English Department Syllabus, College English II

The department syllabus is designed to help instructors put together their own syllabi for ENGL 1202 College English II.  It includes specific guidelines for teaching the course, model syllabi, suggested writing assignments, and web sites for supplemental materials.   This syllabus is available on-line (on both the 1202 Website and the Writing Faculty Blackboard Course), so faculty can save it to their computers and use it as a template for creating their own syllabi.   If you are, in fact, reading this syllabus on line, it is also available in hard copy from the Director of First Year Writing, Dr. Kelly Shea.

ENGL 1202 meets two writing proficiencies, Reading and Writing  and Information Fluency.  The Reading and Writing proficiency requirements are build into the very fabric of ENGL 1202.  The Information Fluency requirements become an integral part of the research paper.

GOALS AND OBJECTIVES

College English II is the second semester of the First Year Writing requirement.  Four different versions or tracks of the course are offered each semester, each one designed linked thematically with readings in other disciplines:
Literature and Public Life
Literature and the Natural World
Literature and the Human Psyche
Literature and the Humanities

Instructors may choose which version of 1202 they wish to teach, unless there is a special need for a particular version.  In that case, they may be requested to teach a particular version.  (However, this kind of request would not be typical.)

Students will achieve the following in a context that includes readings from many disciplines and that emphasizes skills that are relevant across the curriculum:

  • further development of writing skills initiated in 1201, such as explication, argumentation, close reading, and textual analysis
  • understanding and ability to use theoretical perspectives in both reading and writing
  • understanding of research methodologies, including e valuation and use of online and print resources, citation formats, and ways to avoid plagiarism through proper paraphrasing, summarizing, and referencing
  • ability to integrate perspectives by focusing on one general theme through the lenses of different disciplines.

COURSE CONTENT

Readings will be taken from a wide variety of texts, both literary (poetry, drama, and fiction) and non-fiction.

Students must read a selection of short stories and poetry, and plays, including at least one pre-20th century drama.

4-7 interdisciplinary texts (such as essays, reviews, visual texts, music, film, editorials) from the selected on-line materials available through Blackboard.

The double tasks of introducing three literary genres and guiding the writing of the research paper are the primary concerns of College English II.  The course should provide students with a comprehensive introduction to the short story, poetry, and drama.  Since ENGL 1201 focuses on the essay, College English II will concentrate on other literary forms (although expository prose will probably be the primary form for the interdisciplinary readings).  You may organize the course thematically, chronologically, or by genre.  Literature and the handbook both contain instructive material to help guide students toward sound writing and strengthen reading, writing, and research skills.  The Handbook includes sections on writing the research paper.

ENTRANCE REQUIREMENTS FOR ENGL 1202

The prerequisite for College English II is College English I (some students receive AP credit for 1201 and enroll immediately in 1202).  At the beginning of the semester you will receive a list of those students who have not passed College English I.  If any of these students are registered in your class, send them immediately to the Chairperson, Dr. Mary Balkun, Fahy 362, to drop the course.

You should administer a diagnostic essay (the assignment sent to you prior to the semester’s start)  to your students during the first class meeting to determine their writing strengths and weaknesses.  Return the essay with comments (but not a grade) and suggestions for improvement.

ASSIGNMENTS

Writing Requirements

1.  All 1202 sections assign three papers (two shorter papers and one research paper), following the guidelines below:

a.   Drafting process takes place for all formal, graded writing assignments.  All three formal paper assignments are handed in as rough drafts and then revised into final drafts.  One of the short papers should be a literary analysis.  Students also use outlining or preliminary organizing for all papers and participate in peer review. ONE session (minimum) at the Writing Center is required.

b. One formal writing assignment (the Research paper) involves research, referencing, use of outside sources, and/or citations.  Minimum of 6 pages.  This can be either a traditional literary analysis or a paper that examines the literature or literary issues from an interdisciplinary perspective based on the topic of the course.  MLA citation practices are taught in connection with this essay.   Students have a library orientation as well to help them in their research strategies.

2.  A final exam, including one or more essay questions, is required in 1202.

3. At least 60% of course grade is based on formal writing (including graded essays, essay exams, quizzes, writing for traditional and multimedia presentations).

4.  Regular, informal (nongraded) writing assignments – possibly weekly – take place both in and out of class.  Informal writing should be used in the course as appropriate and could include a variety of journal formats (free writing, double-entry, writing prompts), blogs, discussion board, quick-writes, question responses, and collaborative writing.

5.  Some time is spent in class every week, teaching and/or discussing the processes of writing.

  • The writing process (drafting, peer review, revision, editing)
  • Review of MLA documentation
  • Review of research techniques
  • Plagiarism
  • Grammar, structure, and mechanics reviews

Each progressive element of the research paper must be taught, from its preliminary stages to the finished product.  These include library skills–searching and researching– note-taking, outlining, documenting sources, paraphrasing, eliminating plagiarism, drafting, editing, and typing the paper according to the required format.  You should collect each of these steps from students as they do them, and have them resubmit this material with the final paper.  Students are expected to adhere to the MLA format for documentation and presentation of all papers.

Important information about the course—both for instructors and students—is available elsewhere in this blogsite, including sample graded essay and other useful links.

Reading requirements

1.  Besides textbook reading, supplementary materials are used by almost all instructors through their Blackboard courses.  Three to five essays, normally from beyond the text (though there are some essays in the literature texts that may be used) must be assigned to supplement the literature.

2.  Readings are assigned each week, with the three genres of poetry, fiction, and drama, represented throughout the semester.  See the attached sample syllabus for a sense of how the readings are assigned on a weekly basis.  Reading for the research paper and other supplementary readings would go beyond this.  Students also must read each other’s papers in peer review.

3.  Readings are closely linked to writing assignments, for example, journals, double-entry journals, reflections, in-class writing, formal papers, and/or essay exams. The formal papers normally require referencing and analysis of the readings.

4.  Some time is spent in class teaching and/or discussing the processes, strategies, and modes of analysis of reading in the discipline (specifically, the genres of Poetry, Fiction, and Drama).  The Little Seagull Handbook has a section on literary reading (63-65) and on reading strategies (75-78). The class discussions of the literature and supplementary essays also model and encourage critical reading of texts.

COURSE READING MATERIALS

  • The Norton Introduction to Literature, Shorter Edition (latest edition), default for TAs, TFs, and new adjuncts OR Literature: Craft and Voice (latest edition), McGraw-Hill, alternative for experienced instructors
  • The Little Seagull Handbook (latest edition), Norton, required in all 1202 sections, including fall 2014
  • They Say, I Say (latest edition), Norton, required in all 1202 sections

WRITING INSTRUCTION

Writing Process Overview:

It is essential to continue to stress the writing process in ENGL 1202 to reinforce students’ proficiency.

There are useful readings in each of the required texts for ENGL 1202.  The Little Seagull Handbook has a useful section on the research paper (80-108) as well as a review of the general writing process.  The course’s primary text, The Norton Introduction to Literature, also includes valuable discussions of writing, in particular writing about literature (1845-1905).  In addition there is a useful section that provides summaries of a large variety of critical approaches (1906-1931).  These are written effectively and are accessible to students; they include many samples and examples for students to follow.  The alternate text, Literature: Craft and Voice has a more substantial section on writing, including how to write several types of essays, from response essays to the research paper (2-136), and separate sections on writing about fiction (160-184), poetry (582-605), and drama (1024-1063).

Notetaking:  Methods of note taking beyond computer “cut and paste” and “Xerox and underline” should be discussed.  While you may no longer want to require note cards (or you may), it is important to stress that students need to engage actively with the texts they read through note taking.  You may want to introduce students to several possible methods of documenting their research, such as note cards, note pages, flagging, or a research journal and allow them to choose between them.  However, some notetaking component must be required.

Documentation and Bibliography: Students must be familiar with and make use of a citation system.  For the purposes of ENGL 1201-1202, students are required to use MLA in-text and Works Cited format.  They should, however, understand that this is one of many available formats, and different disciplines will require different systems.  Therefore, they should be comfortable following guidelines and examples.  They should be familiar with the citation of books, journal articles, chapters in books, and online sources.

In addition, faculty may want to require an annotated bibliography, in which students list their research in the correct format and provide a two- or three-sentence description of the work, its approach, and its potential for use in their research essay.

Grammar, structure, and mechanics reviews:  Students should be able to write correctly using the conventions of English Literary Standard.  This may require some reviews of grammar, structure, and mechanics.  These can take place in class or can be assigned for homework (the sections in the handbook are useful and do provide exercises); they can simply be a review, or they can be assessed in class with exercises or quizzes.  If individual students have difficulties not shared by the rest of the group, they can be requested to work on these in the Writing Center with a tutor.

THE RESEARCH PAPER

The research paper can be either a traditional literary analysis or a paper that examines the literature or literary issues from an interdisciplinary perspective.

The advantages of having the class treat the same literary piece are significant: the opportunity to have classroom discussions of the literature, common interests in research, accessible library and source material (many instructors put material on reserve), and teacher expertise.  Many faculty select sustained works in the text such as plays, or several short stories or poems by the same author.  Some also choose to have the students read a novel with a thematic connection to other works covered during the semester.

The advantages of having students treat individual and varied subjects from any field are equally significant: motivation and interest are high; research may already be started.  For this approach, it would be a good idea to look at the articles on Writing Across the Curriculum in “Professional Resources for Instructors.”

The textbook suggests a third approach to a topic–the thematic.  Although this is valid, it is highly comprehensive.

Once you have decided upon a method, be sure to adapt your syllabus to that of the department.

The department guidelines for the research paper are flexible, but these are the basic requirements:

  • 7 – 10 pages of double-spaced text
  • Citing approximately 4-6 sources
  • Full heading
  • Last name and page number on each page following the first
  • MLA in-text documentation
  • Works Cited page(s)

INFORMATION LITERACY

It is essential that students understand that college-level research cannot begin or end with Google. The research component of English 1202 requires that students develop fluency in searching, selecting, analyzing and integrating source materials into the coursework. In particular, students will develop competence in accessing library resources—both print and electronic– such as book catalogues, electronic databases and journals so they are not only able to distinguish between different type of resources but also successfully incorporate outside materials into a research paper with at least 4-6 cited sources. The library orientation will reinforce students’ work on electronic and print databases, but class time should also be given to evaluating sources, using sources, reading sources, and incorporating research into their writing, as well as avoiding plagiarism.

Students will be graded both on the writing process and the quality of the final research paper. The writing process will be tracked in a Research Log which will include the following:

  • Identifying a relevant topic for the research paper
  • Recognizing the difference between scholarly, academic sources and unreliable internet sources.
  • Identifying literature databases that have literary criticism on the selected topic.
  • Searching databases for relevant articles by developing key terms.
  • Identifying books and journals that have literary criticism on the selected topic.
  • Creating a list of sources that may contribute to the research.
  • Developing a set of criteria to determine which sources are most useful and relevant for the research.
  • Close reading selected sources for information pertinent to the research.
  • Integrating sources into research paper by summarizing, paraphrasing and quoting from source materials.
  • Creating a Works Cited list in the MLA format.

LIBRARY ORIENTATION

All sections of ENGL 1202 will include an advanced library orientation, building on the material the students learned in ENGL 1201.  A link will be emailed at the beginning of the semester to sign up for this orientation.

The following may not be used as sources: Cliffs Notes, Monarch Notes, Barrons, Wikipedia, or the like.  Use of on-line sources should be restricted to full-text databases in most cases.  Evaluating on-line sources should be part of the teaching of the research paper.

PLAGIARISM

Plagiarism is a serious problem.  It undermines the scholarly enterprise; it can also cause students to fail the assignment and possibly the course.  The English Department has a detailed plagiarism policy.  You must distribute this policy with your syllabus on the first day of class and review it with your students.  (Copies will be available in the department by the first day of classes.)  You should also have a statement about the consequences of plagiarizing on your syllabus.  Research has demonstrated that instructors who address the consequences of plagiarism head-on and discuss the ramifications with their students have fewer incidents overall.  Please see the excellent Writing Program Administrator’s Statement on Defining and Avoiding Plagiarism: http://wpacouncil.org/files/wpa-plagiarism-statement.pdf.

What appears to be plagiarism is often students’ inability to paraphrase and summarize correctly.  Reviewing these two skills in class can help alleviate the problem.  Having students practice paraphrasing and summarizing before the paper is due will teach them how to use their research validly.

To help students during the entire research process, collect all preliminary pieces–notecards, outline, bibliography, drafts–in stages, as they are written. Providing feedback at each step will also help students focus their writing, will reveal potential problems at an early stage, and will eliminate the last-minute or eleventh hour crisis. Collecting all the materials again at the end with the final paper will also help prevent plagiarism and give you a sense of the students’ overall work on the research project.

Plagiarism Policy for Rough Drafts

Since some of us grade rough drafts separately while others incorporate drafts into a final grade, we offer two possible ways to penalize a plagiarized rough draft:

  1. if you grade the rough draft separately, the plagiarized draft receives a grade of zero;
  2. if you incorporate the rough draft into a final paper grade, a plagiarized rough draft results in a final grade lowered by one full letter grade.
  3. If a student plagiarizes on TWO rough drafts, the second offense will receive the same penalty (failure for the course) as ANY second offense of plagiarism.

Plagiarism Resources

The English Department has two resources to help you prevent and deal with plagiarism and cheating.  SafeAssign is a web-based database which allows you to check a student paper against papers on line and the turnitin.com database of papers.  Some faculty members require all students to hand in papers through SafeAssign.  Others use it on an as-needed basis.  If you choose the latter approach, be sure to have your students hand in all papers in both hard copy and electronic format, so they are available for checking through SafeAssign, if necessary.   SecureExam allows you to administer tests on the students’ lap tops in class in a secure environment.

Note:   Students are expected to write new material for their work in both 1201 and 1202.  Therefore, papers done in high school or for another, prior class are NOT acceptable in fulfillment of an assignment in 1202, even if the paper “fits” the assignment in other ways.   A statement to this effect should be included within each syllabus.

 

LITERATURE IN 1202

As you approach the literature in ENGL 1202 through the lens of your particular focus (Nature, Humanities, Public Life, or the Human Psyche), you may choose to work generically, thematically, or chronologically.  That is, you may divide the literature into genres—poetry, prose, and drama—and focus on each one separately, you may work through the material chronologically and consider various periods/movements, or you may choose to work thematically, addressing elements of your topic through a variety of literary approaches.  For instance, a unit in a “Human Psyche” class on Courtship might read Andrew Marvell’s “To His Coy Mistress,” Katherine Mansfield’s “Bliss,” and Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night,” and Karen Horney’s “The Distrust between the Sexes” from World of Ideas, while a Nature section might choose instead to consider “Fiction about Nature,” “The Poetry of Nature,” and “Nature and Drama.”  Supplemental readings from the on-line course materials should be chosen to work with the particular topic under consideration and should be discussed in concert with the literature.

In designing the reading list, instructors may decide to take a comprehensive approach to the larger topic, examining a variety of issues under the heading of Humanities, Public Life, Nature, or the Human Psyche, or they may focus more particularly on a single, rich topic (such as “Work” in the Public Life sections, or “The Family” in a Human Psyche course, for instance).  See the supplemental syllabi for examples.  You may also consult the director of First-Year writing for suggestions and additional sample syllabi.

However, it is essential that each section cover all three genres in some way in order to provide an introduction to literature and expose students to its range.  While the course may favor one or the other, it should include at least two plays, one classic (written before 1660) and one contemporary.  While supplemental readings may be posted in Blackboard, try to make as much use as possible of the books required for the course.

The two major components of the course–the research paper and literature–must be interwoven to form the syllabus. There is additional information about the writing of the research paper in Literature and The Bedford Handbook including some sample critical essays and student examples.

In addition students must do several short pieces of writing, formal or informal, beyond the research paper that deal directly with the literature and the supplemental readings.

TECHNOLOGICAL LITERACY

Seton Hall University has made a large commitment to the use of technology, and the English Department has been active in this initiative. All 1201 courses have their own Blackboard courses. Faculty should make use of their Blackboard course for course information (where the syllabus should be placed), class discussion/assignments, announcements, and external links. Encourage your students to check their Blackboard course regularly. See Veronica Armour of TLTC if you need extra help. If you have material in Blackboard from previous courses, it can be translated into your new Blackboard suite. A large amount of important information about 1201 is available through this website, Resources for First-Year Writing.

Use of technology
In class requires vigilance. You must be aware at all times of what your students are doing. This means walking around the room, having students close laptops when they are not specifically in use, and giving students specific assignments and deadlines. Students should not be checking e-mail, instant-messaging, participating in a chat room, or surfing the net while the rest of the class is otherwise engaged.

IN-CLASS ESSAY

Because students receive tutoring and other outside assistance, it is sometimes difficult to determine exactly what progress they are making.  Each instructor is required to administer an in-class writing assignment at the mid-term in order to get a first-hand sample of students’ writing.  One option is to have a required paper done in class.  Students can come prepared with prewriting and an outline; they can then draft the paper in class.  Once the instructor has read this draft, students should be allowed to revise the essay for a final grade.  Another option is to administer a mid-term exam that includes at least one response in the form of an essay.

THE WRITING CENTER

Students should be encouraged to use the Writing Center for all phases of the writing process.   Attendance should count no more than 5% of the student’s final grade, or incorporated into another grade (as in a paper or class participation grade). College English II students are required to attend the Writing Center at least ONCE although individual students may be required to attend more often as needed; they will find the feedback beneficial.  The Writing Center is staffed with English faculty, peer tutors, and professional adjuncts.  It is located in A&S Hall, second floor, room 205.  The Writing Center is open Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  It will open on the Monday after add/drop period ends.

Please also remind your students that you will be receiving reports from the Academic Resource Center on their Writing Center sessions.  Remind them that they can go on-line and access the session notes that are written each time they meet with a tutor in the Writing Center. These session notes can help them plan and revise their writing projects.  To access their session notes, they should follow the link called “View/Create My ARC Visit” on the Writing Center homepage and login.  Then, they will click on “Tutorials” and choose the records they want to review.

For more information, contact the Center Director, Dr. Kelly Shea, 973-275-2183, or sheakell@shu.edu or Kelly.Shea@shu.edu.

TECHNOLOGY SUPPORT

The Teaching, Learning, and Technology Center provides support for instructors using information technology in their courses.  The English Department’s liaisons are instructional designer Danielle Mirliss.  The TLTC offers several grant programs for faculty interested in the innovative use of technology, access to an ITV room, and support for Blackboard.

POETRY-IN-THE-ROUND

Seton Hall is fortunate to sponsor an annual readings series, Poetry-in-the-Round, currently directed by Dr. Nathan Oates of the English Department.   In the past, readings have been given by the late James Merrill, Geoffrey Hill, Amy Tan, Joyce Carol Oates, Gwendolyn Brooks, Adrienne Rich, and many others.  These readings allow students the opportunity to see literature in action

Students should be strongly encouraged to attend one of these readings since Poetry-in-the-Round offers cultural experiences that can enhance their studies. Each year’s schedule of poets and authors is posted in the fall.  You will also receive announcements for upcoming events in your mailbox.  Upcoming events are posted at the start of each semester.  Many of the speakers also offer smaller seminars in order to have greater interaction with students; please arrange attendance at these through Dr.Oates.

PORTFOLIO

All students must submit a portfolio of their work in first-year writing classes.  This portfolio is used for departmental assessment purposes; instructors are free to use it as part of their own grading system or not.   Instructions for doing the portfolio may be found at http://artsci.shu.edu/english/e-portfolio/directions_for_creating_your_e-portfolio.htm However, while we do not require instructors to use the portfolio as part of their grading, the self-assessment must be included at part of the final exam.  (See below.)  Most instructors have found that it works best to assign students the self-assessment as a take-home exam, and to reserve the in-class portion of the exam for questions about literature.

FINAL EXAM

A final exam is required in College English II.  This may be an in-class exam, a take-home exam, or final piece of writing that students submit.  If you choose one of the latter options, you are still required to be available during the scheduled final exam period to meet with students.  Many instructors have students submit the final piece of work at the exam period.

CONCLUSION

Be sure to include your policies on grading, attendance, participation, late papers, missed tests/quizzes, and whatever else you think is important for your students to know in your course syllabus in the Course Requirements section of your Blackboard syllabus. You cannot make or change your policies midstream.  Please follow the departmental policies as outlined above.

All teaching assistants and adjuncts must give the Director of Freshman English, Dr. Nancy Enright, a copy of their syllabi and have them approved before the semester begins.   TAs must submit their Fall syllabi for approval one month prior to the start of the semester, and their Spring syllabi by January 5.  Adjuncts must submit their fall syllabi for approval at least two weeks before the semester begins.  All other faculty should provide copies of their syllabi to the Director, either in electronic (preferred) or paper copy, during the first week of classes each semester.  Although changes to accommodate individual classes are expected, the University requires that each faculty member distribute a syllabus during the first week of classes.

Note: During the course of the semester, teaching assistants must also provide the Director with a copy of all hand-outs–whether assignments, tests, quizzes, or informational hand-outs–before distributing them to the class. This should be done early enough for the Director to review them for approval or to make suggestions for change.  Your College English II plans must reflect the use of Literature and the supplemental on-line readings (3-5 of them), along with the departmental requirements for the course.  Although it is tempting to let the literature become prominent, please don’t forget that this is a writing course.  Schedule time for the discussion of writing, particularly the components of the research paper.

In designing your syllabus, be sure to cite specific works, chapters, and writing assignments. If you wish to make a daily syllabus with readings for each date your class meets, be sure to note that the readings are “subject to change,” as you will likely need to adapt your list as the term wears on—whether because you get behind or because the semester is interrupted due to weather or other emergency conditions.  By using units or weeks instead, you can slow down the pace when your students need reinforcement and attention, and speed it up when they master the work easily.

Your submitted syllabus must include formal and informal writing assignments, a scheduled library orientation, and a final exam.  Quizzes, tests, in-class writing, and exercises need not be dated, but be sure to indicate that they are a part of the course.  A mid-term exam is optional.

If you have any questions about your syllabus, please feel free to contact the Director at any time:

Director: Dr. Nancy Enright
Office: Fahy 359     |
Ext.: 2545
Email: nancy.enright@shu.edu

Please contact Dr. Enright if you have any questions, concerns, or problems during the semester.  She is available to help you with any difficulties you may be having with your teaching or with individual students.

SAMPLE SYLLABUS FOR THE HUMANITIES