Friday, January 18, 2008

LIT160 Introduction to Literature Syllabus: Table of Links (Spring 2008)


. . . . . A. Objectives

. . . . . B. Methods

. . . . . C. Evaluation

. . . . . D. Final grade conversion from total points

. . . . . E. Class Schedule


. . . . . A. Academic honesty

. . . . . B. Professionalism and participation

. . . . . . . . . . 1. Attendance policy

. . . . . . . . . . 2. Sign-up attendance sheet

. . . . . . . . . . 3. Late arrival/early departure

. . . . . . . . . . 4. Class participation

. . . . . . . . . . 5. Pop quizzes

. . . . . . . . . . 6. Food and drink

. . . . . . . . . . 7. Classroom decorum

. . . . . . . . . . 8. Electronic devices: cell phones, alarm watches, iPods, blackberries, headphones, beepers, etc.

. . . . . . . . . . 9. Laptops

. . . . . . . . . . 10. Submission format

. . . . . C. Word processors

. . . . . D. Retaining copies of submitted/graded work.

. . . . . E. E-mail policy

. . . . . F. Warning grades

. . . . . G. Research

. . . . . . . . . . 1. A case for NOT using research for the literary journal

. . . . . . . . . . 2. Sources for literary journals (*see also "Academic dishonesty")

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . a. print sources

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . b. on-line, CD-ROM, data base sources

. . . . . H. Disclosures

. . . . . I. Policy on due dates

. . . . . . . . . . 1. Literary Journals

. . . . . . . . . . 2. Unit tests and Comprehensive Final dates

. . . . . J. Make-up work and "Extra credit" policy

. . . . . K. Communications standards

. . . . . L. Learning Resource Center

. . . . . M. Grading standards

. . . . . N. Notes regarding the last two weeks of the semester

. . . . . O. Incomplete work

. . . . . P. Due dates at a glance


. . . . . A. Due dates and grading criteria

. . . . . B. Penalties for late submission

. . . . . C. Submission instructions for the literary journal and grading criteria

. . . . . D. Developing entries in the literary journal based on readings

. . . . . E. Literary journal submission #1: required entries/reader’s choice

. . . . . F. Literary journal submission #2: required entries/reader’s choice

IV. UNIT TESTS & FINAL EXAM (General Instructions)

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--To offer a humanities elective, which may fit within college core requirements, for non-English majors, English majors, and English Education majors.

--To develop students’ appreciation for and understanding of effective literature in its various modes and genres.

--To help students develop their ability to comprehend and respond to literature as it relates to their own lives, life within their own communities, and within the world community.

--To encourage, through this increased understanding, students’ enjoyment of literature.

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Section I.B: METHODS

--Readings, class discussion, and background lectures.

--Group and individual responses, written and/or oral, to assigned readings and materials, and other appropriate group and individual instructional activities.

--Possible attendance at plays and/or readings.

--Voluntary posting of work on

--Audiovisual supplements, field trips, guest speakers, etc.

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FIVE Items @ 0-100 points each (drop the lowest grade, thus 4 items, 400 points)

--Two unit tests (200 points @ 100 points each)

--One final exam (100 points)

--Literary Journals, two submissions (200 points @ 100 points each)

After dropping the lowest test OR journal grade: 400 points total (100%)

Note on Professionalism and Class Participation: up to 100 points could be deducted from your final points for the following reasons: excessive absenteeism, lack of class participation, and/or lack of class decorum)

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Possible Points*:

358 - 400 = 89.5 - 100: Final grade = 4

338 - 357 = 84.5 - 89.25: Final grade = 3.5

318 - 337 = 79.5 - 84.25: Final grade = 3

298 - 317 = 74.5 - 79.25: Final grade = 2.5

274 - 297 = 68.5 - 74.25: Final grade = 2

238 - 273 = 59.5 - 68.25: Final grade = 1

0 - 237 = 0 - 59.25: Final grade = 0

*For 4 or more absences, 5 points for each absence will be deducted from your raw points; therefore, part of your final grade is contingent upon regular attendance.

Rounding up has been built into the conversion table; for example, four items, equaling 358 points total, would average out to 89.5, and, thus, would be rounded up to a 4. An 89.25 is a 3.5 and will remain a 3.5. Sorry, but the line has to be drawn somewhere.


This course may be available on a pass/fail basis; please check the college catalogue for details. Be sure that you understand the advantages and disadvantages of pass/fail before selecting this option. Also, if this course is required for your major, check with your advisor before selecting a pass/fail option, for it may not be allowable for you.

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Here is a general idea of plans for the coming semester. Of course, any such list must be subject to change, but any such modifications will be announced in class and/or via e-mail. It is important that you prepare, that you attend class, and that you participate actively. You can expect "pop quizzes" at any time during the semester. These quizzes may NOT be made up. Should you encounter any difficulties during the semester, please see me as soon as possible, not during the last two weeks of classes (see Section II: "Important Notes.")


--Annas, Pamela and Robert C. Rosen. Literature and Society: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, Non-fiction, 4th ed. Upper Saddle River (NJ): Pearson-Prentice Hall, 2007.

--Hersey, John. Hiroshima, Vintage Books, 1989.

--Burdick, Eugene and Harvey Wheeler. Fail Safe. New York: Harper Perennial. 1999.

--Any up-to-date dictionary


--This webpage/syllabus

--Links to other websites

--Handouts and assignment sheets to be distributed as needed.

--Possible E-Reserves at Schmidt Library

For the literary readings, ALWAYS read and try to answer the questions at the end; they will help toward your understanding of the readings. If you have any questions/concerns, e-mail or see me after class.


Class Schedule for LIT160 (Tuesday-Thursday, 3:30 - 4:45)

Week 1

1/22: No Class. Late scheduling and New Student Orientation.

1/24: Distribution of syllabus. NOTE: You are responsible for reading this website version of the syllabus thoroughly and, when necessary, asking questions. Growing Up and Growing Older: "Girl," Jamaica Kincaid, 67-69, and "Yours," Mary Robison or,9668,1606980-,00.utf8.html.

Week 2

1/29: "Kinds of Writing," 19-22; "Critical Reading Journal," 22-27; "How Fiction Works," 1467-1482. Growing Up and Growing Older: From "The Bluest Eye," Toni Morrison, 69-72.

REMINDER: Drop/Add ends on 1/30.

1/31: Growing Up and Growing Older (continued): "A Mistaken Charity," Mary E. Wilkins Freeman, 140-150. "How Poetry Works," 1483-1512. "Ex-Basketball Player," John Updike, 166-167; "the mother," Gwendolyn Brooks, 162-163; "Undertaker," Patricia Smith, 181-184, and "Danner Walked the Walk" (Obituary handout).

Week 3

2/5: Growing Up and Growing Older (continued): "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock," T.S. Eliot, 168-172.

2/7: "How Non-fiction Works," 1527-1534. Growing Up and Growing Older (continued): "No Name Woman," Maxine Hong Kingston, 265-274; "Gun Crazy," Dorothy Allison, 291-295; and "Leap," Brian Doyle, 1119-1121.

Week 4

2/12: The American Dream: "Harlem," Langston Hughes, 1286; Read play: The Piano Lesson, August Wilson, Act I, 808-843. Begin VIDEO.

2/14: The American Dream (continued): Read play: The Piano Lesson, August Wilson, Act II, 843-879. Finish video. Begin discussion.

Week 5

2/19: The American Dream (continued): Finish discussion of The Piano Lesson.

2/21: Growing Up and Growing Older (continued): "Touch Me," The Doors, and, "Touch Me," Stanley Kunitz,; "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night," Dylan Thomas, 194.

Week 6

2/26 & 2/28: Spring Break

Week 7

3/4: UNIT TEST #1 (0-100 POINTS): "GROWING UP AND GROWING OLDER" and "THE AMERICAN DREAM." "Writing Under Pressure: The Essay Exam," 17-19 (See also Section IV of this packet).

3/6: "How Drama Works," 1513-1526. Women and Men: "Trifles," Susan Glaspell, 551-564.

Week 8

3/11: Women and Men (continued): "Hills Like White Elephants," Ernest Hemingway, 320-324; "Cinderella," Olga Broumas, 397-398; "I Want a Wife," Judy Brady, 569-572.

3/13: Money and Work: "I Stand Here Ironing," Tillie Olsen, 588-594.

Week 9

3/18: LITERARY JOURNAL SUBMISSION #1 (0-100 POINTS): "GROWING UP AND GROWING OLDER," "THE AMERICAN DREAM," and "WOMEN AND MEN," by 10:00 p.m., submitted as an MSWord file (See Section III.E of this packet), OR by the beginning of class for print versions. Money and Work (continued): "Ballad of the Landlord," Langston Hughes, 685-687; "Ella, in a square apron, along Highway 80," Judy Grahn, 672-674; and "MIKE LEFEVRE: Who Built the Pyramids?" Studs Terkel, 929-937."

3/20: Easter Break.

Week 10

3/25: Money and Work (continued): "Everyday Use," Alice Walker, 654-662; "So Mexicans Are Taking Jobs From Americans," Jimmy Santiago Baca, 676-679.

3/27: No class. I will be attending a professional conference.

Week 11

4/1: Varieties of Protest: Read: "The Loneliness of the Long-distance Runner," Alan Sillitoe, Parts I-II,1204-1222. Begin Video.

4/3: Varieties of Protest (continued): "The Loneliness of the Long-distance Runner," Alan Sillitoe, Part III, 1222-1232. Video (finish).

Week 12

4/8: Varieties of Protest (continued): "The Loneliness of the Long-distance Runner," Alan Sillitoe, Discussion. Biography and Background on Alan Sillitoe.

4/10: Varieties of Protest (continued): Sylvia Plath video and discussion.

Week 13

4/15: "Daddy," Sylvia Plath, 1292-1294; "Edge" (handout), Sylvia Plath; "The Lovepet," Ted Hughes, 394-396.

4/17: UNIT TEST #2 (0-100 POINTS): "WOMEN AND MEN," "MONEY AND WORK," and "VARIETIES OF PROTEST" (Review Section IV of this packet).

Week 14

4/22: Peace and War: "August 2026, There Will Come Soft Rains," Ray Bradbury, 946-951; Begin Hiroshima, by John Hersey, read chapters 1-3.

4/24: Peace and War (continued): Finish discussion of Hiroshima, by John Hersey, read chapters 4-5. (For voluntary a.m. conferences on 11/15, sign up on the conference sheet).

Week 15

4/29: Peace and War (continued): Begin reading Fail-Safe, by Eugene Burdick and Harvey Wheeler, chapters 1-5. Begin video: Fail-Safe.

5/1: Peace and War (continued): Read Fail-Safe, by Eugene Burdick and Harvey Wheeler, chapters 6-13. Finish video: Fail Safe. Discussion.

Week 16

5/6: Peace and War (continued): Read Fail-Safe, by Eugene Burdick and Harvey Wheeler, chapters 14-23 (end). Finish discussion of Fail-Safe. The Cold War connection. "The Man I Killed," Tim O’Brien, 979-984; "In Response to Executive Order 9066: ALL AMERICANS OF JAPANESE DESCENT MUST REPORT TO RELOCATION CENTERS," Dwight Okita, 999-1001.

5/8: LITERARY JOURNAL SUBMISSION #2 (0-100 POINTS): "MONEY AND WORK," VARIETIES OF PROTEST, "PEACE AND WAR" and "PROTEST SONGS" (See Section III.F of this packet). Due by 10:00 p.m. as an MSWord attachment. Protest Songs: "Plane Wreck at Los Gatos (Deportees)," Woody Guthrie, 711-712. Handouts: "The Merry Minuet," Sheldon Harnick, and "The Moral Majority," Doug Mayfield.

Final exam period

5/15: FINAL EXAM (0-100 POINTS): (Review Section IV of this packet.) at 3:30 in our regular classroom.

* * * Please note that the final exam period is scheduled for the very last exam slot; I do not make up the final exam schedule, so do not complain to me. However, you are bound to this final exam slot, for I will NOT reschedule or give early exams for ANY reason. If this schedule does not work for you, then you may use this exam as your *dropped* grade; otherwise, it is your responsibility to make your final exam your top priority. * * *

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Please read the notes in Section II carefully. Before asking me questions regarding class policies, refer to these notes first. Everything that you need to know is right here.

These policies are firm, NO EXCEPTIONS.

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(*see also Section II.G.2, "Sources for Literary Journals")

Plagiarism, intentional or unintentional, will NOT be tolerated in this class, so get to know the various meanings of this word. If you plagiarize someone else’s work–for example, recycling someone else’s work and presenting it as your own, you will receive a "0" for the class, and your name will be forwarded to the academic dean for further action.

Plagiarizing includes the following instances:

--Buying a paper from a term paper mill, downloading a paper off a website, or "borrowing" a paper from a friend or fraternity file and submitting all or even part of it as your own work. Even if you have permission from the original writer, using that writer's work is still considered plagiarism.

--Not attributing (citing) a direct quote (exact words by a source) to the original author/source.

--Not using quotation marks ("") for direct quotes.

--Not attributing (citing) paraphrased passages (research rewritten into your own words, thus, no quotation marks) to the original author/source.

--Not attributing (citing) background material (biographical, historical, and class notes) to the original source.

The York College of Pennsylvania policy on academic honesty appears in the student handbook and in the college catalogue, and this instructor takes this policy VERY seriously; students caught plagiarizing will be granted no quarter, even for a first offense. Plagiarize and/or cheat at your own peril!

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1. Attendance Policy. If you plan to cut class a lot, then you might want to consider transferring to another class. Excessive absenteeism will cost you points from your final grade, 5 points deducted for each absence, starting with absence #4. You may miss up to three classes without attendance penalties. However, if you take three unexcused absences and then must be absent for a real illness, sporting event, and/or funeral, then you're out of luck. Sorry, but that is my policy, which I had to create because of students ditching class for bogus reasons and then needing to be exempt from attendance requirements. In essence, you will be okay for the excused absences, but you will then be penalized for the preceding unexcused absences.
For example, if you miss three unexcused classes and then must take four excused days off (with proper documentation), then you will be charged with three absences, for a total of -15 points.

If you are absent, ask one of your classmates for class information and notes–I don’t go over old material for absentees. I notice chronic absenteeism. If you miss an inordinate number of classes and workshop groups, I will probably ask you to drop the course.

2. Sign-up Attendance Sheet. At the beginning of each class, I will pass around an attendance sign-up sheet. Sign ONLY your own name. Do NOT sign another student’s name, for ANY reason:


3. Late Arrival/Early Departure. Latecomers will be counted as absent. Period. Once I pass around the attendance sign-up sheet, typically at the beginning of class, the sign-up sheet will be put away, and, as far as I am concerned, late students are absent. If you have a good reason for your tardiness, then speak with me after class; I may or may not accept your reason.
I regret that it has come to this, but in the past few years or so, I have noticed a revolving door attitude toward classroom promptness, and I find this cavalier attitude distracting and rude. More important, when students are chronically late, they are disrupting the entire class, which is unfair to everyone concerned. If you anticipate having difficulties getting to this class on time, then I recommend that you drop the class and register for a time more conducive to your schedule. I will be giving out most assignments and general instructions at the beginning of class; thus, latecomers may miss important information, which I will not repeat. Latecomers will have to ask me for handouts. If you must leave class early, please let me know beforehand. However, don’t make early departure a habit.

For example, if you are an athlete or employee who anticipates having to leave this class early on a regular basis, you need to make sure to keep up with your readings and make certain that you are available for unit tests and the final exam. Otherwise, you may need to transfer to another class because I cannot, in all fairness to everyone, give special consideration to people involved in conflicting extracurricular activities, jobs, doctors' appointments, etc. You must spend at least two-thirds of the period to receive credit for attendance. Important: You may NOT make up exams or class exercises due to absences! (Please see "Policy on Due Dates," Section II.I.)

4. Class Participation. I expect you to keep up with the readings and participate in lively class discussions; from my standpoint, the class will be more interesting if you’re willing to share your views. Most importantly, your personal success and part of your grade will depend on your keeping up with assignments, readings, and participating in class exercises and discussions.

5. Pop Quizzes. If I begin hearing my own voice too much, students can expect pop quizzes from time to time. I dislike giving pop quizzes; they belong in high school and not in the college classroom. I would rather see students contributing to the success of this class rather than my spoon feeding "information."

6. Food and Drink. You may bring coffee, soda, juice, water, etc. to class. DO NOT BRING FOOD. You will be asked to leave. Eat your meals and snacks before and after class; I'm sorry if you have scheduled your classes back-to-back or that you are dashing from work to class, but our classroom is not a deli or cafeteria. If you bring a drink, you are responsible for picking up after yourself and placing your garbage into the trash can. The janitorial staff will appreciate your thoughtfulness and courtesy.

7. Classroom Decorum. In the past few years, I have noticed an alarming pattern of increasing class disruptions and rudeness: students yakking unabashedly out of turn, cell phones and other devices going off, lack of common courtesy for both me and peers, chronic lateness to class, crude language, outright rudeness–the list goes on.

Therefore, students who consistently engage in rude and disruptive behavior will lose points from their final grade, number of points to be determined at my discretion.
Discourteous people may be ordered to leave class, and, perhaps, asked to drop the course. I try to be courteous (yet firm in terms of academic expectations). I don’t derive pleasure from berating students in front of other students, and I respect student privacy (thus, I don’t post grades publicly or reveal a confidence to others). Furthermore, I write courteous e-mails and memos (and I expect the same in return).

8. Electronic Devices: Cell phones, iPhones, Alarm Watches, iPods, Blackberries, Headphones, Beepers, etc. All electronic devices must be turned off (except laptops for note taking–see #9) and put away during class time. At the very least, put your phone/beeper on vibrate and answer any messages outside the classroom and ONLY if you're an on-duty EMT, fire fighter, police officer, doctor, or other emergency worker. Otherwise, disengage from your technology. Failure to adhere to this policy will result in penalties against your final grade. Should a student’s electronic devices go off during class, I will be talking to that person privately. If the problem persists (more than three times), the offender can expect to be admonished in front of the class. Chronic offenders may be asked to drop the course!


9. Laptops. If you bring a wireless laptop to a "hot spot" classroom, you must disable your WLAN and limit your use to taking class notes. If you are caught checking your e-mail, surfing the net, and/or playing computer games during class, you will be asked to leave, and you will be marked absent for that period.

10. Submission Format. Please refer to Section III.G for literary journal format.

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In the new millennium, college graduates are expected to be computer literate. Students should use word processors for all formal papers, because they make the mechanics of revision–rearranging, adding, and deleting–incredibly easy. Computer labs are available at the YCP Academic Computer Center; check with the Computer Center for lab locations: rooms and hours are posted outside the center and online.

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For your protection, please retain copies of all submitted work and in-class writing. In addition, retain your graded literary journals. I recommend that you retain all copies of your work until you have officially received your final grade from the registrar’s office. Remember: keeping your graded work until the final grades have been sent out is your best defense in the event of a grade dispute.

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My main mode of communicating important messages to students is via e-mail; between January 24, 2008, and May 15, 2008, you should check your YCP and backup e-mail at least daily.

I will not call you on the telephone, unless it’s an extreme and dire emergency. You are responsible for checking your e-mail every day during the semester. I check my e-mail once or twice a day, but I do not remain on my e-mail 24/7; thus, don’t e-mail questions at the last minute (or middle of the night) and expect immediate answers.

Also make sure that your messages to me are LITERATE. I'm an English teacher who doesn't appreciate, in the classroom setting, lower case "i," incomplete sentences, "textise," misspelled words, incorrect grammar, computer abbreviations, and other cutesy affectations, such as "Hiya, prof." I will take your questions and concerns more seriously if your message is well-written and professional.

In addition, I will need to e-mail, on a regular basis, the entire class. For these mass e-mail messages, I will not be e-mailing each student individually; I will be setting up an address list in my Yahoo! address book for each class and sending mass messages in that manner. Most of you have already been assigned a college e-mail address, and that is the main address I will use, but I ask that you also submit to me a commercial e-mail address (such as Gmail, EarthLink, Yahoo!, AOL, etc.), which I will add to the class address list. Yahoo! now offers a free unlimited space email address, quite generous and sufficient for class needs. That way, in case of YCP outages, we can still remain in contact, especially during crucial times.

Note: Recently, spam filters on commercial e-mails, especially AOL, have become especially powerful; as a consequence, your service may refuse my e-mails. I recommend that you add my email address to your address book. In any case, I am not responsible if you don’t receive your e-mail messages from me, and I will not accept this as an excuse. Also, I recommend that you add my e-mail address to both your YCP and commercial address books.

In any case, if you have not yet done so already, you should sign up for a YCP e-mail address. If you’re not sure of your e-mail status, check with the computer center.

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About six weeks into the semester, all instructors are asked to inform you and the academic dean if your average is "1" or less. According to the Buckley Amendment, if you are an I.R.S. dependent of your parents/legal guardians, the dean will send a warning grade notice to them. If you have any questions regarding this policy, please see the academic dean's office.

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Section II.G: RESEARCH (See also "Academic Honesty")

1. A Case for NOT Using Research for the Literary Journal and the Response Paper. If you read the primary literature (fiction, drama, poetry, and non-fiction), and react to it directly, you’ll probably do at least average work. From my standpoint, I would prefer that you use your own intellectual abilities rather than your relying on an "expert" to do your thinking for you. Why regurgitate when you can offer your own fresh perspective? You’ll be forced to think for yourself for the exams, so you might as well practice with your journal entries. However, if you must use sources, read and commit to memory this section on sources and the passage on academic honesty (Section II.A).

2. Sources for Literary Journals (*see also "Academic Honesty"). If you use any of the types of sources listed below for help in developing any of your journal entries, you must give credit, in the MLA style of documentation, to that source. Failure to give credit for quoting a writer’s exact words and/or paraphrasing someone else’s ideas is a form of plagiarism, and, if you are caught, you will be accountable, and, consequently, penalized accordingly. For directly quoted material, you must use quotation marks; for paraphrased material, don’t use quotation marks, but, in both cases, give in-text credit to your source. Furthermore, you must submit to me a URL link, printout, or photocopy of that source.

a. Print Sources: A print source is defined as any outside work that comes from the print version of a magazine, book, pamphlet, or newspaper; thus not copied from a computer printer. If you use a print source for your journal entries, you must submit photocopies (not originals) of your print sources with complete MLA "works cited" data.

b. On-line Sources: If you choose to use on-line sources (e.g., the internet/the world wide web), CD-ROMS, and data bases, you are required to print out a full copy of your source(s) with complete MLA data and submit with your literary journal. If the submitted source is inappropriate (e.g., chat rooms, "fan club" material, ads–in other words, any dubious source), I reserve the right to return the journal entry, ungraded. You will then have one class period to rewrite and resubmit the journal entry with appropriate source.

NOTE: If you are considering using on-line sources, you might want to print out the source and submit to me before the journal is due. I will then check it over and let you know if it is an acceptable source. Wikipedia and other encyclopedias, designed for middle school children, are not valid sources.

On-line material can offer a great wealth of information, but there are numerous pitfalls: an inordinate amount of garbage flies through cyberspace. Not everything is gospel.

As a writer and researcher, you will eventually need to develop a sense of who and what to trust for your information, but, for now, I can help you. Also, data bases and other electronic sources often offer summaries and abstracts of articles, which are not acceptable sources. You need to read and use the full source, which is often found in print sources.

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For your literary journal, you may be disclosing some personal information about yourself and your family. Obviously, you have the right not to disclose anything that makes you feel uncomfortable. In any case, you will NOT be required to share your narratives, personal and otherwise, with other students in the class.

Sometimes, journal writers reveal some sensitive personal material; for the most part, what you reveal in your literary journal will stay private. However, there are some exceptions: I will report, to appropriate authorities, threats of harm to yourself and any blatant admission of a serious crime (such as homicide, any crime that could result in physical harm of another person, sexual/physical abuse of a child, selling illegal drugs to a minor–thus, any infraction against a minor, and threats of violence). As an English teacher, I am not legally bound by the same gag rules as a lawyer, doctor, psychologist, or clergy person. So do take care in what you choose to reveal. My personal ethics dictate that I don’t sit idly by if I know a serious crime has occurred or is about to occur, especially against children.

Also, keep in mind that, legally, I can’t counsel you; I can recommend our school psychologist, nothing more. Thus, my reactions to your personal problems must be limited to the generic comment.

Another caveat: Do not joke about serious legal or psychological matters because such a spoof could prove to be embarrassing to both of us. Also, if you choose to assume the voice of a dysfunctional literary character (and there are many in our readings), please note this at the beginning of your passage.

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1. Literary Journals. (0-100 points each) As part of your grade you will be asked to keep a literary journal, in which you will respond informally to your readings (See section III).
Your two literary journal submissions must be submitted on time for potential full credit.

If you anticipate being absent when a literary journal is due, you are still responsible for making sure that your work is submitted as an e-mailed attachment (MS Word) and on time. Absenteeism is no excuse for late work (See Section III for more information about literary journal submissions).

2. Unit Tests/Final Exam. (0-100 points each) (See section IV of this packet.) You MUST take all unit tests and the final on the scheduled dates. Failure to take a unit test and/or final exam will result in a grade of "0" for the missed test or exam, for I do not offer makeup test/final exam opportunities. Of the five graded pieces (two literary journal submissions, two unit tests, and one final exam), I will be dropping the lowest grade. Thus, I recommend strongly that you make every effort to do all graded activities so that in the event of an emergency or a low test grade, you will have that extra cushion.

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NO MAKE-UP WORK, even for the best of reasons.

Just do your regular work.

NO EXTRA CREDIT FOR INDIVIDUALS. Extra credit for you means extra work for me, and, frankly, I’d rather not take on this additional burden, which has been generated by your inability and/or unwillingness to submit your regular work on time. Therefore, I feel absolutely no obligation to set up extra credit assignments for individuals.

Also, consider this: extra credit opportunities reward slackers and discriminate against students who submit their work in good order and on time; therefore, I don’t arrange or accept extra credit assignments, unless I do so for the entire class, so don’t even ask.

If you keep up with your work, you don’t need to do extra credit work.

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The Academic Senate of York College of Pennsylvania has approved the following Communications Standards statement to be included in all syllabi:

York College recognizes the importance of effective communication in all disciplines and careers. Therefore students are expected to competently analyze, synthesize, organize, and articulate course material in papers, examinations, and presentations. In addition, students should know and use communication skills current to their field of study, recognize the need for revision as part of their writing process, and employ standard conventions of English usage in both writing and speaking. Students may be asked to further revise assignments that do not demonstrate effective use of these communication skills.

These Communication Standards extend to your e-mail messages to me. Consider such messages as communications to a supervisor.

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YCP offers reading and writing help for all students, including part time and/or non-matriculated students. You are encouraged to use the Learning Resource Center (LRC) for help with your writing for any course requiring reading literature and writing assignments/papers. However, the Learning Resource Center cannot guarantee a certain grade; instructors are there to guide and suggest, but you make the final decision as to what is covered in your papers, so be aware that, ultimately, YOU are responsible for your grades.

The LRC, located in the new humanities building, is staffed with professionals, some of whom hold at least a B.A. There are also peer tutors, most of whom are Professional Writing majors. During your Learning Resource Center session, you are expected to participate actively; bring your textbooks, a copy of the assignment, a draft of the paper and/or your notes so far, and questions about reading strategies and the process of writing. In short, be prepared to work hard. You need not have a completed draft of a paper; in fact, some of the most productive sessions occur when you are open to suggestions and new ideas, not always possible when you already have a draft committed to paper.

Please note that the Learning Resource Center is NOT an "editing" service, a place where you go to get your papers "fixed" or written for you. It is a place where you and the Learning Resource Center instructor carry on a dialogue about reading and writing strategies, including brainstorming, organizing, audience analysis, counter arguing, defining, comparing and contrasting, etc. Editing and fixing a poorly organized or superficial paper will probably not result in a higher grade. Also note that if you do not go to the Learning Resource Center prepared, you can’t expect the Learning Resource Center instructor to read your mind or to figure out what your professor is expecting of you. Remember: the Learning Resource Center instructor does not attend this class and can’t be expected to interpret your assignments for you. Ultimately, that is YOUR responsibility.

Finally, don’t give up on the Center if you have a negative experience; it is true that you probably won’t mesh with every instructor there. This doesn’t mean that you or the instructor are lacking in any way; it just means that there is probably a difference of personalities and/or approach. Keep trying, and you will probably find the right instructor.

For more details, (

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Education majors must earn a minimum grade of "3"; however, it is your responsibility to earn that minimum grade, not mine to award unearned grades based on your need. I firmly believe that top grades ought to be earned, not handed out like candy, so be prepared to work for your grade. I expect that all of you are capable of at least average work; otherwise, you wouldn’t have been accepted at York College. Generally, students who end up earning grades in the upper half care about their work and make a concerted effort to submit their work in good order and on time. Conversely, those who end up earning grades in the lower half tend to cut classes, submit incomplete and/or poorly written assignments, and forget to submit other assignments altogether. Quite simply, if you don’t think well and write competently, you probably won’t move beyond first year courses.

This introductory literature class is not excessively difficult; however, it is still possible to flunk, so keep up with your work.

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If you have been dogging it all semester–cutting classes, not submitting your work, doing sloppy work, etc., etc.–don’t expect any sympathy from this instructor. In other words, don’t come knocking on my door during the last two weeks of the semester and ask, "How can I get a ‘2’ or passing grade in this course?" My answer will be, "You can’t. Tough luck." If you are having difficulties in this course, see me early in the semester, and we’ll talk.

I WILL NOT DISCUSS GRADING POLICIES and/or listen to reasons why you "must" get a "4," "3.5," "3," "2.5," or "2" in the course. Those are not my concerns; I evaluate ONLY the work presented to me, not your overall grade point average. Once the final exam is taken and graded, my decision regarding your points is final.

We’re all extremely busy during the last two weeks of the semester and during the final examination period; therefore, do not be surprised if I don’t answer frantic phone calls and/or e-mail messages. Please note the following:

I will not reveal your final grade over the phone, ever, or via e-mail, unless I do so for the entire class.

For your final exam grade, email me the following message: "Please email me my final exam grade. I grant Ms. Jennifer Siegel permission to email me my final exam grade and will not hold her responsible should a hacker gain access (via e-mail) to my grade." Otherwise, give me a self-addressed, stamped envelope (SASE with a first-class postage stamp affixed). I hold all exams and unclaimed literary journals for one year, after which time I discard all items.

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99.9% of situations do not warrant arranging an incomplete work schedule. The situation must be catastrophic, and official notification of the situation must come from the dean’s office (See college catalogue for details). In any case, you must have completed at least 75% of the semester and assignments before I’ll consider an incomplete.

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Each Item = 0-100 points (500 points total)

I will drop the lowest grade from the following list:
  • Literary Journal, 1st Submission (0-100 points), 3/18
  • Literary Journal, 2nd Submission (0-100 points), 5/8
  • Unit Test #1 (0-100 points), 3/4
  • Unit Test #2 (0-100 points), 4/17
  • Final Exam (0-100 points), 5/15
500 points total (minus 100 for dropped item) = 400 POINTS TOTAL

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Two submissions, @ 100 points each, 200 points total.

Refer to Sections III.E-F for specific readings and instructions for selecting entries for your literary journal.

Section III.D of this packet offers some ideas for responding to the selections).

Review "Disclosures" (Section II.H of this packet).

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Section III.A: Due Dates and Grading Criteria for Literary Journals

1. *Literary Journal Submission #1 (see Section III.E of this packet) (0-100 points), due 3/18

Required responses from readings in categories:

"Growing Up and Growing Older"

"The American Dream"

"Women and Men"

2. *Literary Journal Submission #2 (see Section III.F of this packet) (0-100 points), due 5/8

Required responses from readings in categories:

"Money and Work"

"Peace and War"

"Varieties of Protest"

"Protest Songs"

3. Grading Criteria:

IMPORTANT NOTE: Quantity counts–I’m looking for lots of thoughtful content. I need more than a few wimpy and superficial sentences in a journal entry. Thus, I’m looking at the completeness of the specified category/categories.

--I will deduct points for missing and/or superficial entries.

--Don’t worry if you don’t like a reading, for I don’t expect you to love every selection that I have assigned.

--On the other hand, do defend your reasons for liking or disliking a work with specifics, not generalities.

--Use one of the suggested ideas (Section III.D, "Some Ideas for Developing Entries in a Literary Journal") to respond to each selection, but if another idea strikes you, don’t be afraid to go with it. Ask me if you’re not sure.

--In my grading criteria, I will not be focusing specifically on grammar, spelling, and punctuation. For the journal I’m more interested in seeing the flow of your ideas. Grammar and punctuation are revision issues, and you will not be revising the journal.

--However, do run your document through a quick spell check. Realize, however, that spell checks can't tell you when to use "they're," "their," or "there."

--Note: if your writing errors are pervasive (more than I would expect from a draft written by a college student) and impede on coherence, I will be speaking with you about seeking Learning Resource Center (LRC) help. Thus, unclear writing would have to lower your grade. Also, if your writing style seems immature or simplistic (not college level), again I may recommend LRC help.

--Don't wait until the last minute to write up your entries; remember, this is a semester project, broken down into two submission periods, so, if you keep up with your reading and respond in your journal soon after reading, you’ll have no problem keeping up with the journal. You might even find the process enjoyable.

--However, if you try to write up your journal the night before each submission is due, you’ll find writing it an onerous and probably an unsuccessful task–believe it or not, I’ll be able to tell if you have pulled an all-nighter.

If you encounter difficulty in reading the selections, I encourage you to get help from the Learning Resource Center for reading strategies.

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Literary journal #1 will be penalized 20 points for each class period late:

-- 1 class period late = 80 points maximum

-- 2 class periods late = 60 points maximum

-- 3 class periods late = 40 points maximum

-- 4 class periods late = 20 points maximum

-- 5 class periods late = 0 points

Literary Journal #2 will be penalized 50 points if not submitted on the due date. For 50 points possible, the journal must be submitted at the beginning of the final exam period and will not be accepted after that time.

In other words, I encourage you to read your selections and write in your journal throughout the semester, not just at the end.

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1. This Literary Journal may be submitted as ONE attached MSWord document (.doc) and emailed to me. In other words, submit your journal as one large file, not 7 individual files. You may submit this as a print copy, but your journal will be due at the beginning of class on the due date (instead of 10:00 p.m.).

--For electronic submissions, you must attach a MSWord, .doc file. My computer does NOT support .docx, .rtf, .zip, or .wps files. I will NOT be able to open such files.

--As you work on this project, save backups, on two separate data sticks and your YCP H drive. Tip: after each session, email a copy of the literary-journal-in-progress to yourself (to another email address). At the very least, print out a hard copy; that way, the worst that can happen (should you lose your electronic copy) is that you'll need to retype your journal.

--I'm telling you this now because I absolutely do not accept a computer crash/problem as a valid excuse for a late journal. It seems that every semester, I hear at least one sad song about a journal slipping into cyber oblivion. If you follow a few easy precautions, you will not lose your work.

2. The first page of your attached MSWord document should be a cover sheet, with the following format (centered on the page):

Your name

LIT160 Introduction to Literature

Literary Journal #

Due date

3. Paginate your document (Learn how to use MS Word's automatic page numbering and running header features).

4. Use a standard 12-point Times New Roman font.

5. Double space your document.

6. At the beginning, DATE each journal entry and give the TITLE and AUTHOR of each selection, thus avoiding confusion for both of us. Also note the NUMBER of the idea that you have incorporated (Section III.D).

7. For each submission, your responses must correspond to the readings in the specified category/categories (e.g., for Submission #1, you will respond to the readings in the categories "Growing Up and Growing Older," "The American Dream," and "Women and Men"–see Sections III.E-F for specific readings).

8. If your document is not submitted properly, it will be returned with instructions to resubmit properly.

9. Print copies must be typed, double spaced, properly paginated, contain a running header (your last name), and stapled (no paper clips, please). No ringed notebooks.

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Section III.D: Developing Entries in the Literary Journal Based on Readings (Spring 2008)

Research. A Case for NOT Using Research for the Literary Journal:

If you read the primary literature (fiction, drama, poetry, and essays) and react to it directly, you’ll probably do a better job. From my standpoint, I would prefer that you use your own intellectual abilities rather than your relying on an "expert" to do your thinking for you. Why regurgitate when you can offer your own fresh perspective? You’ll be forced to think for yourself for the unit tests, so you might as well practice with your journal entries. However, if you must use sources, read and commit to memory the section on research and sources for the literary journal (Section II.G of this packet) and the section on academic honesty (Section II.A). In any case, you are responsible for all the material on sources (Section II.G.2) and the meaning of plagiarism; ignorance of the rules governing research will not be accepted as an excuse.

Some Ideas for Developing Entries in a Literary Journal*:

1. Converse with specific points in the text that strike you, either positively or negatively (Be careful here: this option could easily end up being a plot summary of the text, which is boring to read, given that I have already read the original).

2. Write about any personal connections that you have with the reading.

3. If the piece raises an issue for you, write a letter (possibly to an editor of a newspaper) in which you take a "stand," for or against the issue.

4. Compose a prequel (incidents occurring beforehand) or a sequel to a story, poem, or play. (This option is NOT available for non-fiction.)

5. Rewrite a work or part of a work from a point of view ("I," "he/she," or "you") different from that presented in the original text. (NOTE: If you choose to assume the persona of a literary character, please note this at the end of the passage. (This option is NOT available for non-fiction.)

6. Rewrite a work or part of work into a different genre, for example, a poem into a story, a story into a poem, a play into a story, etc. (This option is NOT available for non-fiction.)

7. Explicate a poem (see pages 1510-1511 in your textbook).

8. Write your own poem (free verse, sonnet, villanelle, or rhyming couplets, etc.), using an assigned poem from one of the five categories in your textbook ("Growing Up and Growing Older," "Women and Men," "Money and Work," "Peace and War," or "Varieties of Protest") as a springboard for your own original poem. For a 20-point entry, explicate your own poem (#7).

9. Borrow an incident or theme from an assigned work to write a piece of your own based on a similar incident or theme.

10. Do a character study of the main character in a story, poem, or play (This option is NOT available for non-fiction).

11. Do a character study of the narrator in a poem that is written in the first person ("I").

12. If you are artistically inclined or would like to try your hand at drawing, draw a graphic version of one of our short assigned readings (EXCEPT the already graphic pieces in your textbook), complete with dialogue balloons (for examples, see "Hypothetical Quandary," Harvey Pekar [author] and R. Crumb [artist], 663-666, and excerpt From Persepolis, "Introduction" and "The Dowry," Marjane Satrapi, 1104-1119. These are not assigned readings, but just examples of how graphic [pictorial] literature works.)

Discuss how the literary focus--e.g., point of view, characterization, setting, etc.--changes when the piece of literature shifts from plain text to text enhanced by visual representation.


*Some ideas are from: Schwiebert, John E. Reading and Writing From Literature. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1997. 34.

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Section III.E: LITERARY JOURNAL #1 (Spring 2008)

LITERARY JOURNAL Submission #1 (0-100 points), Due 3/18

"Growing Up and Growing Older," "The American Dream," and "Women and Men"

As cultural markers, the dates specified for each work are important.

A. You MUST respond to ALL 3 of the following selections (20 points each, 60 points total):

1._____The Piano Lesson, August Wilson, 808-879 [Required play, 1987, film 1995]

2._____"The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock," T.S. Eliot, 168-172, [Required Poem, 1917]

3._____"Hills Like White Elephants," Ernest Hemingway, 320-324 [Required short story, 1927]

[NOTE: The above selections are worth more points than the other journal selections, so these responses should be a minimum of two typed (and double-spaced) pages and more in depth.]
B. Reader’s Choice: You MUST select and respond to ANY 4 of the following selections (10 points each, 40 points total):


4._____"Girl," Jamaica Kincaid, 67-69 [1983]

5._____"Yours," Mary Robison, handout [1983]

6._____From "The Bluest Eye," Toni Morrison, 69-72 [1970]

7._____"A Mistaken Charity," Mary E. Wilkins Freeman, 140-150 [1887]


8._____"the mother," Gwendolyn Brooks, 162-163 [1945]

9.____"Ex-Basketball Player," John Updike, 166-167 [1957]

10.____"Undertaker," Patricia Smith, 181-184 [1993]

11.____"Cinderella," Olga Broumas, 397-398 [1977]

12.____"Touch Me," The Doors, and [circa 1966]

13.____"Touch Me," Stanley Kunitz, [1995]

14.____"Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night," Dylan Thomas, 194 [1952]

15.____"Harlem," Langston Hughes, 1286 [1951]


16.____"No Name Woman," Maxine Hong Kingston, 265-274 [1976]

17.____"Gun Crazy," Dorothy Allison, 291-295 [1993]

18.____"I Want a Wife," Judy Brady, 569-572 [1971]

19.____"Leap," Brian Doyle, 1119-1120 [2002]


20._____"Trifles," Susan Glaspell, 551-564 [1916]


EXTRA CREDIT (5 points): You may select (from your textbook) ONE work not in the "Reader’s Choice" section.


If you encounter difficulty in reading the selections, I encourage you to get help from the Learning Resource Center for reading strategies.

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Section III.F: LITERARY JOURNAL #2 (Spring 2008)

LITERARY JOURNAL, Submission #2 (0-100 points), due 5/8

"Money and Work," "Peace and War," "Varieties of Protest," and "Protest Songs"

As cultural markers, the dates specified for each work are important.

A. You MUST respond to ALL 3 of the following selections (20 points each, 60 points total):

1._____Fail Safe, Eugene Burdick and Harvey Wheeler [Required Novel, 1962]

2._____"The Loneliness of the Long-distance Runner," Alan Sillitoe, 1204-1232. [Required Novella, 1959]

3._____Hiroshima, by John Hersey [Required non-fiction, 1946; "The Aftermath," 1985]

[NOTE: The above selections are worth more points than the other journal selections, so these responses should be a minimum of two typed (and double-spaced) pages and more in depth.]

B. Reader’s Choice: You MUST select and respond to 4 of following selections (10 points each, 40 points total):


4._____"August 2026, There Will Come Soft Rains," Ray Bradbury, 946-951 [1950]

5._____"I Stand Here Ironing," Tillie Olsen, 588-594 [1954]

6._____"Everyday Use," Alice Walker, 654-662 [1973]

7._____"The Man I Killed," Tim O’Brien, 979-984 [1990]


8.____"Ella, in a square apron, along Highway 80," Judy Grahn, 672-674 [1969]

9.____"So Mexicans Are Taking Jobs From Americans," Jimmy Santiago Baca, 676-679 [1979]

10.____"Ballad of the Landlord," Langston Hughes, 685-687 [1951]

11.____"In Response to Executive Order 9066: ALL AMERICANS OF JAPANESE DESCENT MUST REPORT TO RELOCATION CENTERS," Dwight Okita, 999-1001 [1989]

12.____"Daddy," Sylvia Plath, 1292-1294 [October 1962]

13.____"Edge," by Sylvia Plath, [February 6, 1963]

14.____"The Lovepet," Ted Hughes, 394-396 [1971]

15.____"Plane Wreck at Los Gatos (Deportees)," Woody Guthrie, 711-712 [1948]

16.____"The Merry Minuet," Sheldon Harnick (handout) [1959]

17.____"The Moral Majority," Doug Mayfield (handout) [1981]


18.____"MIKE LEFEVRE: Who Built the Pyramids?" Studs Terkel, 929-937 [1974]


EXTRA CREDIT: (5 points) You may select (from your textbook) ONE work not in the "Reader’s Choice" section.


If you encounter difficulty in reading the selections, I encourage you to get help from the Learning Resource Center for reading strategies.

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Section IV: Preparing for Unit Tests and Final Exam (Spring 2008)

Two Unit Tests (75 minutes) and One Final Exam (120 minutes): 0-300 points.

Unit Test and Final Exam Dates:

Unit Test #1 (0-100 points): "Growing Up and Growing Older" and "The American Dream": 3/4

Unit Test #2 (0-100 points): "Women and Men," "Money and Work," and "Varieties of Protest": 4/17

Final Exam (0-100 points): "Peace and War" and "Protest Songs": 5/15

Failure to take a unit test and/or final exam will result in a grade of "0" for the missed test or exam, for I do not offer makeup test/final exam opportunities. Instead, I drop the your lowest grade overall.

I will provide blue exam books and a dictionary.

These tests will consist of two parts: short answer/fill-in-the-blank and essay. Tests and final will be closed book and closed notes. You can prepare for the tests by keeping up with the readings, taking notes as you read, and working on your journals.

Bring three or four blue or black INK PENS (tests written in pencil or red, purple, aqua, or green ink will NOT be accepted). Exams written in pencil or unacceptable ink color will be returned to you, ungraded.

On test days, I will provide a note sheet with titles of works, dates, genres, and name of authors, so you will be expected to spell names, etc., correctly.


All electronic devices and cell phones must be in the "off" mode and put away, out of sight.

Anyone caught checking a cell phone, iPhone, palm pilot, or any other electronic device during an exam will be ejected from the room and will not be allowed to finish the exam; the unfinished exam booklet and test sheet will also be confiscated and graded "0."

Do NOT bring blank scrap paper; you should use the test sheet and the inside covers and back covers of the exam booklet for scrap paper. Also, you will have enough extra pages in the exam booklet to use as scrap. YOU MUST LEAVE THE EXAM BOOKLET INTACT–thus, no ripped out pages. Inside draft pages should be left in the booklet and folded over or scratched out.

In essence, anyone caught with any prohibited items or not following proper test procedure will be asked to leave the room and will receive a grade of "0" for the exam.

Thus, the grade of "0" will be factored into your final grade, which will probably result in lowering your final grade at least one level, maybe more.

Anyone caught cheating a second time will flunk the course, and his or her name will be forwarded to the Dean of Academic Affairs.

Thus, if you are tempted to cheat, think very carefully about the consequences; there is no reason to cheat in this class, for this is NOT a difficult course, as long as you keep up with your readings.

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