Instructor: Sydney C. Dietrich
Women Writers/Written Expression/ Office: Room C 207, Office D
Expository Writing Office Hours: 11:00-12:00 M-Th,
Winter 2006 …or by appointment
8:30-10:20 a.m. M-F Phone: 564-2109 (office, voice mail)
Room R 205
564-2341 (A & H Office)
Mailbox: Arts & Humanities, R 230
Textbooks: 1.) The Norton Anthology of Literature By Women, (2nd Edition), Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar
2.) Writing About Literature: A Portable Guide, Janet E. Gardner
English 276 is a course in college-level
literary analysis and response to women’s writing of the
19th and 20th centuries. We will study a variety of writers in depth [Charlotte Bronte, Emily Dickinson,
Kate Chopin, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Virginia Woolf, Susan Glaspell, Elizabeth Bishop, Sylvia Plath] and a selection of other writers from both centuries [Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Sojourner Truth, Margaret Fuller, Christina Rossetti, Zora Neale Hurston, Nadine Gordimer, BharatiMukherjee, Leslie Marmon Silko, Joyce Carol Oates, Margaret Atwood, Denise Levertov, Sharon Olds, and others].
Our focus in the class will be on the ways in which each writer’s life experiences and ideas inform her writing. In addition to discovering the stylistic aspects of each woman’s work, we will investigate the biographical, social, and psychological contexts that affect each writer.
Finally, we will consider the similarities and/or differences in writers’ treatments of several gender-specific themes: The Female Life Cycle, Female Sexuality, Race/Ethnicity, Women & Spirituality/Creativity, Women & Madness, and Women & Violence.
Students completing English 276 should be able to:
• Recognize the major literary works written by women in the 19th & 20th centuries.
• Critically evaluate literary works by women in both discussion and written form.
• Compare and contrast the major themes and stylistic characteristics of women writers
of the 19th/20th centuries.
• Understand the historical and social contexts of women’s lives in the 19th and 20th centuries.
• Compose clear, understandable analytical papers using college-level writing skills.
• Synthesize information about an author’s work from reading, group, and class discussions and
integrate it into a clearly written analysis.
Use a “critical thinking” approach in
reading and annotating texts.
• Understand standard literary terms and use them correctly in discussion and writing.
• Write an
informed comparison/contrast of women’s writing in the 19th and 20th centuries
• Look beyond the text to consider contemporary perspectives on themes and style.
• Formulate informed questions that facilitate a deeper understanding of the literary texts.
• Use literary
criticism sources properly and document them correctly.
• Work as a self-motivated learner, seeking questions, responses, and possible paper topics in reading and discussion of course
• Work cooperatively and effectively with other students in a small group setting.
Students completing English 271 should be able to:
· Compose clear, understandable analytical papers using college-level writing skills
· Use the composing process, including revision and editing, to generate multiple rough drafts before submitting a final draft of a paper.
· Know and apply the standard rules of composing and the essay in evaluating your own writing and the work of others.
· Use the critical approach in reading and annotating texts.
· Look beyond the text to consider contemporary perspectives on themes and structure.
· Formulate informed questions that facilitate a deeper understanding of the non-fiction essays you read.
· Work as a self-motivated learner, seeking questions, responses, and possible paper topics in reading and discussion of
· Synthesize information about an author’s work from reading, group, and class discussions and integrate it into a clearly written
· Work cooperatively and effectively in a small group setting.
· Write an informed response to the meaning and craft of written works of literature.
Students completing English 101 should know:
· The relationship of the writer to the reader to the writing.
· The Writing Process and its stages: prewriting, drafting, revision, editing.
· The difference between objective and subjective writing.
· The rhetorical modes writers use to organize their work (description, narration, exposition, persuasion/argument).
· The terminology of the composition classroom: “thesis statement,” “focus,” “coherence,” “topic sentence,” transitional wording, etc.
· The conventions of Standard English for correctly editing grammar and mechanics in their own writing and in that of others.
· Appropriate control of language and word choices
· The essential relationship between reading, writing, and analysis.
Students completing English 101 should be able to:
· Write clear, fully developed, college-level essays.
· Write clear and complete sentences
· Sustain a definite focus and point of view in a 200-300 word paper
· Link ideas in a progressive, logical sequence
· Make accurate paragraph distinctions and correctly signal them
· Spell and punctuate accurately in revised work. Occasional errors should
not interfere with meaning
You will be asked to do a substantial amount
of reading to prepare for most class meetings. In addition to reading the
specific works by the authors we are studying, you should also read the
biographical/critical introduction to each writer which precedes her work. Also
in your textbook, the Norton Anthology of Literature by Women (the
NALW) there is an introduction to each of the literary periods we will be
studying: The Nineteenth Century; Turn-of-the-Century; Early Twentieth
Century; and Later Twentieth Century. You should also be familiar
with the information presented about the Middle Ages/Renaissance, and the 17th/18th
Centuries, but we will not be studying these periods in detail. The
introductions for each era cover the socio-historical contexts of the historical
period, the realities of women’s daily lives, as well as the changing content
and style of women’s writing.
You will also be reading two novels that are contained in your textbook: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte [pp.472-784], and The Awakening by Kate Chopin [pp.1013-1101]. Your reading in the course provides the foundation for your discussion, papers and exams, so it is important that you complete your reading assignments and understand the material covered.
We will probably have class and/or small group discussions in most class meetings. Everyone is expected to be an active and involved member of the class and to contribute to the discussions. Our discussions generate much of the information I will expect you to know in exams and the three seminar papers.
As a 200-level course, English 276 requires college-level reading, writing, and discussion skills. If you are taking the English 271 component of this class, you should have college level writing skills that you developed in English 101. If you are taking the English 101 component, you will be developing and refining these skills throughout the quarter.
You will be writing three (3) Seminar Papers in this course:
1. An Analysis of an Early Literary Work [19th Century or Turn-of-the-Century]. You will formulate
an analysis question to answer about one of the writers we have studied from the era.
length: 3-4 typed pages.
2. An Analysis of a Later Literary Work [20th Century]. You will formulate an analysis question to
answer about one of the writers we have studied from the era.
Finished length: 3-4 typed pages.
3. A Comparison/Contrast of 19th & 20th Century Works (based on analysis of work(s) by one 19th
century and one 20th century writer). Use of excerpts and critical opinions should be documented
properly using MLA format (citation forms can be found in Writing About Literature).
Finished length: 4-5 typed pages.
I will provide samples of the types of papers you will be writing this quarter, and you will find instructions and examples in your textbook, Writing About Literature. You may receive feedback on drafts of your papers by seeing me during my office hours, or by emailing your draft to me for comments any time during the week preceding its due date.
* Please Note: I submit any paper suspected of plagiarizing (including use of someone else’s writing or critical materials without proper source documentation) to a plagiarism detection web site. If plagiarism is confirmed, the paper will be given an “F” and the incident will be reported to the Dean of Students.
You will also be writing some short responses (5) to reading questions during the quarter.
Your Seminar Papers are due on the dates listed in the Course Schedule (unless otherwise stated). Any assignment turned in late, without prior permission from me, will be dropped one grade level for each day it arrives after the stated due date.
You may, however, turn in two of your three Seminar Papers one day late during the quarter by notifying me on or before the due dates. You may choose to take the extra day option for both Papers 1 and 2, for example, or on Paper 1 (or 2) and Paper 3. You must meet the deadlines listed below on the day after its original due date. You may submit your Seminar Papers in either of two forms: paper or by email as an attachment.
Ø Papers submitted in paper, disk, or CD form should reach me by 2:00 p.m. on the due date. (Bring to my office in C 207).
Ø Papers sent electronically should reach me by midnight on the due date. (Please attach them as Word documents to firstname.lastname@example.org). It is your responsibility to confirm that I have received your papers. If you are able to send a “read receipt” as an option in your email program, then send one each time you email me your paper.
Please note: I do not accept assignments from students who attend class sporadically, and this includes students who routinely arrive late or leave early. Also, if you are turning an assignment in late because of illness, you must first notify me.
You will have two exams in the course, a Midterm Exam and a Final Exam. Both will test you on material covered in the assigned readings, the Study Questions and class discussions. I may also give unscheduled reading quizzes to make sure everyone is current in their reading assignments.
Since this is a 10-credit, linked course, you will receive two grades: one for English 276, and one for either English 271 or English 101. Each course is 5 credit hours.
This is not a warm body class. You must participate and attend regularly to pass the course. Each student must be an active participant in the analysis and discussion of class materials.
Your grade in the course is calculated in the following way:
Paper 1: Analysis
of an Early Work (19th & Turn-of-Century)
Paper 2: Analysis of a Later Work (20th century) 10%
Paper 3: Comparison/Contrast of 19th & 20th Century Works 15%
Written Responses to Readings (10 points each) 10%
Class Presentation on One Writer 10%
Midterm Exam 15%
Final Exam 15%
Discussion Group, Participation, Attendance 15%
Grades on individual assignments are calculated using a 100 point scale:
Attendance is required in this course, both in Discussion/Peer Editing Groups and class meetings. All of the information that will be covered in exams, and that you will need in order to write the seminar papers, comes directly from group and class discussion of assigned readings and Study Questions.
If you are absent for medical reasons or emergencies, please let me know via voice mail or email whenever you can. If you know you will have to miss class(es) in the future, let me know so that I can make a note of it for the date(s) in question.
Please note: if you miss 10 or more classes, you should drop the course. The last day that you may withdraw from the course with a W is Friday, Feb. 17 (in person, by 5:00), or by Sun., Feb. 19 (online, by noon).
I grade only those assignments from students who attend class regularly.
Absences affect your participation grade in the following way:
0-2 absences = A
3-4 absences = B
5-6 absences = C
7-9 absences = D
10 absences = F
Please read the section on “Attendance” in the Arts & Humanities Division Student Procedures and Expectations for the stated requirements that I use in my course design. It is posted on the Arts & Humanities Division web site (see below).
Please Note: Most course materials for English 276/101/271 will be available on the Arts & Humanities division website:
2. Click on #2 Course Materials
3. Winter 2006
4. English Department
5. Scroll down until you find English 276 and click on Sydney Dietrich
Saving Your Work
Be sure to duplicate your English 276 work from your hard drive to a CD/disk/pen drive or other media copies as backup. It would be a good idea to save your Study Questions in computer files and in paper form. Remember that these will be your review notes for the exams and your papers.
Keep your rough drafts of each paper until your paper is returned to you graded. All assignments should be saved until the end of the quarter as proof of work completed. This will save you from having to rewrite a paper that is destroyed or lost.
Inappropriate Classroom Behavior
Students who ignore the rights of others in class by talking, doing work for other classes, or disrupting the class in any way, will be warned and then reported to the campus Discipline Officer. Lack of respect for cultural, physical, or philosophical differences of students in class is not tolerated.
The BCC Student Code prohibits any inappropriate or disruptive conduct in the classroom. Disruptive conduct is defined as “disorderly, abusive or bothersome behavior that interferes with the rights of others or which obstructs or disrupts teaching, research, or administrative functions.” Violations of this code are also reported to the Dean of Instruction. Please read the entire section on “Classroom Environment” in the Arts & Humanities Student Procedures and Expectations for additional explanation. It is posted on the A & H web site.
In addition to what I have already said about plagiarism in English 276 (see “Requirements: Writing” above), the BCC Student Code is very clear about the seriousness of cheating and the actions that faculty members are required to take in cases of plagiarizing:
The BCC Student Code prohibits cheating, stealing, plagiarizing, knowingly furnishing
false information to the college, or submitting to a faculty member any work product that
the student fraudulently represents as his or her own work for the purpose of fulfilling or
partially fulfilling any assignment or task required as part of a program of instruction.
All forms of cheating, stealing, and plagiarizing will be reported to the Dean of Students.
Please read the section on “Academic Honesty” in the Arts & Humanities Division Student Procedures and Expectations.
Release of Information to Third Parties
Please note: as a state institution, BCC must follow FERPA laws on the privacy of students’ information. Instructors are not allowed to speak with parents, relatives, or other third parties about a student’s academic matters. We speak only with the individual student in question.