July 22, 2009 Archives
E-mail: My last name, at the setonhill.edu domain.
For routine e-mails, feel free to use txt spk if u want; I'll toss off a reply as soon as I can. ;)I do get anywhere from 50-100 messages a day. To help me respond more efficiently to your e-mails:
For more serious e-mails (maybe you're asking for an appointment, or a make-up assignment, or you're asking me to do some serious thinking), the quality of your writing should reflect the sincerity of your request.
- Please make sure your real name and the course number (EL266) appears in the message. (If you use your SHU account, the system will show me your real name; but chances are I won't recognize "firstname.lastname@example.org".)
- Please take a few seconds to write a meaningful e-mail subject line.
- Subject: "EL2660: I'm stuck... how should I deal with writer's block?"
- Subject: "Can you help me with my revision in EL266?"
In both of the above examples, I know in advance whether I can handle your question in a few seconds, or whether I'll need to plan time in my day so that I can concentrate on writing a detailed response.
- Subject: "A question about class."
What class? I teach several each term. What kind of question? Can you summarize it briefly, right in the subject line? (I don't mind txt spk for informal messages.)
A blank subject line doesn't give me any reason to bump your message ahead of the rest.
- If you're asking me to comment on something you wrote, copy-paste your text right into the e-mail -- that's much faster than sending it as an attachment.
Office Phone: 724-830-1909 (but you will usually get a faster response if you e-mail)
Office Hours: Fall, 2009 (in St. Joseph 403)
- Tue 1:30-2:30
- Thu 1:30-2:30
- Fri 10:30-11:30
- and also by appointment.
Occasionally I step out of my office briefly to run errands during my scheduled office hours. If my light is still on, or there's a note on my door, I'm probably not far away.
- I usually leave my office door open. If you should happen to drop by outside of my office hours, and my door is closed, please come back later or send me an e-mail.
- If I'm with someone when you arrive during my office hour or for a scheduled appointment, go ahead and knock so I know you are waiting.
Explores a diverse body of nineteenth-century literature, including fiction, poetry, narrative, and essays, written in different regions of the United States by men and women of various cultural groups. Works of the American literary renaissance are studied alongside writing from other traditions, such as Native American autobiography, African American narrative, and women's fiction.
Any survey course has a particular set of meanings for students who are taking them in order to fulfill a general education area requirement, an education certification requirement, or purely as an elective.
The Seton Hill University Learning Objectives
(found on page 2 of the 2008-1010 course catalog) lists several skills
that this course is especially designed to help you develop:
- Use technological skills to access information, organize knowledge, and communicate.
- Express arguments or main points clearly, in written and oral communication.
- Assess privilige and oppression from the perspective of culture, race, class, and gender.
- Find, evaluate, and apply information.
- Locate and analyze expressive media to gain information or comprehend the significance of an issue or event.
A literature survey course has an additional meaning for English majors and minors, who will be expected, in their other courses, to demonstrate familiarity with the scholarly techniques (how to read and write about a literary text) and subject matter (major authors and themes of American literature since 1915).
These goals of the English program all apply directly to EL 266:
- Examine a wide range of genres, styles and cultural literatures.
- Examine the traditional canon and innovative nontraditional writers and writing.
- Demonstrate analytical skills of reading literature.
- Demonstrate a high level of research and writing skills.
- Write and speak in a wide range of formats appropriate to major emphasis: fiction, non-fiction, poetry, critical essay, oral presentation.
- Speak and write about issues in the discipline and how they interact with the culture at large.
- Articulate the ongoing relation between personal habits of reading and writing and the evolving study of English.
- Deeply and critically read literary texts
- Demonstrate familiarity with the social and political forces shaping American culture during the time period
- Use textual evidence to support your claims in oral and informal written discussion of assigned texts, without oversimplifying or ignoring views which differ from yours
- Organize and develop your initial reactions to assigned texts, through informal writing, peer critiques, and discussion
- Write two college-level papers (one supported by primary sources, another supported by both primary sources and secondary research)
- Contribute actively to a positive learning environment
- read all assigned texts and reflect meaningfully on them (a process that includes re-reading parts of large texts or the whole of shorter texts) before class,
- complete exercises, quizzes, and exams in order to offer me opportunities to assess your achievements,
- write two papers (see section 6, Assignments)
At the end of this course, you should be able to demonstrate
- Competence in interpretive, critical reading of literary texts
- Intellectual engagement with your peers (in person and online)
- Awareness of the historical, cultural, and formal issues that influence your developing responses to texts on the syllabus
- Ability to plan, research, draft, revise, and polish college-level essays, using appropriate sources to explore and defend a non-obvious claim about your chosen text
Writing and Revision
Informal and formal writing is the primary form of assessment. (Quizzes and exams are far less important, due to the nature of the material we are covering.)
Any form of writing is a skill; it is not easy to learn (or teach), and meaningful progress only comes with practice.
- In high school, your teacher may have called your attention to every
single spelling and punctuation mistake on your rough drafts, and then
given you points for correcting them.
- In college, however, you are
expected to develop the ability to edit and proofread your own papers.
Hence, I do not plan to mark every mistake I find when I review your drafts.
may mark up only one section of your paper, to show you the kinds of
problems that you should address; it will then be your responsibility
to identify more of those same mistakes -- as well as other mistakes that I did not
At any time during the semester, if you want additional feedback, feel free to make an appointment with me, or go to the writing center.
- Keep up with the readings. Reflect on them before coming to class, and help sustain an active, positive learning environment. (We won't have time to discuss every reading in glass, so there is an online component that I will introduce shortly.)
- Please keep copies of rough drafts of papers; that is, instead of saving overtop of your old files, save each new version with a new name "Exercise 1 - Aug 30," "Exercise 1 - Sep 3." I may want to talk with you about your rough drafts before recording a grade.
- I will often send out bulk e-mails to the addresses on file in GriffinGate. If you check a different address more regularly, please use SHU's e-mail forwarding service so that you don't miss important updates.
- Although this course does include a great deal of online information, it is not an online class. That means in-person attendance and face-to-face interaction are important components of the course. It also means that I will not be making any attempt to ensure that the online material duplicates everything we cover in class.
Students are expected to attend every class (according to the Seton Hill University Catalog). Repeated late arrivals and early departures will begin to count as absences.
A student's final grade may be lowered by the proportion of unexcused absences. Thus, a student with a final grade of 75% with a record of 10% unexcused absences would get a final grade that is 90% of 75% (that is, 67.5%). (If you have only a few absences and your class participation is good, I will probably waive the penalty.)
An excused absence does not automatically grant an extension for any material covered, or any work collected or assigned.
If you stay up all night in order to complete a major assignment, and you skip class on the day it is due, I will count the assignment an extra day late. (You might as well go to bed without finishing the paper, come to class well-rested so you won't fall farther behind, and then turn in the paper the next morning.)
What to Do When You Must Miss a Class
Contact me directly, after you have done the following:
Note: It may not be possible to arrange make-up assignments for some due dates or class activities.
- Consult this website to find out what is scheduled on the date(s) affected by your absence.
- Consult a classmate and arrange to get notes on what happens during class, extra copies of any handouts, etc. (After you have spoken with a classmate, I will be happy to answer any specific questions, by e-mail or in person, about what you missed.)
- Plan to submit work on the appropriate due-date (an excused absence does not automatically come with an extension), or if appropriate, request a specific extension.
5.1.1. Emergency Absences
Those who miss class due to an unplanned emergency should submit an "Absence Form," with proper documentation, as soon as possible.
For each class that you missed, print out and complete a copy of my "Absence Form" (available at http://jerz.setonhill.edu/teaching/Absence.doc). After you initiate this contact, we will start working out whether or what kind of alternative work would be appropriate. (I ask that you resist the impulse to ask me to e-mail you a summary of what you missed. I welcome the chance to help you get caught up, but please first consult the syllabus and a classmate's notes, and then bring any specific questions to me.) For some classroom activities, such as listening to peer oral presentations, there may be no appropriate make-up assignment. (See 5.2 Participation.)
5.1.2. Scheduled Absences
Those who miss class due to a scheduled activity must plan to complete all make-up assignments before the missed class. In order to give us both time to plan, you must submit a complete, acceptable "Absence Form" (see above) a week before the missed class.
If there is insufficient time for us to agree upon an acceptable make-up assignment, or if an approved make-up assignment is late or unsatisfactory, then I may record the absence as unexcused and the missed work as a zero.
Students are expected to contribute actively to a positive classroom environment, both in person and online.
Absences, late arrivals and early departures, inappropriate use of telephones or headphones, lack of preparation, and inattentiveness will affect your ability to contribute to a positive classroom environment. Those who participate above and beyond the call of duty will receive a bonus. If your final grade falls near a borderline, I will take your participation into account when I decide whether to round up or down.
Students who dislike public speaking may wish to invest more effort in their online writing, and vice-versa.
Since we are learning in a 21st-century university, this course expects you to use the internet regularly. Just as students in generations past learned to carry an extra inkhorn and spare lamp wicks, there are certain common-sense strategies that will help you do the necessary work.
Print out a copy of the course syllabus, and print out online readings in advance, so that you can work on the readings if the internet happens to be down. Get in the habit of e-mailing drafts to yourself, so that you can retrieve them from your archives if you lose your thumb drive.
Unless the homework assignment specifically mentions a printout, you should assume that I don't want a hard copy, though I may ask you to bring printouts for you to trade with your peers during class. Exercises and papers will be submitted via Turnitin.com. We will also use the library website and blogs.setonhill.edu. We will spend some class time familiarizing ourselves with the various tools, and I am happy to meet with you during my office hours if you'd like additional help.
Getting Credit for Late Work
By default, late assignments automatically lose one letter grade if they are not submitted on time, and another letter grade for each additional day late (counting weekends as one day). This means that no assignment will earn any credit if it is more than four days late, unless there are extenuating circumstances.
If you are asking that I waive a late penalty, e-mail me a copy of your completed Absence Form (after I have already seen and signed the printed copy), with a subject line that follows this pattern: "Smith EL266 Ex 1 Absence Form". Then, submit your late work according to the assignment instructions.
Deadlines for the submission of turnitin.com assignments are typically 15 minutes before class starts. I do this simply to discourage you from being late to class because you are still working on your homework. It also permits me to scan the assignments briefly before class begins. If your online submission is late by a few minutes, but you are still on time to class, your paper won't count as late.
Please note that late submissions always go to the bottom of my to-do list. If you are concerned about not getting a paper back soon enough to help you complete the next step in a multi-stage assignment, please make an appointment and I will go over it with you orally.
Some assignments are designed to get you ready for a particular day's class, or to help you practice important skills -- like meeting deadlines. In-class quizzes (taken with the hand-held "clicker" response cards) and in-class peer review and copy editing activities are not easily replaceable. In such cases, I reserve the right to assign a make-up assignment for half credit, or to accept no make-up work and report a zero.RRRR Items: These time-sensitive assignments (I will eventually introduce RRRR assignments... see the Help page) earn no credit if they are late. You should still complete any items you missed in order to get full credit for your class portfolio.
Make-up/Extra Credit Assignments: I do not have a policy of inventing make-up or extra-credit assignments to enable you to pull your grade up in the last few weeks of the term. At any time, however, you may demonstrate your willingness to work hard for your grade by doing more than the required amount of work on your weblog. (Call my attention to this extra work when you submit your weblog portfolio.)
Required purchases are:
- Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter 0553210092
- Clemens, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn 039598078X
- Foster, How to Read Literature Like a Professor 006000942X
If you have a disability that requires instructor consideration please contact the Director
of Disability Services at 724-838-4295. It is recommended that this be
accomplished by the second week of class. If you need accommodations for
successful participation in class activities prior to your appointment at the
Disability Services Office, you should offer information in writing that
includes suggestions for assistance in participating in and completing class
assignments. It is not necessary to disclose the nature of your
Plagiarism and Academic Misconduct
Any unreferenced use of the written or spoken material of another, or of previously submitted work of the student's own, constitutes plagiarism.Paraphrasing the thoughts or written work of another without reference is also plagiarism. Helpful information is available at the following web site: Plagiarism: What It Is and How to Recognize and Avoid It. Any plagiarism on a draft will result in a zero as the final grade on that assignment. Any plagiarism or cheating on an informal essay, paragraph, or grammar exercise will also result in a zero.
See also "Plagiarism (and Academic Integrity)."
Avoid plagiarism by
- submitting your own original work
- giving proper credit to other people whose words and/or ideas appear in your work
- recognizing that direct quotation (with citation) and paraphrase (with citation) are both acceptable ways to use outside material.
- starting early (plan 2-3 hours of homework for each hour of class)
- keeping on track (with brainstorming, drafting, workshop, and revision assignments)
- seeking out help (from the professor, Writing Center, tutors)
Note on Grading ScaleThe whole course is based on 1000 points. Each individual assignment will be marked on a four-point scale, the same as your GPA. Thus, if a particular exercise is worth 40 points, and you get 30 on it, then you earned 75%, or a B.
- Participation Portfolios (300 pts) -- Online and in-class informal writing assignments based on the assigned readings.
- Exercises (200 pts) -- Homework assignments, some of which are collaborative. (These prepare you for the major papers.)
- Papers (300 pts) -- Two formal papers (3-4, and 6-8 pages in length).
- Final Exam (200pts)