Readings and Assignments 


Note: Readings and assignments are due on the day they are listed on the syllabus. Changes or additions to the readings may occur throughout the semester to accommodate the needs and interests of the class. I’ll announce these in class. 


WAL = Janet Gardner’s portable guide for Writing About Literature 

WR = A Writer’s Resource





M 1/6        Introduction to the course: “Writing About Literature” (WAL 1).


W 1/8        Fundamentals of Reading and Interpretation: “The Role of Good Reading” (WAL 2-10) / close reading exercise: Langston Hughes “Theme for English B”. 


M 1/13       Fundamentals cont.-


W 1/15       “Elements of Fiction” in WAL, pp. 57-60. Begin ZZ Packer’s “Brownies.” Note: Review Preventing Plagiarism  (academic honesty quiz Wed. 22).

                  Course Contract Due


M 1/20       Martin Luther King Holiday: no classes, offices closed.


W 1/22       Academic honesty quiz. Continue “Brownies.”


M 1/27       Randy Hendricks’s “The Twelfth Year.” Assign guidelines for Essay #1.  


W 1/29       No Class meeting; read WAL, “Tips For Writing About Literature,” pp. 33 / Thesis and Introductions (review and discuss “The Thesis,” WAL pp. 17).




M 2/3        Continue “The Twelfth Year.”


W 2/5        Introduction-Thesis Workshop: bring a complete hardcopy of your introduction to class (for a participation grade). Review protocols for thesis construction (“The Thesis,” WAL pp. 17).


M 2/10       Workshop: bring a revised hardcopy of your introduction with the addition of complete body paragraphs to class for feedback (for a participation grade). Paragraph Strategies – Three-Ied Monster;/ Strategies for Developing the Third “I”.  WAL, “Using Quotations Effectively,” pp. 35-41.


W 2/12       No official class meeting: On your own, complete one peer review by exchanging drafts with a peer and email your feedback no later than the end of class.


M 2/17       Begin The House on Mango Street (3-61).

                  Essay 1 Due


W 2/19       Mango Street cont.- (62-110).


M 2/24       In-Class Essay (you have the entire hour and 20 minutes to complete this assignment). 


W 2/26       Conclude Mango Street.

                  Last day to withdraw with a grade of W



M 3/3        Begin The World Made Straight (pgs. 3-146).


T 3/4         Undergraduate Conference


W 3/5        Continue The World Made Straight (pgs. 149-end).  Assign guidelines for Essay #2.


M 3/10       Conclude The World Made Straight / Discovery Techniques and Claim Development Strategies.


W 3/12       Workshop Thesis Construction/Topic Sentence/Paragraph Construction (bring at least an introduction and 2 body paragraphs with you to class); Review How to Write A Literary Analysis.



Mar 17-Mar 21


Spring Break, no classes


M 3/24       Peer Critique (full draft); **Note** you must bring a completed draft to participate; otherwise, you will be dismissed and counted absent for that day.

W 3/26       Begin The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (pgs. 1-129). Assign guidelines for Essay #3 / Article Summary. 

Essay 2 Due


M 3/31       Honors Convocation: all classes from 12pm – 5pm on Monday 3/31 are cancelled



W 4/2        Continue Part-Time Indian (pgs. 130-end).  

M 4/7        Part-Time Indian concluded.


W 4/9        Essay Workshop: being conversant with secondary sources; incorporating outside sources effectively. In-Class Practice: Essay + Quotations.

M 4/14       Peer Critique (full draft); **Note** you must bring a completed draft to participate; otherwise, you will be dismissed and counted absent for that day.

W 4/16       Last day of class: /course evaluations / discussion of final exam.

Essay 3 due


Final Exam: In-Class Essay #2 (optional):

9:30-10:50 classes..................Wednesday, Apr 23, 8:00-10:30 am
11:00-12:20 classes................Monday, Apr 21, 11:00-1:30 pm


Note well: Grades will be posted to BanWeb following the final exam period. No grades will be distributed via phone or email.