English 101 - Section M4
Critical Reading and Writing

Instructor: James Gifford gifford@ualberta.ca
Office: HC 4-52

Instructor: Melisa Brittain brittain@ualbera.ca
Office: HC 3-66
Hours: Tuesday and Thursday 11:00-12:00

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Essay #4 Assignment (15%): Assignment outline HERE.

Essay #3 Assignment (15%): Assignment outline HERE.

Online Resources


Citation Guide for MLA style: Here.

LITWEB: An Online Companion to The Norton Introduction to Literature. Sep. 2001. W.W. Norton & Co. 8 Sep. 2001. <http://www.wwnorton.com/introlit>.

  • Please note: The above format is how you should cite materials you quote from this website in your papers, except that the first date is the date the page was last modified and the second date is when you accessed the page. Also, replace the URL (ie: http...) with that of the actual page you have cited. If you have cited many, it is sufficient to use the one above as the 'root site.'

Department of Fine Arts, Okanagan University College: Front Page to WORDS OF ART. Okanagan University College. 13 Dec. 2001. <http://www.arts.ouc.bc.ca/fina/glossary/gloshome.html>.

  • This is an online 'dictionary' of terms or general theoretical approaches to literature and other arts. Please remember to use proper citations when using this material in any writing.

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The goals of English 101 are to teach critical writing, critical reading and critical thinking. Each section of English 101 will combine the study of works of literature with instruction in writing and rhetoric, with a view to enabling students from different backgrounds, and with a wide variety of interests, to express themselves better in writing and to appreciate literature. The September to December portion of this course (Term 1) will focus on the pre-Twentieth Century novel, drama and the short story, and help students become better thinkers and clearer writers. The January to April (Term 2) portion will offer students a chance to engage critically with current social and political issues through the study of a variety of rhetorical strategies used by contemporary writers. The winter term's readings (and listenings!) include spoken word poetry (including rap and dub), a contemporary novel, and the analysis of media coverage on various summits and protests surrounding the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas (FTAA).

Course Format: This course will combine lecture, discussion, group work, and workshop sessions. Throughout the year, students will write at least 6000 words. A minimum of 30% of class time will be devoted to writing instruction in many forms. While specific essay and writing workshops are scheduled throughout the year, writing instruction, exercises, and stylistic analysis will generally take place during the last 15-20 minutes of regular class-time.

You are expected to come to each class having read the assigned readings and ready to contribute to class discussion. For this reason, you are strongly encouraged to read ahead on the major texts. Readings are light prior to the three major texts we will study in Term 1 (Jude the Obscure, Hamlet, and "Zero & Asylum in the Snow") and the novel assigned for Term 2 (Cereus Blooms at Night); this structure is intended to facilitate reading ahead. During Term 1, five reading tests will be conducted periodically as 'pop quizzes.'

Required Texts:

Beaty, Jerome, Alison Booth, J. Paul Hunter and Kelly J. Mays. Norton Introduction to Literature. 8th ed. New York: Norton, 2002.

Giltrow, Janet. Academic Writing. Peterborough, Ontario: Broadview Press, 1995.

Hacker, Diana. Canadian Pocket Style Manual. New York: Saint Martinís Press, 2000.

Hardy, Thomas. Jude the Obscure. Peterborough, Ontario: Broadview Press, 2000.

Mootoo, Shani. Cereus Blooms at Night. New York: Avon Books, 1996 (Availabe end of Term 1).

Gifford, James. Term 1 Coursepack: English 101 M4

Brittain, Melisa. Term 2 Coursepack (Available end of Term 1)

Secondary critical readings will be placed on reserve in the Salter Reading Room. While these readings are not required, it is suggested that you consult those papers that refer to your essay choices. Likewise, four films are suggested for your viewing and these will be discussed in class. An optional group screening may be arranged outside of class time, according to convenience and interest, but will have no bearing on participation or grades.

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Please Note: Term work constitutes 70% of your final grade, and the Final Exam (written in April) constitutes 30% of your final grade

Term 1 (Fall)

  • Diagnostic Writing Assignment (250-500 words) | Sep 25 | ungraded
  • Essay #1 (1000-1500 words, including DRAFT: due Oct. 16) | Oct 23 | 10%
  • Library / Film Assignment (250-500 words) | Nov 1 | 5%
  • Essay #2 (1500-2000 words, including DRAFT: due Nov. 20) | Nov 27 | 15%
  • Reading Tests (five) unscheduled | 5%
  • Mid-Session Exam (date to be announced) | 10%

Term 2 (Winter)

  • Essay #3 (750 words, including Library/Research Assignment: due Jan 24) | Feb 7 | 15%
  • Essay #4 (Research Essay: 1500-2000 words, including Proposal: due Mar 5) | Mar 19 | 20%
  • Group Presentation (including Position Paper: due Mar 26) | April 2&4 | 10%

Class Participation for Terms 1 and 2 | 10%

Total for Term Work _________ 100%

Final Exam (2 hours, covers entire course, date to be announced) constitutes 30% of your final grade

***FINAL GRADE = Term Work (as above) x 70% -- PLUS -- Final Exam x 30%***

The 10% Class Participation Mark is based on active participation in class, group activities and course workshops, as well as on the completion of various ungraded assignments given throughout the year (including a diagnostic writing assignment, in-class writing assignments and preparation of interview questions for a class with author Shani Mootoo in Term 2).

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Assignment Guidelines:

All graded essays MUST be submitted in both a Draft and Final (in duplicate) form, as per the class schedule. To save paper, the duplicate copy may be submitted electronically. All formal Essays and their Draft versions must be double-spaced and word-processed in the format we outline in class. If you do not have access to a computer, please see the instructor to make alternative arrangements.

All written assignments are to be handed in at the beginning of class on the due dates indicated on the outline, or they will be considered late. Late assignments will not be accepted unless the instructor has been notified BEFORE the deadline, in which case a late penalty of up to 10% per day will be applied, unless an extension is given. Extensions will only be granted in cases of illness (in which case a doctorís note may be requested) or according to unique circumstances.

According to university policy, all term work must be returned to students by the final class of any given term. This explains the Essay #2 deadline; however, if you formally request an extension on the second paper, James will grant one to anyone who asks in advance. If you request an extension for Essay #2, it will be due on the last day of Term 1 and returned to you on the day of the Mid-Session Exam. This option does not apply to Essays #1, #3 or #4.

We encourage the use of the MLA style citation system for all Essays for this course. Students may arrange to use an alternative citation style (APA, Chicago Manual, etc.) if it is more appropriate to their intended field of study; however, we will only cover the MLA style in class.

Faxes or emails of assignments will not be accepted, though students are encouraged to use email for class discussion or to communicate with the instructor. An email does count as the duplicate copy of a paper that is required.

PLEASE NOTE: All assignments will be described in more detail prior to their due dates, and possible topics will be suggested if and when they are required by students.

Description of Term 2 Assignments:

ESSAY #3 - This assignment will require you to engage critically with the poetry and authors of your choice from Section 1: Dub and Slam Poetry. This assignment is designed to encourage critical analysis of poetry using pertinent biographical, historical, political and/or linguistic contexts of the poets and poetry under study, which you will get from at least one secondary source. The week before Essay #3 is due, you will be required to hand in a short Library/Research Assignment showing that you have started research on the poetry and poet that interests you most. The Library/Research Assignment requires you to find at least one secondary source, i.e., critical article, review, interview, or book, on the poetry and/or author you intend to write on, and provide me with 1. bibliographic information from that source (using MLA format), 2. a paragraph on the reason(s) you chose this particular piece to help you explicate the poetry, and 3. a Thesis Statement for Essay #3. The essay itself will require you to draw on your library research to bring meaning and context to the poem or poems you will write your 750 word essay on.

ESSAY #4 - This assignment should reflect your ability to engage critically with any of the material under study thus far in Term 2 (Sections 1 and 2). You may write on poetry again, but must choose different poems and authors this time around. You may also write on Cereus Blooms at Night or Slam!. You will be required to hand in a Proposal of your topic two weeks prior to the due date of Essay #4, and you must use at least two secondary sources in your essay (one can be from the Course Pack, but the other must be from your own library research and must be a different source than the one(s) used in Essay #3). Possible topics for this essay will be suggested throughout the term and closer to the due date as the class requires.

GROUP PRESENTATION - The group presentation will give students the opportunity to present their opinions and analysis of the issues and techniques under study in Section 3: Rhetoric and Media Analysis. Topics will be determined by the class as a whole, and groups will consist of 4 or 5 students each. In preparation for the presentations, each students will be required to hand in a one page (250 word) Position Paper on the topic one week prior to the presentations. This paper will show that you have started work on the assignment and have begun thinking about how you would position yourself in relation to the issues being discussed.

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Online Resources | Course Outline | Listserv | Marks | Assignments | Class Schedule | Lectures | Student Biographies