English H195A

Honors Course

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
2 Fall 2015 Saul, Scott
TTh 11-12:30 221 Wheeler

Book List

Eagleton, Terry: How to Read a Poem; Joyce, James: The Dead; Wood, James: How Fiction Works; Woolf, Virginia: Mrs. Dalloway

Other Readings and Media

There will be at least one packet of short stories and critical readings, to be picked up at the beginning of the term.


English H195A is the first part of a two-semester sequence for those English majors writing honors theses. It is designed to give students the critical tools and practical skills to write a strong essay, in the spring semester, that will have a greater scope than any essay they've written before.

The course will begin with some ground-clearing critical works by James Wood (How Fiction Works) and Terry Eagleton (How to Read a Poem), then will move into case studies of central literary and artistic figures, such as Emily Dickinson, Virginia Woolf, James Joyce, Francis Ford Coppola, and others.

Throughout, we'll be thinking practically about how to write scintillating, cogent essays: how to open up one's research and then settle in on a topic; how to find and use primary archives; how to machete through the thickets of secondary criticism and find one's voice as a critic; how to compose critical prose that is lively, cogent, and seductive to the reader.

Students who satisfactorily complete H195A-B (the Honors Course) will satisfy the Research Seminar requirement for the English major. (More details about H195A prerequisites, how and when students will be informed of the results of their applications, etc., are in the paragraph about the Honors Course on page 2 of the instructions area of this Announcement of Classes.) 

To be considered for admission to this course, you will need to electronically apply by:

• Clicking on the link below and filling out the application you will find there, bearing in mind that you will also need to attach:

• a PDF of your college transcript(s),

• a PDF of your spring 2015 course schedule,

• a PDF (or Word document) of a critical paper that you wrote for another class (the length of this paper not being as important as its quality), and

• a PDF (or Word document) of a personal statement, including why you are interested in taking this course and indicating your academic interest and, if possible, the topic or area you are thinking of addressing in your honors thesis.

The deadline for completing this application is 4 P.M., FRIDAY, APRIL 17.

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