College Writing II ENG102
Spring 2018 Professor Mead
ENG102, College Writing II, is designed to move a student from the skills learned in ENG101—thesis building, topic sentences, methodologies, logic and its fallacies, and standard usage—to the deeper skills of welding thesis-building to secondary research. In other words, now that you have learned, to some degree, to make your own argument, you will now test your arguments against the arguments of others. To this end, we will read, discuss, and analyze a few important texts (Homer’s The Iliad, and two of Sophocles’ dramas) in order for you to create an interpretive argument about the text that is enhanced by your finding and studying what others have argued about the same text. The key skill here is not so much to find the secondary sources as it is to integrate those sources into your argument.
Remember, secondary sources are not only used to “support” your argument (e.g. “Professor Fred’s article says the same thing that I said, so I must be right.”). In fact, your original argument wouldn’t be original if it said what others have said. Secondary sources can be used to set up a context (e.g. “Dr. Smith reminds us that Late Bronze Age Greece was without an alphabet, which explains why Achilles is singing in Book Nine instead of reading.”). To argue against (e.g. “Professor Farcy’s article on Helen’s role in The Iliad misses an important point that can seriously re-orient our reading of the poem.”). Secondary sources can also be used to situate one’s own opinion within the larger conversation; let’s face it: these texts have been around for a long time and lots of people have put in their two cents’ worth! (e.g. “The interpretive camps regarding Paris’ character may be divided into the apologists (Worth, Brown, Kelly), the condemners (Parry, Jones) and the symbolists (Franklin. Pierce, Vattier); my argument borrows some of Brown’s regard for Paris, while acknowledging Parry’s incisive reading of Book Four.”).
The best way to read secondary sources is to note 1) what the main argument is; 2) how the author makes the argument; and 3) how you can use the source to support, inform, locate, or challenge your own argument.
This class will be challenging. You will have to manage your time carefully, read briskly and incisively, and prepare for active class participation. Unless you have a documented accommodation, you are required to use a print edition of the texts, and to mark up your copies as a sign of active reading.
Required Texts: Homer. The Iliad. Robert Fagles, trans. Penguin.
Sophocles. The Three Theban Plays. Robert Fagles, trans. Penguin.
Reading all literature is a matter of going into a foreign country with limited knowledge of the language, customs, and assumptions, but reading early literature is even more so. The first millennium B.C. in the Eastern Mediterranean was as different a place from twenty-first century Lacey as can be imagined. Attitudes regrading gender, social constructions, political entities, the divine, war, happiness, and identity were vastly different to the classical Greeks from what they are to us. Therefore, it is especially important that we take stock of what baggage we are carrying with us as we enter this new world. While no one can completely eliminate one’s beliefs and prejudices, we must be mindful of how what we bring to the text may in fact distort our reading. Further, remember that these are literary texts; they are not histories or scholastic studies. These texts are meant to be enjoyed by their use of plot, characterization, poetry, themes, pace, and insight into the human condition. Although written for their immediate audiences, these texts have been read, praised, and loved by countless cultures (Western and non-Western), ages, genders, classes, religionists. You may be confident that there is something here for you. Find it.
Papers in this class are process-oriented. This means that you begin the writing process today by reading the texts, taking notes, and beginning to search for secondary sources. The class meetings and discussions are a crucial part of the writing process, as are notetaking, text-marking, free-writing, drafting, and (most important) revising. The products of these processes are two thesis-driven essays that make significant use of your secondary sources. These papers should be roughly ten pages long, exclusive of a Notes page (immediately after the last page of text) and a Works Cites page (immediately after the Notes Page). Pleas submit you papers in the following format: in a cardboard folder with your name on the outside; with the final draft in the left hand pocket; with at least two earlier drafts that demonstrate the revision process, along with any edit sheets in the right hand pocket. Keep copies of all drafts. Remember, you must complete all assignments to pass the course. Late papers will be marked down. Each paper (the final drafts and all earlier drafts) will constitute 40% of your final grade, but because this is a process-writing class, your conscientious reading, notetaking, class discussion, prewriting, and library research will determine much of your final product.
17 W Introduction. 48 days, 6 weeks and 5 days.
19 F The Iliad, Book 1 800 B. C.
22 M The Iliad, Books 2-3
24 W The Iliad, Books 4-5
26 F The Iliad, Books 6-7
29 M The Iliad, Books 8-9
31 W The Iliad, Book 10-11
2 F The Iliad, Books 12-13
5 M The Iliad, Books 114-15
7 W The Iliad, Books 16-17
9 F The Iliad, Books 18-19
12 M The Iliad, Books 20-21
14 W The Iliad, Books 22-23
16 F The Iliad, Book 24
19 M NO CLASSES President’s Day
21 W Catch-up
23 F Thesis Deadline
26 M Edit Session
28 W Edit Session
2 F Edit Session
5 M Iliad Thesis Paper with five secondaries Due. (40%)
7 W Antigone 441 B.C.
9 F Antigone
12 M NO CLASSES Spring Break
14 W NO CLASSES Spring Break
16 F NO CLASSES Spring Break
19 M Antigone
21 W Antigone
23 F Antigone
26 M Antigone
28 W Antigone
30 F NO CLASSES Good Friday
2 M NO CLASSES Easter Monday
4 W Oedipus the King 429 B.C.
6 F Oedipus the King
9 M Oedipus the King
11 W Oedipus the King
13 F Oedipus the King
16 M Oedipus the King
18 W Conferences. Research
20 F Conferences. Research. Thesis Deadline
23 M Edit Session
25 W Edit Session
27 F Edit Session
30 M Revision
2 W Evaluations. Speeches. Sophocles Thesis Paper with five secondaries Due.
Dear Students: Because many studies have demonstrated that we learn more and better by handwriting notes, this class has a no-device policy. Do not use or put your laptops on the desk. Phones, tablets, etc. must be in your pockets or bags with the sound turned off. Please obtain a notebook to use exclusively with this class. I will occasionally peruse your notebook to assist your learning.
Classroom Behavior for the Most Productive Learning:
Arrive before the hour. Have a notebook, writing instrument,
and text on your desk.
A cup of coffee or a water container is appropriate. A meal is not.
Use the facilities before or after class, not during
(we’ve only 50 minutes).
Keep phones off.
Engage proactively, not reactively. Ask questions. Respond
to other students.
TAKE COPIOUS NOTES.
Act as if you care, even if you don’t. This is a crucial life-skill.
You have asked to be challenged by deciding to pursue a college degree. You may not have imagined what those challenges would look like or how much time and energy you will need to put into meeting those challenges. Please remember that I will always be asking you for your best, asking you to achieve things you have not achieved before, to manage skills you may not have been adept at before. Why else take a class? But please understand that behind my expectations, impelling them, is my desire that you benefit deeply from our collegial inquiry, in preparation for profession life.
The free pursuit of knowledge is your right, as you are a member of this Benedictine community. Therefore, you can expect at college an environment free of harassment, censorship, intimidation, or retaliation. Please consider me an advocate if I may serve you in assuring yourself of what is yours. This also means that if my teaching strategies give you cause for discomfort or confusion, please come and speak me. I promise to listen respectfully and to strive to come to a mutually agreed-upon response.
Speeches are your chance to improve your final grade—and master a new and invigorating skill. Each student who can memorize twenty+ full lines of Shakespeare with fewer than five mistakes will have their final grade improved by one increment. Passages must be approved by instructor in advance.
Attendance is required for all class meetings. Tardiness is counted as an absence, as is coming to class unprepared. More than three absences (for whatever reason; I do not determine the value of your absence) will result in a lowered final grade.
Along with Preparation, Participation is your go-to means of succeeding in the class. To be prepared is to arrive early or on time, to have your book open and a writing pad and pen ready; to participate is to have read and considered the text; to initiate class discussion with claims, questions, and shared observations; to take notes that record the whole class conversation.
Students with special needs must inform the instructor in the first week of classes and he will make all reasonable accommodations.
Office Hours exist to aid students in progressing in the course. Come see me to discuss the readings, the papers, the class proceedings. Student who use office hours do better than if they did not; it’s just that simple. MWF 10-11, 12-1; TR 8:30-9:30, 11-1. I am not always in my office at these times, so please check with me beforehand. I am also available by appointment. OM312b. You may email me or leave a voice mail, but I cannot promise to respond before the next class meeting. 360-438-4336; firstname.lastname@example.org.