English R1A

Reading and Composition: Narrative, Narration, Narrators

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
5 Fall 2013 Hsu, Sharon
MWF 2-3 222 Wheeler

Book List

Brontë, E.: Wuthering Heights; Hacker, D.: Rules for Writers, 7th ed.; James, H.: The Turn of the Screw; Nabokov, V.: Lolita

Other Readings and Media

In addition, a course reader will include a selection of poetry as well as longer novel excerpts from Virginia Woolf and James Joyce.  Critical essays will be distributed via bSpace.


In this course, we will read a series of texts that highlight, question, or vex their own status as narratives.  Along the way, we will encounter frame narratives that do not seem to fit the stories they enclose or that fail to close at all, unreliable narrators whom we suspect are lying to us, and novels with narrative forms that meander, proliferate, or seemingly fail to narrate altogether.  As the primary goal of this class is to develop the skills for effective scholarly writing, we will pay close attention to how our texts construct themselves and their readers, how their narrators craft their stories and persuade us to their points of view, and how to shape our own critical writing with the very narrative and rhetorical techniques that we are learning to analyze.  After a brief diagnostic essay, students will produce several papers of increasing length over the course of the semester. These papers will be developed through a gradual process of outlining, drafting, editing, and revising.  Additionally, each student will give a brief presentation from our writing handbook on either common grammatical/stylistic mistakes or elements of argumentation and paper-writing.

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