English R1B

Reading and Composition: Writing From Memory

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
2 Fall 2007 Marisa Libbon
MWF 11-12 121 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

"Charlotte Bront�, Jane Eyre

Richard Brautigan, Trout Fishing in America

Bob Dylan, Chronicles, Volume 1

Marilynne Robinson, Housekeeping

Joseph Gibaldi, MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (Sixth ed.)

Diana Hacker, Rules for Writers (Fifth ed.)

Course Reader

Required Viewing (to be shown in class):

Martin Scorsese (dir.), No Direction Home: Bob Dylan "


"At the beginning of Trout Fishing in America, Richard Brautigan frets over accurately remembering and recording his own memories, saying, �I�d like to get it right.� What does this mean? �Getting it right� may not always mean reporting it the way it happened, or trying to tell an objective truth. In this course, we�ll read a variety of �autobiographical� writing in order to explore how an author (or a fictional character acting as an author) makes and manages his or her own memories. We�ll also consider how texts make a collective memory via what and how their makers choose to remember and record. As we read throughout the semester, it will be important for us to keep in mind that everything in the texts before us was a choice: what a writer chooses to leave out is just as, if not more, important than what he or she chooses to put into the text. Crucial semester-long inquiries will include the choices writers make and how writers manage their texts.

The goal of this course is to improve critical reading, thinking, researching, and writing. There will be weekly writing assignments and exercises, as well as two research papers, to be written and revised over the semester. The first, shorter paper will involve close work with primary sources. The second, longer paper will build on the work of the first paper, but will involve at least three secondary sources. In consultation with me, you will choose your own paper topics. We�ll develop methods of approaching texts, posing useful questions, and constructing clear and convincing arguments. We�ll also constantly work on your writing skills, from grammar to argumentation, ideally to write papers that you think are interesting, provocative, and useful. "

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