INTRO TO FICTION: CONTEMPORARY SHORT STORY
1) to read literature analytically, carefully attending to plot, characterization, theme, metaphor, image patterns, and genre 2) to read literature sympathetically, considering the cultural, religious, political, and social backgrounds of the works 3) to build literary awareness, through a consideration of genre and techniques 4) to write persuasively, clearly, and effectively 5) to revise analytical writing, incorporating suggestions from the instructor for more effective communication
Students are required to obtain actual books. Tablets and eReaders of any kind are prohibited.
All books are available on Amazon.com, as well as Texas Tech’s Barnes and Noble store and Varsity Books. Please purchase them promptly, as booksellers tend to send back unpurchased copies after the first few weeks of school. (see Calendar of Readings and Assignments)
Class ends at 12:50 and no sooner. If you must leave early (without a note), you’ll be counted absent. If you have a note, you must inform me at the beginning of class that you are leaving early.
Late work will not be accepted.
Please be respectful of other students and of me. If you engage in any distracting or delinquent behavior during class, you will be asked to leave and will be counted absent. If such behavior continues, you will be dropped from the course.
Students must obtain permission from the instructor prior to class before using laptops. Cell phones, MP3 players, tablets, and eReaders are strictly prohibited. Also, see attendance policy.
If you are caught using your phone (or any other device), I will give you a verbal warning and make a note on the sign-in sheet. Any subsequent time you are caught using your phone, I will simply mark you absent. You can choose to stay or go.
STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES
Any student who because of a disability may require some special arrangements in order to meet course requirements should contact me within the first three days of class to make necessary accommodations. Students should present appropriate documentation from Student Disability Services.
If you are caught using someone else’s words as your own or co-writing any of your papers, you will receive an F on that assignment, and possibly for the entire class.
Please come to class having read the assigned material and ready to discuss it at length. Bring your book to class. (No e-readers allowed!) In order to receive an A for participation, you must participate in class discussions on a regular basis. Simply attending class won’t earn you any participation points. Come with questions about the text or specific areas you’d like to address. Personal anecdotes do not amount to A-worthy class participation. You must actually address the text.
STUDENT-LEAD DISCUSSION 15%
Each student will lead class discussion once during the semester, either with a partner or alone (your choice). Your duties include:
SHORT ANALYTICAL ESSAYS (SAE) 45%
Essay 1 – 10%
Essay 2 – 15%
Essay 3 – 20%
In each of these three short papers, you will analyze one short story of your choice. These papers should begin with your thesis sentence and should thereafter include (at least) five textual references (quotes with citations). Neither an extended introductory paragraph nor a conclusion paragraph is necessary in these short papers. Outside sources are unnecessary. You're just analyzing the in-class texts. Check out the grading rubric HERE.
Here, you should write about what interests you: character, form, voice, structure, relationships between characters, use of figurative language, scene, etc. Remember that analysis is not just pointing out something cool in the text. You must also tell WHY the writer does this cool thing or HOW this cool thing contributes to our understanding of the text. 750-1000 words.
In addition, all submitted work should follow standard MLA guidelines available on the OWL Purdue Website.
Check the Calendar of Readings & Assignments for due dates. Turn in your essay during the first ten minutes of class on the date of that story’s discussion. (I recommend writing your SAEs on the stories for which you’ll be leading class discussion.)
SHORT STORY SKIT 15%
For this assignment, your group will create, practice, and perform a 15-minute skit over your assigned short story. You can do whatever you want here. But remember, you are not summarizing the story. You are not re-enacting the story. You are contributing to our understanding of the story in some way. Here are some ideas (although feel free to be come up with something on your own):
You will be graded on the following guidelines:
FINAL PROJECT: CREATIVE BLOG POST 15%
For this assignment, you will write a 1,000 word short story and post it to our class blog. Please adhere to the following guidelines:
LAURI ANDERSON ALFORD
office hours: MWF 1-2