Thursday, May 22, 2014

Portfolio Checklist

This checklist can serve as the table of contents. Put a check next to the items to show inclusion in the portfolio. Use as the second page to the portfolio, after the cover sheet. Where there are questions for the section, students can post the answers to the narrative there.

Number the pages with a header.

The portfolio is due between Friday, May 23-Wednesday, May 28, 2014, 12 noon. Make certain you paste and attach the document.

Include the assignment in the subject line:
COA Sabir Spring 2014 Portfolio for English 1B Class code: 23974 Lec 01:00-4:50 AM TTh.

Send to:

Class Meetings: Tuesday-Thursday, March 20-May 22 except: April 1, May 13. Holidays: 3/31; 4/14-20; 5/16

Name _____________________
Date _____________________
Class including class code and semester __________
Address ____________________________
Phone number _______________________
Email address________________________

Portfolio Narratives (250 words each, minimally).

1. The first narrative will look at this short term class, the themes we discussed: compassion, love, loss and the power of a poem to lift one literally from sorrow into the light. . . . Talk about what you've learned and discovered about writing, college and life, which have transformed or changed you.

What have you learned about yourself this semester? What have you learned about the discipline you are studying in this class: composition specifically, the literary arts, which you plan to carry forth into your lifelong pursuit of learning?

Please also comment on the texts and whether or not they were helpful in this process. You can also talk about the instruction, culture of the class and the teacher.

2. Use two essays as evidence to discuss your revision process. Don’t forget to include it in the works cited page. Use a scholarly source as well to talk about the revision process. I gave you two handouts at the start of class. Also use your grammar style book (Rules for Writers, OWL Purdue etc.) There will be at least two sources, perhaps three used for this essay.


The checklist will list all the assignments, but you know what they are. Post the entire portfolio for each section. On the checklist include all the assignment grades. If for some reason there is an outstanding assignment, just include it in the portfolio and note that it needs a grade.

All the essays included in the portfolio should be graded essays: Short Fiction, the Novel (1), The Play, Poetry, Literary Event Essay, plus the Final Essay (student choice re: genre).

3. For all the Cyber-Assignments already included with essay portfolios, do not post them twice. This list of assignments is just a list of all that you have completed (or missed). Just a brief description of the assignment is enough.

4. After the Cyber-Assignments, type any in-class writings, such as freewrites or group work and include it here under: Freewrites and Class Assignments


I and You  Essay Unit
Peer Review_______
Graded Drafts (How many? What were the grades? ____________
Correction essays or Revision Goals Narratives (See Rules) How many?) _______________
Cyber-Assignments (How many?) _________
Group work___________
Peer Comments__________

W;i  Essay Unit
Peer Review_______
Graded Drafts (How many? What were the grades? ____________
Correction essays or Revision Goals Narratives (See Rules) How many?) _______________
Cyber-Assignments (How many?) _________
Group work___________
Peer Comments__________

Virgin Soul  Essay Unit
Peer Review_______
Graded Drafts (How many? What were the grades? ______________
Correction essays or Revision Goals Narratives (See Rules) How many?) _______________
Cyber-Assignments (How many?) _________
Group work___________
Peer Comments__________

Short Fiction Essay Unit (from 40 Short Stories)
Peer Review_______
Graded Drafts (How many? What were the grades? _________________
Correction essays or Revision Goals Narratives (See Rules)How many?) _______________
Cyber-Assignments (How many?) _________
Group work___________
Peer Comments__________

POETRY Unit (2 essays)
Comparison of three poems­­­­­­­­­­­­­­___________
Explication Essay _______________

Independent Project (Student Choice with advance approval)
Grade on Essay_______
Grade on Presentation _________
Peer Comments_________ (how many?)

Literary Event Essay  _____________
Grade on Essay_______

Freewrites: (Any in-class freewrites not posted on the blog, type and put in this section. How many? _________

Semester Cyber-assignments:
These are any cyber-assignments not already posted with the other units. Don't post an assignment twice. How many? __________

Anything else?__________________________________________

Teacher research
Can I use your work in presentations and publications? Would you like to be anonymous? If I plan on using your essays or work in a book, I will let you know and share any proceeds.

Yes, I agree.
No, do not use my work.

Final Grade

Portfolio checklist _____________
Portfolio Essay 1_______________
Portfolio Essay 2_______________
Portfolio Grade_________

Course Grade_________

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Cyber-Assignment 1 & 2

Today we reviewed Essay 2, on Wit. The essays are due now.

Homework is to read the four selections in 40 Short Stories and choose one story to analyze in 250 words.

For Thursday, chose another story (of the four) and do the same. Post it here.

Homework for Thursday, April 24, 2014, is to choose 1-2 stories with similar themes (your choice) and using one of the essay forms in Reading and Writing about Literature, write a 3-4 page essay, not including a works cited page. Use one citation per page. Find two other literary and/or scholarly resource in the library database or library.

It goes without saying that the MLA should be perfect (smile).

Complete an annotation for both articles. Include with the portfolio for the essay. The essay is due, Tuesday, April 29, 2014 in class. Make sure it is your best writing.

We will write an in class essay next week on one of the stories.

Here is a recap of OWL Purdue links for Revisions: (It is always best to connect the ideas. Conjunctions fail when the ideas are not related.)

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Have a great Spring Break! Complete your essays. Due: the essay on W;t. Bring your books to class when we meet again: Reading and Writing about Literature and 40 Short Stories and Virgin Soul.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Today in class we practiced annotations. See and for an example

We read the essay:  Giraldi, William. "The Art of Reading John Donne." Poets & Writers. 38.2 (2010): 31. Expanded Academic ASAP. Web. 8 April 2014.

Together we did an annotation and shared the various parts.

For Thursday, bring in a paper copy of your essay on the play W;t. Bring it in electronically as well.

Choose from one of the 23 prompts that work as essay questions. They all do not. Write a 4-5 page essay, similar in form to the essay on I and You and Walt Whitman's "Song of Myself."

Also make sure you include three sources in the references.Here is a link to the questions:

See Gardner, "Writing about Plays" (111). You might also want to look at "Literary Criticism and Literary Theory" (166).
Last week we reviewed student essays, had a marvelous Library Orientation which some skipped--you really missed great resources. We also spoke about today's in-class essay assignment on W;t, the play.

There was confusion on the W:t Cyber-Assignment about the film which no one completed. It is still outstanding.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Cyber-Assigment Due Thursday, April 3, 2014

Cyber Assignment. Post here.

1. Read these questions:

2. Watch the film: 

3. Answer the questions in a 250 words essay response.

English 1B Spring 2014 Essay 1 Writing about Literature (The Play) This is the first essay in a series of two on dramatic literature

          Write a 3-4 page essay exploring one of these topics. Use evidence from the play and Walt Whitman’s poem to flush out your thesis, which should be clearly stated. Use free paraphrases (1-2), long or block quotes (1) and shorter direct quotes (1-2) to support your claims. Include a works cited page at the end of the essay and for any supporting references, a bibliography.
          The reading for this essay is the play, I and You, handouts from on Walt Whitman and Leaves of Grass, his poem, Song of Myself; links to John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme lyrics and other reading from the textbook, Reading and Writing about Literature. Email the essay Tuesday, April 1, 2014 by 11:50 Bring a few copies (3) to class on Thursday to share.

1.      In Lauren Gunderson’s play I and You, how are the themes: fear and love or the fear of love addressed through Walt Whitman’s poetry and through the characters Caroline and Anthony?

2.      Themes in John Coltrane’s opus A Love Supreme are also reflected philosophically in Lauren Gunderson’s character Anthony evident in what he chooses to highlight in his part of the joint project on Whitman’s “Song of Myself,” “I and you.” Talk about Anthony’s point of view “I,” juxtaposed with that of Caroline’s “you,” and how his perspective while not always clear until the end, shapes his voice and ideas about life and death. Lyrics with music:
       Lyrics to A Love Supreme:

3.      While Anthony’s perspective is omniscient, that is, he knows more about the situation that brings him to Caroline’s bedside—literally and figuratively, it, these reasons for his presence there, are not something Caroline gets until the end. However, even if her perspective is limited, Caroline, a recluse who lives in cyberspace on Facebook and in Twitter feed, does eventually allow herself to think beyond her diagnosis, a place she has occupied far too long.

4.      How does Anthony’s presence in Caroline’s life – “YOU,” help her more clearly see and define herself, see herself without limits, a self full of infinite possibilities even at what she believes it its finality?

5.      How is –if we use Caroline’s skill with her camera to discuss this next element, how is Caroline’s life a lot sharper when Anthony appears in her viewfinder (room)?  Discuss the photo development process from the framing of the image, to shooting and it’s posting for audience appreciation or ridicule –  How does Caroline’s world grow larger as she uses her zoom lens to make what was seemingly out of reach intimate and personal and clear?  How is this act –both framing and being framed depict Caroline’s show of courage or leap of faith?

6.      Lauren Gunderson’s play I and You uses many literary devices like metaphor or analogy, not to mention Walt Whitman’s poetry as a voice or even third character. Discuss the playwright’s work in light of such devices and how and why such device(s) is an effective tool.

7.      Of course the poem, Song of Myself by Walt Whitman is the touchstone here. Discuss the playwright’s use of the poem to flush out her characters. How does the poem help Caroline and Anthony make sense of their lives and circumstances that bring the two of them together? How is art the great mediator? For Anthony it’s Coltrane. For Caroline its Elvis, for both its Whitman.

8.      How do Anthony and Whitman become a super nova in Caroline’s universe? How does she holding on to Turtle, get caught up in their star-studded journey? How would you describe her landing?

Today in class we watched the play Trifles then discussed the essay in Reading and Writing about Literature. Homework is to write an essay about I and You. The prompt and assignment is posted here. It was also emailed to everyone.

In class we also reviewed thesis sentences in Rules for Writers. We went over some excercises in the textbook. We also looked at how to cite the play, I and You, how to set up an academic paper and how to post on the blog.

Students developed 5 questions for an essay on I and You. I adapted these questions for the essay due next week.

Homework, in syllabus. Note the dates . There are also links. Come to class with the book W;t. Watch the film and answer the questions. I might make this a cyber assignment for next week. Check the blog on Tuesday.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

"I and You" Cyber-Assignment

Today in class we completed the play, I and You, by Lauren Gunderson Watch the clip from the Marin Theatre Company run

The student cast was excellent!

We spoke about going to see Gunderson's play at the San Francisco Playhouse now through April 19, 2014

Writing Assignment

1. For homework, please write a 250 word summary response to the play. Note themes, character, craft or writing, and anything special that stood out for you. Please note the use of Whitman as the running narrative or insightful link to the plot which remains somewhat inarticulate until the very end. Post on the blog.

Reading Assignments

Other homework: Read Whitman's poem, Song of Myself. Also read the handouts on Whitman from -- Guide to Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass: biography and introduction (handouts).

Did you know anything about Whitman before reading this play and then reading his poem. Isn't is interesting that the form "free verse" is an American contribution to the poetic literary canon. Freedom is something Americans are really passionate about.


The CD you heard playing when you walked into the class was The Richard Howell Quintet: We Are All Connected: and

John Coltrane's A Love Supreme

Buy Books. Read and complete exercises in the Writing with a Thesis package.

Monday, March 24, 2014

English 1B Syllabus for Spring 2014 at the College of Alameda Professor Wanda Sabir

Class code: 23974

Class Meetings: Tuesday-Thursday, March 20-May 22 except:
April 1, May 13. Holidays: 3/31; 4/14-20; 5/16

Final Exam Week: May 17-23 (Portfolios due via e-mail by Saturday, May 24).

Drop date: May 3 (w/W)

Syllabus for English 1B: College Composition and Reading Course

English 1B is a transferable college writing course. It builds on the competencies gained in English 1A with a more careful and studied analysis of expository and argumentative writing based on readings of selected plays, poems, novels, and short fiction.

Writing is a social activity, especially the type of writing students will be doing here. We always consider our audience, have purpose or reason to write, and use research to substantiate our claims, even those we are considered experts in.

We’re supposed to write about 8000 words or so at this level course. The 8000 words over the semester (not per essay) include drafts. What this amounts to is time at home writing, time in the library on campus and public libraries too. Students will be researching, and reading documents to increase his or her facility with the ideas or themes he or she is contemplating, before he or she once again sits at his or her desk writing, revising, and writing some more.

Writing is a lonely process. No one can write for you. The social aspect comes into play once you are finished and you have an opportunity to share.

We are practicing skills which you developed in English 1A. The difference is we are looking at literature and analyzing other genres, in our case: poetry, fiction, and dramatic literature or plays. In order to do justice to the topics you chose to explore, the writer cannot ignore the history of the genre nor its current discourses or new roots.

I will be looking at the writing, but more than this I will be paying attention to the scholarship, which is why each essay has to include a citation from a scholarly article—4-10+ pages.

Your essays can use multiple styles . . . be creative. However, I need to know that you know how to write an essay, so save the creative work for last (smile). And if you plan to deviate from the norm, don’t surprise me, share the idea with me first.

We are going to read a book or play every week. We start with plays, then short fiction and then move into a novel, weaving poetry throughout the semester as this class the two plays happen to reference poets.  We will conclude with a formal look at poetry. I am going to show you film(s) about writers. We finish the class with students selecting writing outside of the assigned readings and writing a research analysis based on the work. The selection can be two short poems or a longer one, a novel, another play or a short story.

On Thursdays we will have critiques when an essay is due. We will practice writing research analyses. Students will grade each other based on a rubric. Here are links to general rubrics for college level composition:

Office Hours

I am a phone person, so when I give you my telephone number, use it. My office is D-219, located in a suite of offices numbered from D-216. My office phone number is: 510-748-2286.

We can set aside time in class for office hours, either before or at the end.

If you are a poor writer, get a tutor. We will have minimal revisions, like none unless the essay is horrible—students only get 1-2 BAD ESSAY DAYs (and the penalty is writing a correction essay, plus revising the essay). We will do peer reviews. I want to see polished work.


We will use Reading and Writing about Literature: A Portable Guide, Third Edition, Bedford St. Martin’s (ISBN: 978-1-4576-0649-6) by Janet E. Gardner in the class. There is a chapter for each genre of literature we will examine. We will review a chapter a week or two. The first section of the book reviews the writing process.

Keep a reading log/journal/notes containing key ideas outlined for each discussion section, along with vocabulary and key arguments listed, along with primary writing strategies employed: description, process analysis, narration, argument, cause and effect, compare and contrast, definition, problem solving. I will collect these typed notes electronically with the completed essays. The essays will be submitted electronically. Type all your notes and in-class writing assignments.

I repeat: each book or play will have a corresponding essay. There will also be a series of short 250 word essay responses posted on the class blog pertaining to each piece of literature. Students have a choice of writing a new paper or expanding the cyber-assignment into a longer work. Each research paper will be between 3-4 pages long. This does not include a works cited page. Each essay will have three (3) sources. The piece of writing examined plus two other sources, one a scholarly article.

Again, the final is an oral presentation of one’s paper or a defense of one’s thesis. You choose what the final essay is on. The student portfolio is the FINAL for the class. We will talk about this more. If any students are creative writers and want to lead a workshop, let me know (smile).

This semester, each student will have to attend a literary event of his or her choosing: lecture or author event, play or film. We can attend an event together or separately. The writing assignment will be an analysis/critique, like a review . . . but a bit deeper. I suggest students read published reviews beforehand to prepare for the task. This essay will be minimally two (2) pages or 500 words, not including a works cited page with minimally two (2) sources. All essays have to have 1 citation per page, so in the case of a two page essay, that is two citations (period).

Essay research requirements

Each essay needs to use at least 2-3 outside sources which should include at least one (1) scholarly article along with other material (taken from the COA on-line Library Database (if possible). Each essay should also include one (1) direct quote, one (1) free-paraphrase and one (1) block quote—one citation per page—no more, no less (well I we can negotiate, but don’t let the citations get out of hand, that is, overwhelm the paper).

Each essay also needs to include a works cited page and a bibliography. The works cited page needs to be perfect. We will practice this in class. We will write many of the shorter essays in class or for homework. The task should be simple once students decide which four (4) elements they’d like to respond to in depth. Since this is an eight hour a week class, expect eight hours of homework (smile). 1 hour per unit is the calculation.

I am making an assumption that students know how to correctly document their sources using MLA. Diana Hacker’s Rules for Writers or a similar text is required (the MLA is up to 2009 now). At this level, I expect students to know how to write passing essays at the first submission. Submit your best work the first time. Don’t submit drafts, masquerading as polished work. I am serious.


One of the essays will be the midterm, possibly fiction maybe poetry (smile).

Jot down briefly what your goals are this semester and action steps to get there. Separate into what you can do alone or have control over and what you might not have control over and why.

List them in order of importance.






Homework Assignment 1: If you missed class, e-mail an introduction to me by Thursday, March 27, 2014. Send to  This is our coursework email address.

Writing Homework Assignment 2:
(Everyone respond to the following same due date, by Thursday, March 27, before class):

What strengths do you bring to the class? What do you hope to obtain from the course – any particular exit skills? What do I need to know about you to help you meet your goals? What books have you read lately (2-3) that take your breath away?

What is literature? Some say, literature feeds one’s soul. What do you think of that? Could you imagine a world without poetry or stories, theatre or literary arts? Do you ever find yourself craving a play or a museum visit, a trip to the theatre or a film?

Homework Assignment 3:

Respond on the blog to the syllabus, so I have a record of your reading it. Make sure you include examples from the syllabus to support your points. The response is due by Tuesday, April 1, 2014.

Write a comment to me regarding the syllabus: your impressions, whether you think it is reasonable, questions, suggestions. This is our contract, I need to know you read it and understand the agreement.

Essays: 55 percent of grade

Short Story
1. 40 Short Essays: A Portable Anthology 4th Edition, Beverly Lawn, Bedford St. Martin’s (ISBN: 978-1-4576-0475-1. Each unit includes the definitive essay, plus in-class writing, group writing and blog assignments.

The Novel
2. Virgin Soul: A Novel by Judy Juanita or Sugaree Rising: A Novel by J. Douglas Allen-Taylor (1 essay). You only have to read one book.

Dramatic Literature:
3. I and You by Lauren Gunderson (loan) and perhaps W;t (also Wit) by American playwright Margaret Edson which won the
1999 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

You will have to purchase this book. (I saw it on Amazon for under $.40). Students will also need a copy of Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman. It’s on-line.

Poetry Unit

4.  The poetry and dramatic literature fold into one another well this semester, so we will look at the Whitman, the American freeverse tradition and the Romantic poets. Students will have an opportunity to read a collection by a Northern Californian writers of his or her choice. I will give you a list of authors.

. Final essay –student choice

Portfolio: 25 percent

Participation: 20 percent

What do I mean by participation? This includes preparation and active participation in group assignments, blog responses and posted comments; discussion group preparedness, attitude and leadership. To post comments students will need a Gmail account.

To encourage participation, and for this, students have to be prepared, I weighed the preparedness and participation strongly which means I will be taking notes when students do not do their homework. If you are in a group where students are pretending to be prepared when they are not, drop me an anonymous note. If a student is absent, he or she cannot make up in-class assignments such as group work, freewrites, presentations, etc.

Portfolio Suggestion

Students can start a personal blog for the class and send me the link for your portfolio at the end of the course. This is not the only type of portfolio. The other is to submit a word document with the semester's writing.


I am not above pop quizzes on readings. Remember, this plan can change in a twinkling of the eye, if we find it isn’t working.

Writing Center

The Writing Center is a great place to get one-on-on assistance on your essays, from brainstorming and planning the essays, to critique in areas like clarity, organization, clearly stated thesis, evidence or support, logical conclusions, and grammatical problems. In the Writing Center there are ancillary materials for student use. These writing programs build strong writing muscles. The Bedford Handbook on-line, Diana Hacker’s Rules for Writers on-line, Townsend Press, and other such computer and cyber-based resources are a few of the many databases available. There is also an Open Lab for checking e-mail, a Math Lab. All academic labs are located in the Learning Resource Center (LRC) or library.

Again, students need a student ID to use the labs and to check out books. The IDs are free. Ask in Student Services (A-bldg.) where photos are taken.

Have a tutor of teacher sign off on your essays before you turn them in; if you have a “R,” which means revision necessary for a grade or “NC” which means “no credit,” you have to go to the lab and revise the essay with a tutor or teacher before you return both the graded original and the revision (with signature) to me. Revise does not mean “rewrite,” it means to “see again.”

When getting assistance on an essay, the teacher or tutor is not an editor, so have questions prepared for them to make best use of the 15-20 minute session in the Lab. I will give you a handout which looks at 5 areas of the essay you can use as a guide when shaping your questions for your peer review sessions. Please use these guidelines when planning your discussions with me also.

For more specific assistance, sign up for one-on-one tutoring, another free service. For those of you on other campuses, you can get assistance at the Merritt College’s Writing Center, as well as Laney College’s Writing Labs.

Correction Essays & Essay Narratives

All essay assignments you receive comments on have to be revised prior to resubmission; included with the revision is a student narrative to me regarding your understanding of what needed to be done, that is, a detailed list of the error(s) and its correction; a student can prepare this as a part of the Lab visit, especially if said student is unclear over what steps to take. Cite from a scholarly source the rule and recommendations for its correction.

Students can also talk to me before or after class. Do not leave class without understanding the comments on a paper. I don’t mind reviewing them with you.

Student Learning Outcomes

Recognize the relevance of the power of story in the public and private sector
and use this understanding to shape the outcomes of various situations and

Identify logical fallacies in written materials in order to make effective decisions
and express ideas clearly.

Critical Thinking:
Evaluate and use evidence to support assertions, enhancing effectiveness as a
team member.

Write coherent, organized reports, summaries, evaluations, and records.
Articulate ideas clearly so that all team members understand, thus moving a
project or a program forward.

Last words on Grades

We will be honest with one another. Grades are not necessarily an honest response to work; grades do not take into consideration the effort or time spent, only whether or not students can demonstrate mastery of a skill – in this case: essay writing. Grades are an approximation, arbitrary at best, no matter how many safeguards one tries to put in place to avoid such ambiguity. Suffice it to say, your portfolio will illustrate your competence. It will represent your progress, your success or failure this semester in meeting your goal.

Office Hours

I’d like to wish everyone much success. I am available for consultation on TTH before class 11-12:30 by appointment. If you are very rusty with grammar, I using Stewart Pidd Hates English. We can review the assignments in the book before class if you buy the book. You can also rent it in the COA bookstore which has ordered a few of the textbooks.

My office is again in the Suite D-215. This door is unlocked during class hours. You can always call me if it is locked and we are meeting.

My email again is: Let me know the day before, if possible, when you’d like to meet with me. I am more of a phone person. Texts are fine. Ask me for my cell phone number. I do not mind sharing it with you.

Take time to exchange email and phone numbers with classmates (2), so if you have a concern, it can be addressed more expeditiously. Again study groups are recommended, especially for those students finding the readings difficult; don’t forget, you can also discuss the readings as a group in the Lab with a teacher or tutor acting as facilitator.

I really am more a phone person than an email person, so you can call me if I don’t respond to an email. I do read your blog posts.

These two months will fly, if you don’t buckle up (smile). Study groups are recommended, especially for those students finding the readings difficult.

Keep a vocabulary log for the semester and an error chart (taken from comments on essay assignments). List the words you need to look up in the dictionary, also list where you first encountered them: page, book and definition, also use the word in a sentence. You will turn this in with your portfolio electronically.

I do not expect students to confuse literal with free paraphrase (a literal paraphrase is plagiarism). Students should also not make confused word errors, sentence fragment errors, comma splice errors, subject verb agreement errors, errors in parallel structure, subject verb agreement errors, MLA citations errors, errors with ellipses, formatting an essays—margins, headings, etc. If you are not clear on what I mean, again I suggest drop the class and take it over the 18 week semester at a more leisurely pace.

Students are expected to complete work on time. If you need more time on an assignment, discuss this with me in advance to keep full credit. Again certain assignments, such as in-class essays cannot be made up. All assignments are to be typed, 12-pt. font, double-spaced lines, indentations on paragraphs, 1-inch margins around the written work (see Hacker: The Writing Process; Document Design.)

If you have a laptop, bring it to class.

In class writing is to be written in ink—blue or black, then typed for inclusion in portfolio or posting on blog:


Plagiarism is ethically abhorrent, and if any student tries to take credit for work authored by another person the result will be a failed grade on the assignment and possibly a failed grade in the course if this is attempted again. This is a graded course.


If you do not identify the assignment, I cannot grade it. If you do not return the original assignment you revised, I cannot compare what changed. If you accidentally toss out or lose the original assignment, you get a zero on the assignment to be revised. I will not look at revisions without the original attached – no exceptions. Some student essays will be posted on-line at the website. Students will also have the option of submitting assignments via email:

Textbooks Recap:

Allen-Taylor, J. Douglas. Sugaree Rising. San Francisco: Freedom Voices, 2013. Print. ISBN: 978-0-915117-21-5.

Gardner, Janet E. Reading and Writing about Literature: A Portable Guide. Third Edition.    Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2013. Print. ISBN: 978-1-45-0649-6.

Edson, Margaret. W;t (or Wit). United Kingdom: Faber and Faber, 1999. (Any publication is  fine 1995-on). 

Juanita, Judy. Virgin Soul. New York: Viking, 2013. Print. ISBN: 978-0-670-02658-6.

Lawn, Beverly. 40 Short Essays: A Portable Anthology 4th Edition. Boston: Bedford St. Martin’s, 2013. Print. ISBN: 978-1-4576-0475-1.


Hacker, Diana. Rules for Writers. Sixth or Seventh edition. Bedford/St. Martins. (If you don’t already have such a book.) Make sure the Sixth has the 2009 MLA update.

A college dictionary. I recommend American Heritage.

Daily/Weekly Schedule
Thursday, March 20—Free Day; Introductions

Tuesday-Thursday, March 25 &27:

This week we will review the basics of essay writing: thesis sentences, organization, introductions and conclusions, topic sentences, rhetorical structure, evidence, invention strategies such as topical invention, argument, exposition and narration.

1. Common Writing Assignments: Summary Response, Explication, Analysis, Comparison and Contrast, Essay Exams (Gardner 51)

2. The elements of dramatic literature: plot, character and theme, diction; melody and spectacle, setting (Gardner 111).

I and You by Lauren Gunderson (handout read in class)

“Song of Myself” from Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass (print and bring to class)


Homework: Listen to Susan Glaspell’s Trifles

To read:

From Reading and Writing: Read Sample paper, an analysis (Gardner 126)

Week 3
April 1-3

1. Read “Writing about Plays” (Gardner 111); Common Writing Assignments 51-71.

2. In class on Thursday, April 3, students will apply one of these methods to an essay about W;t by
Margaret Edson. The essay will be 3-4 pages and will include examples from the text.  Also include a works cited page.

Discussion questions:

4. Questions and Writing Assignment due Thursday, April 3:

3. Read this analysis of John Donne poems (read before you write the essay):  Write a summary analysis of it. Post on blog. You need a gmail account.

For your edification, read more about Donne at the following links.

Thematic Content & Reading Assignments

Introduction to Reading and Writing about Literature; The Role of Good Reading; The Writing Process (Gardner 1-50)

We meet eight (8) hours a week except where noted. This means you have eight (8) hours of homework as this is a condensed or accelerated class. Good writers are also well read, so you will be doing a lot of out of class reading. Read ahead, read more than what is assigned. For the short stories, students will read 3-4 stories in addition to the ones in Gardner's R&W about Lit. and Lawn's 40 Short Stories. 

We will decide together which novel we want to read as a class or read both (smile).

April 8-10 Short Fiction (Gardner 72) 40 Short Stories (Lawn 545-562).
April 15-17 Spring Break
April 22-24 Short Fiction (Gardner 130; 166) 40 Short Stories (Lawn 504; 514; 439; 484)
April 29-May 1 The Novel (Gardner 72)
May 6-8 Poetry (Gardner 96)
May 13-15 Independent Assignment Presentation
May 20-22

We will have student presentations each week, that is, students will review for the class key elements and theories with examples and exercises. We will also have guests. Students will write an essay in class each week for each genre. The first is dramatic literature.  

Students will also have a corresponding essay assignment for homework.  We will practice the analytical skill in class whenever possible and then students can try it alone at home.
There will be two essays per genre. The final essay is the Independent Assignment where students can select a book or poem to write their final analysis. It can be short fiction, a novel, a poem or a play. Students will present the work the last day of class.