English R1B

Reading & Composition: Reading Closely and Writing

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
4 Spring 2008 Joseph Jordan
MWF 11-12 222 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

Anton Chekhov, The Portable Chekhov ; Charles Dickens, Great Expectations ; Joseph Gibaldi, MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers ; Thomas Hardy, The Mayor of Casterbridge ; A Course Reader may also be used. I will let you know at the end of the first week.


In this course we will read closely and write about markedly different kinds of literature � a novel, verse, a couple short stories, a play � with the aim of coming to some conclusions about what makes great literature great. The reading list is thus made up of some of the war-horses of this culture�s literature. We will start with the presumption that these works are great and worth studying. I�ve chosen not to organize this class around a theme because I want students to resist the urge to compartmentalize experience. It�s common for people to like different sorts of literature, but uncommon for students and teachers to think about what, for example, the experience of little poems and big novels have in common. In this class we will try to make such connections, not only between the works on the reading list, but also between the works on the reading list and contemporary popular art forms like country song lyrics, television sitcoms (and so on). This course is designed to help students write clearly and honestly about the experience of reading. Students will write weekly 1-2 page papers as well as two research papers totaling 16 pages.

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