Course Assignments


Two weeks before each paper is due I will give detailed assignment instructions.

Response Papers/Journals

A one-page response paper in the form of a journal entry will be due at the beginning of each class for which we discuss a new reading (literary, critical or otherwise). Journal entries should address the issues of the texts not just your reactions to them. Journal entries should reflect the student's analysis and careful reading of the texts. Entries should include questions that the student attempts to answer based on the readings and class discussion as well as links to other texts. Journals should go beyond plot summary (in fact, they should avoid plot summary except where absolutely necessary to make a point clear) as well as diary-style reactions. Journals are meant to be a critical exercise in which the student engages questions of tone, style, irony, structure, metaphor and other tropes that aid in our understanding of literature. Summary or paraphrase as an entire entry will NOT be accepted. Journals should be typed, double-spaced, using a standard 12-point font.

In-class essay

Once during the semester there will be an impromptu writing. This will be an exam type question addressing the issues of the course with the goal of helping you hone your argument and writing skills. The impromptu writing is designed to help you organize your thoughts and to quickly draw upon insights and connections between and among texts. This exercise cannot be made up; consequently, your attendance is crucial.


Each student will be required to briefly introduce one of the texts for the course. This will consist of an informal presentation where the student addresses some of the questions or problems interrogated by the text and poses relevant questions to the class. Each presentation should be around 3-5 minutes, but should have enough material to spark meaningful discussion. Failure to ask at least two relevant questions that are properly contextualized (one must introduce the questions, not just blurt 2 questions and consider that a completed presentation) will result in a significantly reduced score for this exercise.


As noted under the Course Policies section below, participation is crucial for your growth as a thinker as well as for the overall success of this course. As such, ten percent (100 points) of your grade is devoted to class participation—namely, how well you contribute your individual thoughts to the conversation of the course. Are your questions relevant and insightful? Are your comments such that we can make new connections between and among the texts? Are you respectful of your peers? These will all be considered for what is basically a letter grade equivalent for the course. Please note: you cannot earn these points if you do not participate. It is expected that all students will take notes on class discussions and lectures.

Grading Policy

This is a Gordon Rule course; it meets the 6000 word written work requirement that will receive feedback and a grade. ALL work must be completed and turned in on time to satisfy the Gordon Rule.

Students shall maintain course competencies mastered in ENC 1101.

A: 90-100; B: 80-89; C: 70-79; D: 60-69

Testing / Late Paper Policy

All work must be turned in on time and formatted according to the standards outlined in the syllabus AND on the individual assignment sheet. Impromptu essays cannot be made up.