research and why this interests you. Make sure to limit the scope of your topic. For example, don't propose an essay on the enormous subject of gender in Frankenstein. Pick a specific character, author, situation, or archetype, such as: a comparison of young girls to grown women in The Bluest Eye, American human oddities as reflected in Freaks, zombie fan culture and Frankenstein, Oscar Wilde's bisexuality and Dorian Gray, etc. If you have trouble finding information after you've narrowed your topic, please discuss this with me. I will gladly let you broaden it or even change it entirely. Find three or more sources that you would like to use for your research on this topic, and tell me about why you've chosen them. Why do you consider them to be informed sources? Write at least a paragraph about each. 2-3 pages, 10 points Self-evaluation: Assess your progress and performance during this quarter. In paragraph form (not point by point), answer the following questions: How has your writing improved over the quarter? In what areas do you still need to strengthen your writing abilities? What more could you have done to fulfill assignments and deadlines? What grade do you expect to receive in this class? This is also your opportunity to tell me anything you would like me to know that may have compromised your grades this quarter (personal difficulties, etc.). It will not change the grades on assignments, but it can change your participation grade. 500 words / 2 pages, 5 points Quizzes: Three short-answer quizzes will be given as an incentive to read your homework assignments. One of these will be extra credit. 5 points each Quizzes cannot be made up if you are absent on the day they are given. Course Outcomes 1. You will become a more effective and confident reader and develop your critical reading and thinking skills so that you can analyze, discuss, evaluate, and respond to classmates' essays and academic texts. 2. You will write in order to discover the meanings in the texts of others. 3. You will write to discover your own ideas in relation to the texts of others. 4. You will develop your skills in writing to communicate ideas to a particular audience, including other students and the teacher. 5. You will paraphrase, quote, and cite sources according to the MLA style, and integrate source materials smoothly into your own words, adding support and emphasis to your own writing. 6. You will produce writing that has been revised, edited, and proofread and you will submit it on time. 7. You will continue developing your voice as a writer. 8. You will conduct limited, focused research and evaluate sources and information. ADA Statement The Disability Services main office is located in CC 2346A, and they may be reached at (206) 527-3697. If you require accommodations because of a documented disability, or if you have medical information that needs to be shared with me, please contact me either by email or in person after class. If you use an alternative medium for communicating, please let me know before the meeting so that appropriate accommodations can be made. If you have a disability but have not documented it with the NSCC Support Services office, please do so as soon as possible so that we can arrange for appropriate accommodations. I will be unable to do this without paperwork confirming your needs.