English 101, Section 77

Fall 1998

Professor Karin Westman
MW 3:00-4:15 pm
Office: 74 George Street, #101; 953-5658
Email: westmank@cofc.edu
Required Texts
Colombo, et. al., eds. Rereading America, 4th edition
Charters, ed. The Story and Its Writer, 4th edition
Hacker, The Bedford Handbook for Writers, 5th edition
Xeroxes (Reserve)
This course is designed to help you write confidently, deliberately, and appropriately by introducing you to expository and argumentative writing. In our study of essays and short fiction, we will focus intently on critical reading, critical thinking, and argumentation. We will talk about writing in class, through peer reviews, and individually in conference.
Requirements and General Expectations
Readings: You are expected to complete each reading assignment before coming to class. You are further expected to think carefully about what you read and to make notes in your book prior to each class meeting. Bring the appropriate book or xeroxes to class each day and additionally mark passages that we discuss; this process will help you understand, remember, and review.

Papers: During the semester you will write four papers of 400-600 words and two essay exams. You are expected to bring drafts of the four papers to class, as noted on the syllabus. Failure to produce a good faith effort on a draft will result in a grade penalty of one letter grade (i.e.: A to B) on the final version. Upon consultation with me, you may choose to revise any paper for which you receive lower than a "C-" grade. Grades for revisions will be counted as another paper grade, not substituted for or averaged with the grade received for the first revision.

Papers must be typed, double-spaced with one-inch margins (one page=a page of approximately 250 words, double spaced); the pages should be numbered, stapled or paper-clipped together, spell-checked, and proof-read, and placed in a folder (see "Essay Format," in A Guide to Freshman English, p.3). Keep all your papers in a folder clearly marked with your name and section number, and hand in this folder each time you hand in a new paper. Any paper not meeting the above requirements will not be accepted.

Papers are due at class time or by the time and date listed on the syllabus. I do not accept late papers. However, you have one extension to use at your discretion during the semester; you must notify me in advance of the paper's due date that you wish to use your extension.

Corrections: I will mark your papers for argument and style, and I will refer to you The Bedford Handbook as necessary. Following the "Correction Guide" in A Guide to Freshman English (p.4), complete all of the "style" corrections, and attach them to the marked essay. Corrections must be handed in when you turn in your next paper. If they are not satisfactory, I will drop the paper's grade by one letter grade (i.e.: B to C).

Sources: Use the MLA method for documenting sources. When you turn in a paper, you pledge that the work is your own and that you have faithfully abided by the guidelines for documenting sources. The College's Honor Code obliges you to cite the source of any idea that is not your own. If you quote, paraphrase, or use another's ideas, you must give credit to the person whose ideas you are using. Both A Guide to Freshman English and The Bedford Handbook for Writers provide guidelines for MLA documentation. If you have any questions, please ask. If you do plagiarize, you will fail this course.

Response Papers: Response papers are intended to help to prepare you for class discussion, improve your writing, and generate ideas for longer papers.

For each day of class discussion during the first half of the semester, you will hand in at the beginning of class a typed, double-spaced response paper (1-2 pages) on the assigned reading for that day. For your response paper, select one passage from the reading (no more than about four lines in length), type it out in full, and then write a commentary in which you aim to articulate your perspective on what strikes you as important in the passage. You may strongly disagree with the passage, agree with it, agree in part but reject the rest. Whatever your response, you should engage closely with the chosen passage and offer specific reasons in support of your response. Your response should not be a summary of the article(s) assigned; instead, you should articulate your position on the information discussed and evaluate how effectively the author presents his or her claims.

For each week during the second half of the semester, you will hand in at the beginning of class a typed, double-spaced response paper (1-2 pages) for one of the short stories assigned for class. For your response paper, select one or two lines, a phrase, or even word from the reading; type your selection out in full, and then write a commentary in which you aim to articulate why your selection strikes you as important or significant to a reading of the short story. In other words, use your selected lines or word(s) to explore the text's theme(s) and form. Your response paper may also include your personal response to the story, or perhaps how the short story relates to other reading we have discussed in class. In your response, you should engage closely with the chosen line(s) or word(s) and offer specific reasons in support of your response. Your response should not be a paraphrase of the short story; instead, you should articulate your reading of it through your selection.

Response papers will not be graded individually, but as a whole: please keep them together in a separate folder, so I can evaluate your progress at the end of the semester. Points will be deducted for missing response papers; I do not accept late response papers.

Class Participation: Attendance and class participation are required. More than two unexcused absences will be reflected in your final grade for the course; these two excused absences should be reserved for unexpected illnesses or family emergencies. Each absence over the allotted unexcused absences will lower your final course grade by one grade increment (e.g., B to B-).

You are expected to have read and to be prepared to discuss the readings assigned for each class session. Your class participation grade will be determined by your ability to engage in productive class discussion. You must be present and be an active presence in class discussion and peer review groups. If necessary, any in-class quizzes will be part of your class participation grade.

If you miss class, it is your responsibility to discover what we covered. While I appreciate your offering explanations for absences, the only way to excuse an absence is to provide me with an official letter from your dean.

Leading Class Discussion: Once during the semester, each of you (working in pairs) will initiate our class discussion and sustain it for about 10 minutes. This activity has two goals: to make the classroom more interactive and collaborative, and to encourage you to ask questions and pursue them towards an analysis of others' ideas and writing. On the day you lead discussion, you will need to do the following:

1. Choose a specific passage or two as a focus for your questions. Note: while your questions can (and should) lead us to other areas in the reading, select a specific place as a launching point.

2. Develop discussion questions on some issues or ideas you think we should address. Discussion questions should have more than one possible answer, and should lead to other questions. For example, the question "What is the setting of this short story?" is not a discussion question; the question "How does the setting of the short story contribute to its theme?" is a discussion question. Note: While your discussion questions should point us towards a reading of the text, your questions can certainly be ones to which you do not yet have complete answers. For example, you may wonder why an author chose to argue his or her position using the first-person; your question for the class might address this issue by calling our attention to the author's use of "I" in a particular passage, asking us how the author's style affects our perspective on the author's claims.

3. Make an outline of your discussion; include the passage(s) you intend to focus on and the questions you will ask. Your outline needs to reach me 24 hours in advance of class: email it to me or put it in my box in the English Department (corner of George and Glebe).

Computing: Over the course of the semester we will make use of the computers here in the lab. In particular, you will participate in various activities using the Daedalus Integrated Writing Program (DIWE or Daedalus, for short). These sessions are designed to improve your writing skills and communication skills, especially for an increasingly technological world. Your preparation for and participation in Daedalus sessions should follow the guidelines noted above for "Reading" and "Class Participation."

If you do not yet have an email account, I encourage you to activate your C of C account. (If you need help establishing an email account, please visit Academic Computing in the J. C. Long building.) Although I will not require you to use email, I recommend it as a way of touching base with me about your writing. You can send me queries, your thesis statement for an essay, or anything else that could be handled with a quick exchange of messages. I check my email in the morning before classes, in the afternoon, and at night.

Conferences: I want you to succeed in this course, and I am happy to meet with you about your writing and progress. You will all meet with me individually after the first paper, and I encourage you to see me about subsequent ones. Please feel free to stop by during office hours (M, W 1:00-2:30pm; R 10-12 noon), or contact me by phone or email to arrange a more convenient time to meet.


50% Papers

10% Response Papers

10% Class Participation

10% Leading Class Discussion

10% Mid-Term Exam

10% Final Exam

Schedule of Classes (Subject to Change)
[Unless otherwise indicated by [X] for xerox, readings are found in your anthologies.]
How Do We Learn Who We Are?: The Intersections of Ethnicity,
 Race, and Class in Education and Everyday Life


W 26


M 31

"From Report of the French Commission on American Education, 1879"; Gatto, "The Seven-Lesson School Teacher"; Rose, "I Just Wanna Be Average"


W 2

Anyon, "From Social Class and the Hidden Curriculum of Work" and Mantisos, "Rewards and Opportunities: The Politics and Economics of Class in the U.S."; Rosak, "The Computerized Campus"

M 7

Writing Workshop: Draft of Paper #1 Due (2 copies)

W 9

Takaki, "A Different Mirror" and Malcolm X, "Learning to Read"; Loewen, excerpts from Lies My Teacher Told Me [X]; Cheney, "Politics in the Classroom"

F 11

Paper #1 Due at my office by 12 noon.

M 14

Rockwell, "A Family Tree; Freedom from Want; Freedom from Fear"; Gillis, "Myths of Family Past"; Coontz, "What We Really Miss About the 1950s"; Collins, "Black Women and Motherhood"

Separate Yet Equal?: The Politics of Difference in American Culture

W 16

De Tocqueville, "How the Americans Understand the Equality of the Sexes"; Jefferson, "From Notes on the State of Virginia"; Pincus, "From Individual to Structural Discrimination"

M 21

MacIntosh, "White Privilege and Male Privilege" [X]; Cose, "Can a New Race Surmount Old Prejudices?"; Terkel, "Stephen Cruz" and Terkel, "C.P. Ellis"

W 23

Writing Workshop: Draft of Paper #2 Due (2 copies)

M 28

Hamblin, "The Black Avenger"; Paper #2 Due

W 30

Devor, "Becoming Members of Society: Learning the Social Meaning of Gender"; Sadker and Sadker, "Higher Education: Colder by Degrees"


M 5

Kimmel, "Clarence, William, Iron Mike, Tailhook, Senator Packwood, Spur Posse, Magic ...and Us" [X]; Brail, "The Price of Admission: Harassment and Free Speech in the Wild, Wild West"; Vazquez, "Appearances"

W 7

Katz, "Advertising and the Construction of Violent White Masculinity"; Cofer, "The Story of My Body"

M 12

Douglas, excerpts from Where the Girls Are [X]; Sommers, "The Gender Wardens" and Palac, "How Dirty Pictures Changed My Life" [X]

W 14

Mid-Term Exam

An Introduction to Short Fiction: Form and Variation

M 19

Jackson, "The Lottery"; Chopin, "Story of an Hour"

W 21

Cheever, "The Swimmer"

M 26

O'Connor, "Everything That Rises Must Converge"; Ellison, "Battle Royal"

W 28

Glaspell, "A Jury of Her Peers" [X]


M 2


W 4

Minot, "Lust" [X]; Updike, "A & P"

M 9

Writing Workshop: Draft of Paper #3 Due (2 copies)

W 11

Joyce, "Araby"; Woolf, "Kew Gardens"

R 12

Paper #3 Due in my office at 12 noon.

M 16

Paz, "My Life with a Wave"; Sontag, "The Way We Live Now"

W 18

Atwood, "Happy Endings"; Avallon, "All This" [X]

M 23

Writing Workshop: Draft of Paper #4 Due (2 copies)

W 25

O'Brien, "The Things They Carried"; O'Connor, "Guests of the Nation"

F 27


M 30

Barnes, "The Stowaway" [X]; Paper #4 Due


W 2

Johnson, "Menagerie, A Child's Fable"; Barthelme, "The School"

M 7


T 8

Final Exam, 8:00-11:00 am

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Email: westmank@cofc.edu
Last updated 10 November 1998