Assignments

Class Participation (10%)

To get the most out of this course, you will need to participate actively in class discussion. Come to class with reactions, questions, and passages of particular interest at the ready, and share your insights openly with classmates.

Class Expert Assignment (20%)

Early in the semester, each student in the class will select/be assigned a day on which they will be the expert on one of our readings. Being the class expert will involve three activities:

– First, a blog post introducing the author and reading to the class, to be posted 24 hours in advance of the class meeting;

– Second, a pecha-kucha presentation that will be presented at the beginning of class. A “pecha-kucha” is a structured form of presentation in which 20 slides display for 20 seconds each. Most slides will feature a single image or a short phrase. Approximately half of the presentation will introduce the author and explain the context of the text. The other half of the presentation will entail a close-reading of a passage that will spur discussion in class. After you present your p-k in class, you will record it and post it to the class blog.

– In addition, as class expert, you’ll serve as the discussion leader for the first half of the class meeting.  You should read classmates’ blog posts about the text at hand and come to class prepared to pose provocative questions and facilitate discussion.

I will offer more details on the class expert assignment in the first weeks of class, and I’ll also do a sample blog post and pecha-kucha that will model expectations for those components of the assignment.

6 Short Blog Posts (250-300 words each), and Blog Comments (15%)

You’ll be assigned a blog group in the first week of class. Each week, you’ll either post to the blog or comment once on the blog. On Fridays, we’ll pick a schedule within each group for the upcoming week. Prompts for blog posts will be posted on the blog.  When you’re responsible for posting, you should post by 10 p.m. the day before class. When you’re responsible for commenting, you may comment at any point during the week.

Close Reading Essay (to be posted on class blog) (1000 words) (15%)

In the middle of the semester, you’ll develop an essay-length close reading of a poem or story. This essay will be posted to the blog. After you receive feedback from your classmates (see the next assignment), you’ll revise your essay and re-post it to the blog.

Three Peer-Assessment Emails (100 words each) (5%)

After the close reading essays are posted, you’ll be responsible for emailing three of your peers with clear, constructive feedback on their essay. You’ll cc me on the message and receive credit for your emails.

Final Paper (1500-2000 words) 20%

In a longer final paper, you’ll use the skills you’ve learned earlier in the course in a sustained argument about literary texts. More details on this assignment will come later in the semester.

Final Exam (15%)

The final will involve identification, close reading, and analytical writing. If everything goes as planned, your classmates’ and your own blog posts and pecha-kuchas will offer a useful study guide.