College Writing II ENG102
Professor Mead Autumn 2012
Outcomes: Students will
HOCs Understand the difference between an argumentative thesis and a descriptive thesis;
Understand what makes a thesis interpretive or significant;
Understand that each paragraph conveys a single idea that directly supports the thesis;
Understand that every paragraph requires a topic sentence that unifies the paragraph and connects it to the thesis
Understand why and how paragraphs proceed in a particular order;
Have demonstrated a growing, professional prose voice;
Have demonstrated significant progress in the ability to read critically, using techniques of close reading for primary sources and resource evaluation for secondary sources
Have demonstrated significant progress in the ability to use secondary sources for support, analysis, background, antithesis, and comparison;
LOCs Learn to self-edit all recurrent errors in usage, grammar, and punctuation;
Demonstrate attention to verb-centered prose;
Perfect use of MLA-style format for research papers;
Demonstrate progress in achieving a larger vocabulary;
Demonstrate progress in “cutting the fat” in every sentence.
Syllabus (subject to the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune)
29 W Introduction
30 R MASS OF HOLY SPIRIT
31 F The Things They Carried, 1-84
3 M NO CLASS
5 W The Things They Carried, 85-148
7 F The Things They Carried, 149-207
10 M The Things They Carried, 208-233
12 W Catch-up
14 F The Iliad, Book 1
17 M The Iliad, Book 2
19 W In-class Paper drafting
21 F Edit Session
24 M Paper #1 Due.
26 W The Iliad, Books 3-4
28 F The Iliad, Books 5-6
1 M The Iliad Books 7-9
3 W In-class Paper Drafting*
5 F Edit Session*
8 M Paper #2 Due.*
10 W The Iliad, Books 10-11*
12 F NO CLASS
15 M The Iliad, 12-14
17 W The Iliad, 15-16
19 F The Iliad, Books 17-18
22 M The Iliad, Books 19-21
24 W The Iliad, Books 22-23
26 F The Iliad, Book 24
29 M In-Class Drafting
31 W Edit Session
2 F Paper #3 Due.
12 M NO CLASS
16 F Thesis Due
23 F NO CLASS
26 M Complete MLA Works Cited Due
30 F Big Edit, Part I
3 M Big Edit, Part II
5 W Evaluations. Final Paper Due.
You will notice that there are many days without a schedule planned. These are not “free” days, but workshop days in which students will make use of the classroom, the library, the writing center, the instructor, and/or the study groups to develop and perfect their final paper.
Paper #1 Tim O’Brien writes that “a true war story is never about war. It’s about sunlight” (81). Homer has a verse-paragraph that reads:
Now the goddess Dawn climber up to Olympus heights,
declaring the light of day to Zeus and the deathless gods
as the king commanded heralds to cry out loud and clear
and muster the long-haired Achaeans to full assembly.
Their cries rang out. Battalions gathered quickly.
In a five-page, thesis-driven essay, examine the contexts of these quotations and argue what you think O’Brien means by his assertion. How does O’Brien’s line help you to understand Homer’s non-narrative techniques? Conversely, how does Homer’s method of story-telling (with lots of nature similes and descriptions of time and place and sound and sight) support or challenge O’Brien’s assertion?
Paper #2 Consider O’Brien’s story “The Man I Killed” (and its after-notes throughout the book) and the death of Gorgythion in The Iliad (8.342-353). You might also want to re-read O’Brien’s passage that reads “any battle or bombing raid or artillery barrage has the aesthetic purity of absolute moral indifference—a powerful, implacable beauty” (77). Based in your interpretation of these passages, write an essay that argues for an original definition of violence that someone could use to understand The Things They Carried and The Iliad more interpretively.
Paper # 3 You have now written an essay exploring imagery in our two texts and an essay that required you to compare and contrast the authors’ imagery of violence. How can you strengthen your arguments by placing these discussions in the context of the visual rhetoric of Ancient Greece/or the 1960’s? Find two to three famous sculptures or vase images of warriors from the Ancient to Golden Age (5th century Athens) and find at least three scholarly articles on the conventions of representation at work in these objects. How do they represent violence? What kind of “social” or cultural work did they objects perform? Who looked at them? How do they support or challenge your observations about Homer’s imagery? To what end, or what do you make of this?
Similarly, the Vietnam War occurred during a visual revolution: it was the first televised war. Instead of focusing on the Greek text, you can study the American book. Find two or three famous photographs, newsreels, or recordings from 1964-76 and find at least three scholarly articles on the war, its reportage, or its larger consequences. Who was the original audience for these images? How important was objectivity to the image-creators? From your twenty-first century perspective, which is more lastingly important, the actual events or the representation of those events? Can you separate them?
Final Paper This paper is meant to be the culmination of your reading, thinking, studying, talking about, and writing about interpretive ideas of The Things They Carried and The Iliad. Read through your earlier papers and find a single, unifying idea that offers the reader of your essay an original interpretation of O’Brien, Homer, or both. If you have been working in a focused manner, you will find yourself developing parts of your earlier papers in this final paper. You might even transfer whole paragraphs that address your thesis. This is not “cheating”; rather, this is how academics and professionals (doctors, lawyers, business persons) work. Certainly the research you have been doing throughout the semester will find its way into the final paper.
This paper is to be no less than ten pages long, excluding Works Cited and Notes (both of which are required). It must have at least ten SCHOLARLY sources (articles from peer-reviewed journals or books from university presses) AND at least four images, recordings, etc. from visual artifacts relevant to the paper.
Because you will have a month to finish this paper and because the paper will be founded upon work you have done for the two months previous to the last month, the standard of excellence will be accessible, but firm. There will be no reason to turn in unpolished work if you are taking advantage of the course “process” of building research—a process that enables the disciplined student to achieve his or her highest potential. Focus on the High Order Concerns (thesis, voice/tone, organization, development of ideas) and bring these elements to a complete development before you address Low Order Concerns (grammar, punctuation, spelling, format). Be sure to check my blog http://stephenxmead.blogspot.com/ for a treasure of resources, especially the Purdue Writing Center and the U.P.S. paper revision links.
Students must complete ALL assignments to pass this course.
Texts: The Iliad, Homer. trans. Robert Fagles. Penguin
The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien. Mariner Books, 2009.
The Transition to College Writing, by Keith Hjortshoj, 2nd Edition Bedford/St. Martin’s 2009.
Office : OM312B, MWF 10-11, TR 8:30-9:30 AND BY APPOINTMENT
tel. 438-4336 firstname.lastname@example.org You may leave me a voice or electronic message, but I cannot promise to respond before the next class period.
Students with special needs should inform the instructor at the earliest possible moment, and he will make all reasonable accommodations.
Students suspected of plagiarism will be required to produce evidence of multiple drafts of their work that shows the progression of thought and development, according to their explanation. Students suspected of plagiarism who cannot produce drafts or explanations will be given a grade of zero for the assignment (with the possibility of re-doing the assignment for a reduced grade); they may choose to withdraw from the course; they will be reported to the Vice President for Academic Affairs, and may be required to create a contract with their academic advisor that outlines their plans for graduation according to the rules of honesty.
The following are but a shallow delving into the web’s resources for historical and popular sites on both Ancient Greece and The U.S. Vietnam War era.