20th Century British Poetry & Prose
Humanities/Social Sciences (H/SS) 203
The MGSC Catalog describes English 4500 as "a study of works by major figures in modern and contemporary literature. The course examines the responses of novelists, poets, and prose writers to the issues of the century." Naturally, the course also aims to expand and improve your abilities in reading and thinking critically and to develop your writing, research, and communication skills. While this class is not geared specifically for the education track of the English major, we will periodically discuss challenges and strategies in teaching various works as we proceed.
At least a "C" in English 3010.
The Norton Anthology of English Literature, 9th Edition, Volume F: The Twentieth Century and After.
The Waves, by Virginia Woolf, Harvest edition.
An additional novel, to be determined.
Attendance: Each class is important, so it is crucial that you be in class on time every day. I record attendance, and absences do affect your grade. Students with more than four absences fail the class, regardless of the reasons for any of the absences—I make no distinction between "excused" and "unexcused" absences. I understand that "stuff happens," and not every student will be able to attend every class meeting. I will try to work with you on any major assignments you happen to miss (assignments other than reading quizzes), especially when you notify me of the absence missing class: feel free to call me at home or email anytime you must miss class.
Late work: Late work is penalized one letter grade for each class day the assignment is late. Work turned in more than three class days late will receive no higher grade than F, and I accept no work more than two weeks late.
Bare minimum course requirements: Regardless of your overall grade average, to be eligible to pass the course you must turn in both formal papers, submit at least five critical responses, complete corrections assignments for the first paper and two critical responses, and take both the midterm and final exams.
Plagiarism: Except for assignments expressly calling for collaborative effort, all written work must be your own. Any unacknowledged borrowing from the writings of others will be considered plagiarism, a serious breach of academic integrity. I will submit cases of plagiarism or other academic dishonesty for review by the Student Conduct Officer. The penalty for plagiarism in this class is an "F" for the entire course, not just the assignment in question.
Note that this more specific definition of plagiarism is operative in this class:
For more on plagiarism, follow the "On Plagiarism" link on my website.
MGSC Academic Misconduct Statement: As a Middle Georgia State College student and as a student in this class, you are responsible for reading, understanding, and abiding by the MGSC Student Code of Conduct. The Student Code of Conduct is included in the MGSC Student Handbook and is available online at http://www.mga.edu/student-affairs/docs/MGSC_Student_Handbook.pdf.
MGSC Policy on Disability Accommodations: Students seeking academic accommodations for a special need must contact Disabilities Services (471-2985), located in the Student Life Center, Room 266, on the Macon campus, or in Stanford Hall on the Cochran campus (934-3023).
“Technical Policy” (re: plagiarism detection): “a plagiarism prevention service is used in evaluation of written work submitted for this course. As directed by the instructor, students are expected to submit or have their assignments submitted through the service in order to meet requirements for this course. The papers may be retained by the service for the sole purpose of checking for plagiarized content in future student submissions.”
Cell phones/personal electronics: The use of cell phones, smart-phones, PDA's, ipods, and other hand-held personal electronics devices is not permitted during classtime. All such devices must be kept out of sight for the duration of class—off of desks and out of laps. I will count absent any student texting or viewing a personal electronic device, and if the problem persists I will ask students not abiding by this policy to leave the classroom. Students who wish to take notes on laptops may do so, but only if they sit in the back row.
Withdrawal Policy: “Students may withdraw from the course and earn a grade of ‘W’ up to and including the midterm date, which occurs on October 16, 2013. After midterm, students who withdraw will receive a grade of ‘WF.’ The MGSC Withdrawal Form, which is available online or in the Office of the Registrar, must be signed by the instructor in advance of withdrawal.”
Instruments of Evaluation
Class discussion: Most class periods will involve open discussion of the readings with relatively little lecture, so your participation in discussion is essential. I will call on reticent or "quiet" students, and class participation does factor into your semester grade.
Critical response writings: typed informal writings of at least 250 words responding to the readings before we discuss them in class. Note that each critical response assignment is valid for one class period only, and that critical responses are accepted only by the beginning of the period for which they are assigned. I will post critical response questions on the web and announce them in class the meeting before each reading assignment is due. Grades are recorded for only eight critical responses, meaning that you do not have to address every assigned topic, only a total of eight over the course of the semester.
Exams: Both the midterm and final exams will consist of two parts: 1) "short answers," or brief paragraph-length commentary on the significance of specific passages from our readings, and 2) essays making connections in theme or technique between different writers or works. There will be one essay on the midterm and two on the final. You will have some choice in the short answer and essay portions of each exam: you might on the midterm, for instance, select 5 of 7 short answer questions and 1 of 3 essay options.
Papers: In two essays of 8-12 typed pages (2400-3000 word minimum), you will explore in some depth a subject you choose from a list of paper topics I will post on the web. For at least one of the papers, you will incorporate research into the essayi.e. you will be required to cite five or more secondary sources of quality scholarship or criticism in addition to the primary work(s) you discuss. You will submit a brief topic sentence outline well before each paper is due, as indicated on our schedule of readings and assignments.
Corrections: For the first two critical responses and the first formal paper, after your work is graded you will 1) record all marked errors on corrections worksheets, and 2) hand in corrected drafts with all changes highlighted. Since corrections require a freshly printed draft after the paper has been graded, you should save all your work on disk to avoid having to retype entire drafts. For specifics, see corrections instructions.
Conferences: Conferences are not mandatory, but I strongly recommend them if you struggle with any aspect of the readings and at any stage of the paper-writing processexploring topics, drafting, revising, or editing. My typical aim in paper conferences is to head off potential problems in your essays and to offer helpful, critical response to your work before you submit it for grading.
"Rewrites": You may rewrite and resubmit either or both formal papers for re-grading. Rewrite
grades replace original grades completely. Note that rewriting involves
far more substantial revision than correcting grammatical errors: rewrites
should also address larger problems in focus, structure, content, and
style. The starting point for revision is my typed comments on your
graded papers; rewrites should also address comments and questions written
in the margins of the original graded papers.
You should track your grades throughout the semester by keeping a "Scorecard." You can also track grades and find your cumulative average (overall course grade) by downloading and filling in the "grade calculator" for this class from my website.
A note on note-taking: Although this course involves comparatively little lecture, you will do well to take notes during every class period. "A" students typically take extensive notes, and it's certain that taking good notes will improve your grades on exams and papers. Even in class periods where your classmates do more talking than the professor, you should make note of any significant points made by anyone in the discussion. You would also do well to underline, highlight, or otherwise note all passages from the readings that we take special notice of in class, for I select short-answer quotations for exams mainly from those we've read or examined closely in discussion.
The Bottom Line: I hope every member of this class gets an A, and I will do everything I can to make this happen. Don't get me wrongthe standards for "A" work are high, and I make no exceptions in course policies on absences, missed assignments, plagiarism, or late work. But I guarantee you have one of the most accessible professors at Middle Georgia State: ask for help outside of class, and I'll do my level best to deliver.