Syllabus & Course Information



Section KTRB

Tuesdays & Thursdays, 2:55PM to 4:35PM

Location:  Field Building (23rd Street), Room 710

Professor E. Kaufman

Email: ericajane0808 at

Office Hours: Tuesdays/Thursdays, 12:30PM to 2:00PM or by appointment

Office Location: VC 7-290K

Required Texts

All readings will be available electronically via our class site. You are responsible for printing out a hard copy of the readings each week. I suggest you keep these in a folder or binder as we will work with many texts this semester.

ACCESSING READINGS VIA THE BLOG: All readings appear on the class blog. Here’s how you can find these:

  • Login to the blog
  • Click on “Readings”
  • Enter the password: 

Course Requirements:

  1. Two 3-5 page papers on readings to be assigned by me.
  2. One 5-7 page paper on readings to be assigned by me.
  3. One digital essay or story on readings to be assigned by me. This will take the form of a short video, podcast, or other multimedia presentation.
  4. Each paper is to be typed and double-spaced, and done in multiple drafts.  For some papers, drafts will be discussed in class.  Each paper will present an argument, have a strong thesis, and use correct internal documentation.  The due dates for each of your papers will be stipulated on each of your assignment sheets when you receive them.
  5. Response Papers:  Each week you will receive a short response paper assignment that relates to the readings for the week.  These papers are to be typed and will either be submitted in class or posted on our class blog.
  6. Additional Writing:  in-class writing exercises, participation in a wiki, responses to your own work, peer evaluations and group work.  The shorter informal writing assignments (as well as the response papers and blog conversations) are intended to help you develop ideas and theses that will later assist you in writing your formal essays.
  7. Active participation in all class activities, including the class blog.
  8. Regular attendance and preparation for class.


A lot of the writing and conversations that occur in this class, will continue outside of class on our course blog:

Please make sure you register and add yourself as an author no later than Thursday, September 1. I will provide you with a handout explaining exactly how to do this.

**Categories & Tags

When you create a blog post, please make sure to select the category that indicates whether you are posting a “free blog” or a “response paper,” etc. I would also encourage you to tag your posts so that they can be easily sorted—but tags are something you create yourself (i.e. reading response, pop culture, etc.).

Attendance Policy

Because this class will follow a sequential series of assignments that build upon one another, and because we will be establishing a class community of writers, readers, and critics, regular and lively attendance is essential.  Any absences will affect your final grade.

Departmental policy states that after four absences a student is to be dropped from the class roster.   If you do need to miss a class, please let me know in advance.

I also do not tolerate lateness.  If you are more than ten minutes late for a class, you will receive half an absence (two latenesses is equal to one absence).  Sleeping in class will also count as an absence.

Notes on Preparation for Class

All reading and writing assignments are to be completed on time.  Be sure to get the phone numbers/ email addresses of at least two of your classmates; then; if you must be absent, you can call or email someone and get the assignment.  You may also, of course, email me.  For the next session you are responsible for all work and must always come to class prepared.

All reading assignments must be BROUGHT TO CLASS, as they will be referred to for discussion.

You are expected to be active participants in all class discussions and activities.

Cell phones must be turned off when you enter the classroom.

Rewriting Papers:

If you get a paper back and are unsatisfied with the grade you received, you may always revise it; anytime a graded paper is revised, the highest grade is the one that counts and all others are dropped.  You have two weeks after receiving a paper back to revise and resubmit it.  When you resubmit a paper for grading, you must hand in the rewritten paper as well as all originals that I have already graded; when rereading your work, I must be able to see what you have done and how it is now different from your previous draft.

You cannot hand in papers, suddenly revised, at the end of the semester.

Your papers will be evaluated on the basis of competence in:

  • Organization
  • Development and support of ideas
  • Mechanics (grammar, spelling, punctuation, citation of sources)
  • Understanding and application texts discussed in class

Evaluation & Grading Policy:

Two 3-5 page papers  (30%)

One 5-7 page paper (25%)

Digital Essay (10%)

Response Papers/Blog Posts/Lexicon  (20%)

Participation and Preparation for class  (15%)

(includes attendance, quizzes, and in-class writing and activities)

Academic Honesty Policy:

Cheating and plagiarism are serious offenses. The following definitions are based on the College’s Academic Honesty website:

Cheating is the attempted or unauthorized use of materials, information, notes, study aids, devices or communication during an academic exercise.

Plagiarism is the act of presenting another person’s ideas, research or writing as your own.

My policy is to give a failing grade to any assignment that has been plagiarized or an exam in which you have cheated. In addition, I am required by College policy to submit a report of suspected academic dishonesty to the Office of the Dean of Students. This report becomes part of your permanent file.

Student Resource:

Writing Center—646.312.4012 (; NVC 8-185

Student Academic Consulting Center (SACC)—646.312.4830; VC B 2-116

Recommended Online Resources:

OWL Purdue Online Writing Lab

An excellent online resource for all mechanical issues associated with writing (grammar, citing sources, etc.).

Daniel Gilbert’s Stumbling on Happiness Blog

Gilbert’s blog which features writing on happiness and happiness studies completed since the publication of his book.

Barbara Ehrenreich’s Blog