Class Policies

The format for the class is lecture and discussion, but the success of the course will largely depend on your participation. I expect you to come to class ready to discuss the readings with me but especially with your peers. Discussion is essential to learning. Without it, we can’t develop the necessary skills to articulate our ideas as well as our grievances, pleasures, and frustrations. Students who want to do well in class participation will come to class prepared to turn their opinions into valid arguments by supporting their claims with examples from the literature. In order to maximize your class participation grade, your contributions must be regular (at least two per class) and substantial (specifically relevant to the readings). Students will also have an opportunity to set the tone for class discussion with class leads. A lead is not a formal presentation but an open-ended question or comment about some puzzling aspect of the text under discussion. It will be the responsibility of the student to call our attention to a passage in the reading assigned for that day and offer reasons for why the class should consider it. I’ll assign leads the second week of class. It is imperative that you bring the text to class as we will spend a great deal of class time discussing passages in detail. Failure to bring the text to class will negatively affect your class participation grade.

You will write weekly blog entries based on our readings and field trips. They will be due before our class meeting on the dates listed on the syllabus. They cannot be made up. Entries must show thoughtful engagement with the text and/or the discussions we’ve had in class. That means that you’ll need to quote or paraphrase from the readings and develop your ideas on the subject. You will also be expected to respond to one of your classmate’s entries. For more specific instructions on the entries, click on “blog” on the course website.

ESSAYS (65%)
You will write three essays for the course: two short essays and one longer one. I will distribute possible topics in advance, but I will expect you to tailor them to your specific interests. The assignments are designed to help you develop skills that should make it easier for you to write subsequent essays. The first essay assignment will be an analytical exercise. An analysis simply asks that you show how the parts of a text come together (or not) to articulate an idea. The second assignment will ask that you develop an original idea based on your analysis and synthesis of two sources (one literary and one historical) and that you develop this idea throughout the essay. The third essay will build on the skills you will have acquired from having written the first and second essays (analysis and synthesis), but will also require that you include primary and secondary sources from Professor Heath’s class. Essays are due in class on the dates noted on the syllabus. Late essays will be penalized ½ a letter grade for every day that they are late.

Plagiarism will not be tolerated. Plagiarism is the failure to cite properly the work of others. We will discuss proper citation at length, but be sure to ask us well in advance if you’re not sure how to cite sources. A student who plagiarizes will receive an F for the assignment and may fail the course. We subscribe to the College’s policy on plagiarism in its entirety as outlined in A Faculty Guide to Student Academic Integrity.

Attendance is mandatory. You cannot pass the class if you accrue more than three unexcused absences.

Essay one 15%
Essay two 20%
Essay three 30%
Forum Entries 15 %
Class Leads 10%
Class Participation 10%

A = 4.00   C = 2.00
A- = 3.67   C – = 1.67
B+ = 3.33   D+ = 1.33
B = 3.00   D = 1.00
B- = 2.67   D- = .67
C+ = 2.33   F = 0.00

The Writing Center provides a creative and friendly environment to students who wish to hone their writing skills. Staffed by professional writers, the Center offers one on one tutorial sessions – either by appointment or walk-ins, small group workshops and e-tutoring. Newman Vertical Campus, Room VC 8-185, email: Phone: (646) 312.4012 Phone: (646) 312.4012

Office of Disability Services
If you feel that you may need a reasonable accommodation based on a disability, please contact the staff at the Office of Disability Services, Newman Vertical Campus, Room 2-271, or by phone at (646) 312-4590.

(Available at the campus bookstore)
Octavia Butler, Kindred (Beacon) ISBN-13: 978-0807083697
Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe (Penguin Classics) ISBN-13: 978-0141439822
Junot Diaz, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (Riverhead) ISBN-13: 978-1594483295
Jean Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea (Norton) ISBN-13: 978-0393352566
Lenora Sansay, Secret History; Or, the Horrors of St. Domingo (Broadview) ISBN-13: 978-1551113463
William Shakespeare, The Tempest (Penguin) ISBN-13: 978-0140714852