Text:Backpack Literature. X.J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia
Course Design: We'll read, discuss, and write about selected works of fiction, poetry,
and drama. Writing as such is not the main emphasis of the course, but we will cover
writing topics as they come up, and effective writing will count toward your grade.
The class may involve some group work and oral reporting.
Your grades will be based on occasional writing assignments (25%), three comprehensive
tests on fiction, poetry and drama (60%), and other quizzes, exercises, and class
participation (15%). Late work will be penalized one letter grade for each class
session it is late without a valid excuse. You may miss two minor quiz or exercise
assignments with no penalty, but further misses will count against your average.
If you pass all quizzes and get all exercises in on time, you qualify for a 5-point
bonus toward your class net average—enough to go from a B (85%) to a A- (90%).
Attendance Policy: You are allowed up to three unexcused cuts. After you've missed
three classes, I'll want valid excuses. Anyone missing more than six classes without
a cast-iron excuse (something like a hospital stay) will be penalized five points
per cut on his or her final average or asked to drop the class.
General Education Goals: English 200 fulfills the B.1 (Humanities/Literature) general
education requirement. It will help students attain these general education objectives:
1. proficiency in reading, writing, and speaking
2. an informed acquaintance with the arts and humanities.
This course examines representative works in the major genres of literature (poetry,
fiction, and drama), with attention to different time periods, cultures, and diversity.
Through class discussions and through reading and writing assignments, students will
question, think, and write critically about literature. The aim of the course is
to introduce students to the concepts and methodologies essential to the analysis
and appreciation of a significant body of work.