Lib 105: COLLEGE WRITING Spring 2005
Dr. Donna Bauerly, Professor of English
9 Keane Office: 534 Hoffman (hours posted on door and in classroom)
Telephone: 556-5226 (home) 588-7759 (office)
1. To read, interpret and enjoy great fiction! If #1 doesn’t happen, forget the rest.
2. To encourage in-depth analyses and methods of literary criticism for works studied.
3. To teach writing as a process that includes pre-writing, composing, and revision/editing. To stress both “correct” and “bold” writing.
4. To teach various rhetorical modes: conveying information, analyzing facts for meaning, arguing positions (particularly through the Toulmin model), evaluating and reflecting upon ideas and experience. “The FIRE Next Time.” (Baldwin)
5. To understand your individual progress in reading and writing. Robert Frost (loosely quoted) “We go to college to be given one more chance to learn how to read.”
6. To encourage collaborative learning by sharing critical perceptions and by participating in peer evaluations of the writing process (workshops).
7. To learn a sophisticated use of the library (print and on-line).
8. To study one author in depth and to “take on” that author-persona in writing a research-based “voiced” paper.
9. To present that paper in small and large group sharing.
10. To select and revise at least one writing for the General Education Portfolio.
TEXTS: Literature and the Writing Process. 6th edition, 2002. McMahan,
Day and Funk. (There is an abbreviated handbook in this text, but
it is better to own a more detailed text. You may use whatever one
you presently own or buy Diana Hacker’s A Pocket Reference). We will use just
the fiction section from L&theWP.
Coursepack. On sale in the Loras Bookstore.
NOVELS: In Country (Bobbi Ann Mason); Slaughterhouse Five (Kurt Vonnegut)
SYLLABUS (tentative, but hopeful) and please NOTE: the “also read” stories will
be optional this semester. I am trying to “lighten the load.” I encourage you
to read the extra story since there is always some connection between the
two. And, of course, you will be broadening and deepening your understanding of life and literature. I will know, from your Flashpoints,
your Critical Notebooks and your class discussions whether you are
challenging yourself with those optional stories. When Flashpoints or
Themes tell you to compare/contrast, do so if you read both stories. If you
read only one story, just comment on that story alone (except for Theme 1)
19 Introduction to the course and the study of fiction. Kate Chopin’s “Story of an Hour,” pp. 188-190: reading, role playing, discussion. (pp. 61- 6 text--questions).
Choose an author from among those we are reading in this class for in-depth
study (Coursepack 8).
21 LIBRARY (your ONLY Friday). We will review certain literature sources:
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Dictionary of Literary Biography, Contemporary Literary Criticism, Contemporary
Authors (which indexes itself, the DLB and CLC), Essay and General Literature
Index, and the NEIULS. We will also review on-line searching, particularly
through “First Search.” If you know all of the above VERY WELL, please tell
me, and I will direct you to other sources. Meet in the entrance to the Library
at 8:30 or 11:00 for this session. Thank you.
After this Library session FIND A PICTURE OF YOUR CHOSEN AUTHOR and ONE OF YOU. Use the sources you learned today and choose a “defining moment” from your author and one from your own life. Something that particularly defines who you and your author are! Link yourselves in some creative manner. Find a creative way to link you and your author (see samples from class on the Board). We will gather all these on the wall in the back.
24 Read Chapters 1-3 (text). Underline, annotate. Story: Joyce’s “Eveline, pp. 3-7.
For pp. 10-11, take notes in your Critical Notebook (to be explained in class) on questions assigned to your group. (These first chapters--through 4--are all reviews of the writing process, with which you should be familiar. However, don’t take
anything for granted. This is an excellent teaching text and is well worth reading and re-reading many times.)
Optional: Also, read Raymond Carver’s story “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love,” pp. 356-363. Flashpoint: (4x6 index card) Compare/Contrast “Love” (from Joyce’s story and from Chopin’s) Address your comments to Eveline (her story) and to Mrs. Mallard (her story) Add your definition of love as you know it from experience. If you also read Carver’s story, talk to Nick as well.
26 BRING YOUR and your author’s DEFINING MOMENTS (see above).
WORKSHOP: Theme #1: LOVE (typed, 1-1 ½ pages ) See separate directions
sheet (Coursepack 17-18). Use LOVE as a unifying theme and address “Eveline,”
and “Story of an Hour.” (Carver’s story optional) Be sure to include your own
thoughts about what real love is, how you recognize it, and how you sustain it.
You will still need to address: audience, prewriting, purpose, questioning,
freewriting, problem-solving and clustering (see your text pp. 7-15). You also
need a strong thesis statement. You might pose a unifying question, pose various
“answers,” give proofs from stories, and then choose! HAVE A METHOD AND
USE IT WELL! (see Toulmin Model, Argumentation). Follow all other
suggestions for Theme # 1 in your Coursepack. Final draft of Theme # 1 is due
on Wednesday, Feb. 2nd. THREE copies, please—one for your “partner two for Tom or Lisa and me.
31 Read Chapters 4-5 (text) – an overview of the reading and writing process for
fiction. Underline, annotate. Read Tim O’Brien’s “The Things They Carried,”
65-76. Take notes in CN, Text LWP 76-77, for “Patterns.” Optional: Also, read LIB 105: COLLEGE WRITING (3) 2005
same Louise Erdrich’s “The Red Convertible,” a story that also centers around the
Vietnam experience. Compare/contrast the reality of war in these stories and
moments of recognition. Add your own “experience” (probably vicarious) of
war and some great “moment of recognition” about war that you have had
(notes in CN). We will return to the theme of war in both novels we are
reading this semester: In Country (Vietnam) and Slaughterhouse Five (WW II).
2 Hand in 3 copies of Theme #1.
Read Chapter 6 (text--Imagery and Symbolism). Underline and annotate.
Read Jackson’s,” The Lottery.” Optional: Also read Joyce Carol Oates’ story
“Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been,” pp. 152-164. Both of these
stories have powerful images and symbols. Both focus on terrible things
happening to ordinary people. Take notes in your CN, using text, p. 84 to help
you focus. Find powerful images in both “The Lottery” and “Where Are You
Going…” (See Casebook Notes, text 164-168) What are the deeper meanings
(symbols) of those recurring images.
7 Chapter 7 (text—point of view) Underline, annotate. Read Walker’s “Everyday
Use,” pp. 106-112. Answer questions, p. 113. (CN--Write out these answers in a
holistic fashion—a unitive essay, considering the thrust of the questions.)
Optional: Also read Toni Cade Bambera’s story “The Lesson,”pp. 345-
350.Compose your own questions for this story (write out in your CN) using
“Point of View” as a focus. Model your questions on the ones give for “Everyday
Use.” Compare and contrast the “worlds” the two sets of characters inhabit.
What is the central lesson learned from each story—particularly for the narrator of
FLASHPOINT: Think ahead to Theme #2 (see your Coursepack for
directions). Take notes for one or both stories (“The Lottery,” “Where Are
You Going”) in your CN—eventually focus on one of the most powerful
images from one or both stories. Find a powerful image from your own life,
particularly one associated with something you had to overcome, or a
difficult choice you had to make. Write a short version of your theme in this
FLASHPOINT. Be sure to consider a so what? as your conclusion.
9 WORKSHOP of Theme #2 (typed 1-1 ½ pages). See separate direction sheet.
You are always encouraged to generate your own ideas for papers. You are often
urged to compare and contrast. In this case, using “The Lottery” and “Where
Are You Going…” However, your paper must always have a strong controlling
main idea, particularly for such short papers. Use the central topic of each
teaching chapter as a focus. In this paper, focus on controlling images that, in
recurring, become symbols. Go back to your CN notes. Use those as a basis for
this paper. You may always conclude your paper with examples (in this case image and meaning) from your own life (see direction sheet Coursepack 19-20)
14 Catch up day—review of content/form this far! Sharing of research from your
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an Annotated Bibliography (see samples from 9 Keane—under cart).
16 Hand in final draft of Theme #2. Three copies, please.
Read Chapter 8 “Setting and Atmosphere,” p. 116. Underline, annotate. Read
Tobias Wolff’s “Hunters in the Snow.” In your CN, write out the Prewriting
Exercise, pp. 127-128 – again in a holistic fashion in your CN. Optional: Also,
read D.H. Lawrence’s “The Rocking-Horse Winner,” pp. 220-230. You can
apply almost the same questions to this story as you did for “Hunters.”
Atmosphere, thematic reasons for details provided, relationships among family
(“Rocking”) or friends (“Hunters”), the shocking endings to the stories.
Optional: Write a comparison/contrast of these stories in your CN.
21 LIBRARY RESEARCH DAY. Concentrate on your chosen author for in-depth
research (explained in syllabus). By now, your overview research of your author
should be complete (with notes on index cards). Begin to do in-depth research—
books, articles, Internet sources. use that “so what” to relate setting to your life as well. CN.FLASHPOINT: Using your CN notes, stress ONE IMPORTANT
point for setting from “Hunters” and “Rocking”—(if you chose to read it) Use
that “so what” to relate setting to your life as well.
23 WORKSHOP: THEME #3, centering on setting and atmosphere –see separate
directions in your Coursepack 21-23. You may choose to compare and contrast
YOUR setting with Wolff’s story or with Lawrence’s (if you read it)—or, if you
are capable, with both stories. Just be sure to have a controlling focus and a “so
WINTER BREAK (Feb. 28-March 4)
7 Read Chapter 9, “Writing About Theme,” pp. 133-134. Underline, annotate.
Read O’Connor’s “Good Country People.” In your CN, write out the “answers”
(holistic) for the Prewriting and Stating the Theme, p. 147.
Optional: Also, read Nathaniel Hawthorne’s story, “The Birthmark,” 169-179. Again, you can “fashion” the same questions from pp. 143-144 to this story: title, setting, characters (names, physical description and relation to one another), significant objects (such as the Birthmark), and changes in characters, feelings
toward one another, reversals or surprises, narrator comments and the ending! Ask yourself WHY O’Connor and Hawthorne wrote these stories. What do they want us to understand?
Hand in final draft of Theme
#3. Three copies, please.
14 FLASHPOINT: evil?: “Good Country People” and (if you read “The Birthmark,” compare and contrast). Focus on an understanding of the complexity of good and evil. See question #1 on p. 149—that could be a focus for both
stories—and for your own questioning of your life.
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Introduction to the novel. Two novels will be read, studied and discussed in this class: Bobbi Ann Mason’s In Country and Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five. Both are novels centering on the “bildungsroman” (the maturation of a young person). Often it is autobiographical, which these two novels are: one from the point of view of a young woman whose father was killed in Vietnam even before she was born; and the other from the point of view of a young private, caught in the fire bombing of Dresden in World War II. Both protagonists are approximately your age. Although this entire class is not centered on war, the classes from now to the end of the semester will have war as background. Many times, you will foreground it as you struggle to understand war and conflict from these young person’s point of view. Try to have In Country completely read as soon as possible. It’s a quick read!
Read it first for pleasure, immersing yourself in the experience. Then, begin to use
the study guide and “answer” some key questions in your CN, re-reading when
necessary, taking yourself always deeper into the experience of the story, its
meanings and its techniques.
16-23 Continue reading and re-reading of In Country. We will alternate small and large
group discussion and do some role playing as well. Also, (if you have not already read, NOW read Louise Erdrich’s “The Red Convertible,” text 364-371 (the aftermath of the Vietnam War, as well.)
EASTER BREAK (MARCH 24-28)
Role play on the (Mason’s and Erdrich’s characters).
“FLASHPOINT EXTENDED”: 1st three pages of your final voiced research paper. Footnotes and Works Cited and Works Consulted as well.
4 LIBRARY RESEARCH DAY. You should be nearing the “end” of your research
for your chosen author. Lisa, Tom and I will be in the Library to help you. We
will return your 1st 3 pages of your final voiced paper to you and consult with you
6 SHORT PAPER on In Country. See Coursepack 24-26, Theme # 4, and also
suggestions in the guide (47-57. You may choose any one of these (or a
combination or your own idea as a controlling theme. You might also practice
“voicing” this paper in preparation for your final paper. (Explained later in the
syllabus). You might have a “conversation” between Sam and Lymon about their
brothers or about “war” and its effects…..or….any other creative approach. No
Workshop, just a sharing of this paper.
11 Introduction and beginning discussions of Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut.
We will concentrate on methodology (as well as content!) and you will be grouped
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according to how much you have read. Try to have the entire novel read as soon as possible. The novel is short, but “time tripping” can trip you up a bit—sort of like our modern day AOL messaging, in a way! J
Keep a brief summary of each chapter as you read. That summary will be a big help in sorting out Billy Pilgrim’s lives!
NOTE: ALL FINAL “VOICED” RESEARCH PAPERS ARE DUE ON April 18th Three copies, please. All Footnotes and Works Cited and Works Consulted included!
13-27 Slaughterhouse Five (continued discussions)
27 Role play: Slaughterhouse Five. FLASHPOINT: time tripping—Billy’s and yours!
PRESENTATIONS (one will be scheduled for Exam week as well)
—see Coursepack (29) for directions. Plan with your group
For these final classes of sharing your research papers, you will assume the persona
of your chosen author, and we will establish certain general questions that each
author will “answer.” Topics might be:
l. a “defining moment” in your life (your persona, that is)
2. other author influences on your content/style
3. main themes of some of your stories
4. biographical information that influenced you as a writer
5. an important novel you wrote (if you did) and its theme(s)
6. how you view the world today (or would, if you were alive)
7. what your own world was like (if you are dead)
8. compose other great “ideas” for questions….interact with others in your group—make it REAL.
Assignments and readings are due on the date on this syllabus. “Flashpoints” and short papers usually alternate weeks so that you have some writing, “formal and informal,” due each week. Some of those writings will require documentation, so great familiarity with the library is highly encouraged. Workshop times are planned prior to writings. You will be grouped for peer interaction according to your “rough copy” readiness. If you are not at all ready, you will be expected to continue fiction discussion (with a group of you also-unprepared-peers), but you will miss out on valuable input for your writing.
DUE DATES: Themes: Feb. 2, Feb.16, Mar 9, Apr 6, Apr 18
Flashpoints: Jan. 24, Feb. 7, Feb 21, Mar 14, Mar. 30(extended) and Apr. 27.
Critical Notebook pages will be handed in approximately three times during
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Attendance policy: I’m here; you’re here! Any absolutely necessary absence must be excused, prior—if possible—phone mail excuse (brief) if unforeseen. Know a reliable peer for assignments so you come to the next class prepared.
Conferences: A sign-up sheet will always be on the chalk ledge in the classroom. You are definitely welcome at any time to discuss your progress and to receive personal attention to your writing, in addition to what is given in class.
Student Assistants: Lisa Dreznes and Tom McNamara, chosen to extend my ability to work one-on-one with you and your writing. They are young, but wise, knowledgeable and very successful in writing and academics! They are also available to you at times and places that I am not. (more to be explained in class)
Grading: I use a unique system (except for mathematicians!)
1-5 points: A = 5 B=4 C=3 D=2 F=1 no work = 0 To compute your grade at any time, divide the total number of points by the number of 5’s entered thus far. Then, use the following scale: 5.0 = A+ 4.9 and 4.8 = A 4.7 and 4.6 = A- 4.5, 4.4 and 4.3 = B+ 4.2, 4.l, 4.0 and 3.9 = B 3.8, 3.7 and 3.6 = B- 3.5, 3.4, 3.3 = C+ 3.2, 3.1. 3.0 and 2.9 = C 2.8, 2.7 and 2.6 = C- (more detail explained in class). Usually, there is a total of 100 points during the 1st quarter and 200 during the 2nd (more in second quarter because of the final research paper). So 300 possible points (for the semester) equals 60 “5’s”. If YOU
had a total of 243 points, divide that by 60 and your grade would be: 4.05 or 4.1, which on the scale equals a "B.”
Don’t ever be LOST for long in this class. Unlike Billy Pilgrim, you are NOT in a “war.” Schedule a conference with me, or with one of the student assistants.
And last, but certainly not least: VALUES:
--from a common syllabus: “Rational societies depend on people who review facts objectively, formulate reasonable arguments, and make sound judgments. This course is designed to encourage and enable students to think critically, form rational opinions, and express views lucidly in writing, while learning the values of reflective thinking, collaboration, and diligence in the process of planning, writing, and revising.”
Mary Oliver, poet, says: “Literature is not just words, neither is it just ideas. It is a formal construct mirroring all of life, reporting it, questioning it. And the power of poetry [read all genre] comes from both mental inquiry and figurative language—the very mud and leaves of the world. Without this mud and leaves—and fish and roses and honeybees—the poem [or story] would be as dull as a mumble. Without figurative language we could have no literature. A body of literature as it is called.” A Poetry Handbook 107.
For this Professor: “This I have always known—that if I did not live my life immersed in the one activity which suits me, and which also, to tell the truth, keeps me utterly happy and intrigued, I would come someday to bitter and mortal regret.” Oliver 120.
“May the Force be with you!”