GE area A (esp. expository writing,
e.g. ENGL 134, and reasoning, argumentation and writing,
e.g. ENGL 145); AND GE area C1 (a 200-level literature
class, e.g. ENGL 230 or 231or 240 or 251 or 252 or 253).
Students enrolled in this class are assumed to have the basic writing,
argumentation and analytic skills taught in the Prerequisite
classes and to have prior experience in reading and analyzing
literature at the 200-level.
A WRITING-INTENSIVE, G.E. AREA C4 CLASS. As a writing-intensive class, ENGL 380 requires a minimum of 3000 words of writing over the course of the quarter, and 50% of the course grade must be based on writing assignments. As a G.E. area C4 class, it provides historical perspective on one or more significant literary periods; covers a range of literary genres and conventions; helps you understand both individual works and their relationship to the social, cultural, and historical context in which they were written, including attention to relevant issues of gender and diversity; and aims to foster an appreciation of the connections between literary works and non-verbal forms such as the visual and performing arts. Course readings, lectures and writing assignments aim to help you develop the skills necessary to read with insight, engagement, and detachment; to analyze and evaluate works from cultures which are unfamiliar to you; and to write clear, efffective textual analysis that is firmly grounded in close reading of literary texts.
GWR: As a C4 literature class, ENGL 380 may be taken by students wishing to fulfill the Graduate Writing Requirement (GWR). However, please be aware that successful completion of the course does not guarantee GWR certification. To achieve GWR certification, you must 1) have junior or senior standing; 2) pass the class with a grade of "C" or better (a C- is not adequate); and 3) write a GWR-Certifiable Essay on the essay portion of either the midterm or the final exam. A GWR-certifiable essay must conform to the standards for formal analytic writing about literature: a valid argument (appropiate and adequate content), logical organization, appropriate and adequate textual support, and reasonably correct mechanics (grammar, spelling, sentence structure, punctuation, etc.) and style. See Tips for Writing a GWR-Certifiable Essay; consult the formerly used Paper Writing Guidelines and Essay Evaluation Sheet if you are unsure about the conventions of formal analytic writing about literature.
COURSE DESCRIPTION and OBJECTIVES:
ENGL 380, "Love and Death: The Tristan Tradition," is designed to
introduce students to a highly influential medieval love story
which has been eclipsed, in modern times, by the better known saga
of Lancelot and Guenevere. We will trace the development of
the Tristan tradition from the middle ages to the 21st century,
seeking to understand its ongoing appeal and to analyze the
significance it has held for various periods and audiences.
Of particular interest will be the treatment of the adulterous
triangle in each work and the author's characterization of the
protagonists: Tristan, nephew to King Marc of Cornwall, and
Isolde, lover of Tristan and Marc's queen. Material
considered will include artwork, film and an opera in addition to
literary works -- romance and lai, modern poetry and fiction --
from the medieval period through the 21st century. Students
will refine their expository writing skills and practice writing
analysis of literary texts and other art forms.
REQUIRED TEXTS: Some required textbooks have been ordered and are available at the El Corral bookstore. The five textbooks are inexpensive paperbacks; VERY inexpensive copies can be found used at <bookfinder.com> or other online booksellers. Do NOT substitute another edition or translation for these textbooks:
These required films are the equivalent of
readings and must be viewed prior to the class
meeting at which they will be discussed. Group
screening times will be arranged, or you can see them on
your own time. Copies of each required video are on
Reserve for ENGL 380/459 in the Kennedy Library.
NOTE 1: Videos and DVDs on reserve do not
circulate outside the library; they must be screened in
the library during normal library hours.
You are expected to have an email account and to check it regularly. Important announcements will be sent via the Announcements section of PolyLearn to your Cal Poly email address, or I may contact you over the class email alias. The class email alias is automatically generated using the email address of each enrolled student found in the Cal Poly Directory server. If your Cal Poly email account is NOT your preferred email address, you must
PREPARATION: The assignment for each class meeting is found on the on-line calendar. All readings (and video screenings, as applicable) are to be completed before the class meeting on the day for which they are assigned. Unannounced quizzes will help monitor whether you are keeping up with assigned readings. Quizzes will take place during approximately the first 10 minutes of class; expect them regularly. Please note that the on-line calendar (not any printout you make) is authoritative. Assignments may be changed or modified in the course of the quarter. Check the on-line calendar regularly (before each class meeting) to ensure that you are completing the correct assignment.
380 is designed to encourage YOUR interaction with and enjoyment
of the works we are studying. The primary emphasis is on the
texts, not historical background or scholarly debate, but some
familiarity with the historical and cultural context is
essential to an understanding of both medieval and modern works;
this context will be provided through assigned background
readings and lectures (and will be covered on quizzes and exams).
While ENGL 380 is lecture-based, your regular presence will make
a real difference in both your enjoyment of the material and the
success of the class. You are expected to interact with
classmates both during in-class group discussion activities
and through participation in a PolyLearn Discussion Group.
YOUR active participation is essential to the
success of ENGL 380!
For these reasons . . .
REGULAR ATTENDANCE AND PARTICIPATION
IN YOUR POLYLEARN DISCUSSION GROUP ARE REQUIRED. Due
to the twice-weekly class meetings, any absence causes you to miss
a substantial chunk of material. Regular and
punctual attendance is required. Please note
that EVERY absence will affect the 20% of your course
grade that is based on Participation, Intellectual Engagement, and
Collaboration. Additionally, each missing Discussion Group
posting will be treated like an unexcused Absence, and will
affect the Participation,
Intellectual Engagement and Collaboration component of
your final grade, reducing it from a base of 4.0.
If you have a valid reason for missing class (illness, family crisis, other unavoidable conflict), TELL ME IN WRITING. A written explanation, either in an email or a hard copy note signed by you, is required for an absence to count as excused; be sure to include your full name, the class number, the date(s) missed, and the reason(s) for the absence(s). Any absence for which you do not provide a written explanation will be recorded as unexcused.
PARTICIPATION, INTELLECTUAL ENGAGEMENT AND COLLABORATION GRADE CALCULATION:
Each student starts out with a 4.0 (A) for Participation, Intellectual Engagement and Collaboration. This component of your final grade drops by .1 for the first EXCUSED absence (4.0 to 3.9) and .2 for the second excused absence (3.9 to 3.7). Additionally, it drops .3 for the first UNEXCUSED absence; the Unexcused Absence penalty increases by .1 for each subsequent unexcused absence (from .3 to .4 to .5, etc.). Please note that excused absences in excess of two (a full week, 10% of the class) count the same as unexcused absences.
Please note that only
absences due to illness, family crisis, or circumstances which
are truly beyond your control
count as excused.
Deadlines for other courses, work conflicts, and job interviews
are NOT valid reasons for missing class; you are responsible for
keeping work commitments from conflicting with academic
ones. Exception: if you are a graduating senior and
must travel out of town for a final interview, ONE such absence
will count as excused. Please do not schedule local
interviews or other appointments during class meetings.
FOR AN ABSENCE TO BE EXCUSED, YOU MUST NOTIFY ME IN WRITING
(email preferred). On the subject
line, put your class
(ENGL 380), the
and the day and date when you missed class (for example, "380
absence T 1/9/18"). Please repeat that information in the
body of your email and provide a full explanation of the
circumstances leading to your absence. (I must understand
why you needed to miss class in order to evaluate whether your
absence qualifies as excused.)
Online Conversations; Engagement
with the Texts and with Each Other. Attendance
is not the sole measure of your participation; I am also
interested in your intellectual engagement with the material and
your willingness to collaborate with your peers as
demonstrated by regular participation in class discussion and/or
in an online PolyLearn Discussion Group and through peer-editing
of written assignments.
While I notice and appreciate active participation
in class discussions, I don't like to penalize students who are
less comfortable speaking up in class. I therefore measure Intellectual
Engagement and Collaboration primarily based on out-of-class
participation in your assigned Discussion Group Forum,
to which you will submit 6 (ungraded) Mini-Essays (MEs), 12
(ungraded) Classmate Responses, and a series of five (ungraded)
film analysis worksheets. While these assignments are
not graded as Written Work, each ungraded assignment that is not
submitted to the Discussion Group Forum counts as an Unexcused
Absence and will negatively impact the 20% of your course
grade that is based on Participation, Intellectual Engagement, and
There will be periodic unannounced SCANTRON READING QUIZZES, so bring a scantron form (long enough for 15-20 questions) to each class meeting. Quizzes will monitor whether you are keeping up with assigned readings and/or film screenings; they are also intended to motivate you to learn background information as we go along and to serve as exam prep review sheets for the objective component of the midterm and final exams. For this reason, you will keep quizzes to use as study guides and turn in only the scantron form; scantron scores will be reported in the Grades section of PolyLearn.
Quizzes will include factual questions (names, titles,
dates, genres, key terms) based on the Text/Film Information
on the Calendar of Assignments and the information covered in
required background readings and lectures.
There will also be IDs of and questions about key passages/scenes,
names, motifs, and episodes from the assigned works. If you
learn the basic facts about each day's assigned works as we go
along -- title of work(s); author, composer or director's name;
date of composition / production; original language of work; genre
and form of literary works; etc. -- you should do well on quizzes
(and have a much easier task when it's time to review for exams!)
Quiz Grading: Each quiz will consist of at least 15 questions, but will be scored as if there were only 10 questions. This means, in essence, that there are 5 or more Bonus questions on every quiz -- questions for which credit is awarded if you get them right, but no penalty is subtracted if you get them wrong. Thus, answering 9 of 15 questions right on a "10-pt." quiz earns a score of "90%"; answering 11 of 15 (or more) earns a score of "110%"; etc. Careful quiz prep will provide a cushion of EC points to balance any missed (or less than stellar) quizzes. Students with a quiz average higher than 100% on the "10-pt." quizzes at the end of the quarter will receive grades in the A+ range (4.05 to 4.3 on a 4.0-scale) for the 15% of the final course grade based upon quizzes. This quiz policy is designed to give students an incentive to keep up with readings and learn background material incrementally rather than trying to "cram" before exams. It is not uncommon to finish the quarter with a quiz average well above "100%."
-- MINI-ESSAY SPECIFICS:
These short assignments are designed to make you attentive to
details in the works under discussion. They should be narrowly focused on
topics that can be covered within the two-page target length.
The two-page target length will also oblige you to get to the point (lead with your
conclusion; articulate your claims
fully and explicitly; avoid broad statements and
generalities; no "hook!"); to cut out unnecessary wordiness ("dead wood"); and to express your
ideas clearly and concisely.
MEs may be a response to a study question, an analysis of how a
specific aspect of a work helps communicate an author or
director's message or intentions, or a comparison of a specific
element with an analogous element in a previously assigned
work. Regardless of the topic you choose, mini-essays MUST
include analysis and
interpretation of carefully chosen citations from the
text. An effective ME uses close reading
of carefully chosen
textual evidence to support an interpretive claim about
the text or film. You will need a narrow focus so
that you can really "unpack" the language and/or images in the
scenes and passages you discuss without exceeding the
two-page target length. Careful analysis of a
single character, a specific relationship, a key image, or an
important scene or speech may be enough to fill two pages.
MEs should present a logically
organized argument to demonstrate the validity of an explicitly stated
interpretive claim; don't simply describe characters
or relationships or summarize the
plot. HINT: It may be fruitful to analyze how an element
in the work differs from the way it appears in
other versions of the Tristan story and to consider the effects
of the transformation. Or, explore how a key image
or theme is presented in a limited number of passages or
scenes. Close attention to specific imagery, word
choice, etc. in a single descriptive passage or significant
scene may be enough to fill your two-page target length!
Whatever you decide, your MEs must be grounded in
close reading: interpretive analysis
of specific passages and scenes.
For fuller details, see the Mini-Essay Assignment
Guidelines and the Essay Evaluation
Checklist. NOTE: You should familiarize yourself
with this checklist before you start to write, and take care to
avoid the issues and errors that are included on the Checklist and in the Grading Codes!
POSTING GUIDELINES: Mini-Essays are due no later than midnight on the Fridays indicated on the Calendar of Assignments. The text of your Mini-Essays must be pasted into the message field of your Discussion Group posting so that classmates can respond to it in a Discussion thread. Additionally, you must attach your ME as a .docx file so that I can easily access the first draft of the MEs submitted for a grade and evaluate the changes made during the revision process.
-- IMPORTANT: in order to
receive credit for each ME, you must post at least two short
(but thoughtful) Classmate
responses [= "CRs"] to MEs posted by two
members of your Polylearn Discussion Group (with whom you may
agree or disagree, as long as you do so respectfully and back up
your response with your own textual support). CRs
must including at least one ADDITIONAL quotation from the text
(i.e. a quotation that was not included in the ME to which you are
responding) in support of your observations. CRs are due no
later than midnight on the Sundays indicated on the
Calendar of Assignments.
Your twelve CRs submitted over the course of the quarter will not be graded as Written Work, but they are required to get credit for your six ungraded ME postings AND for the graded paper; additionally, CRs, like MEs, factor into the Participation, Intellectual Engagement and Collaboration component of your final course grade. You must post two CRs to receive credit for each of your MEs. Each missing ME and each missing CR counts as an Unexcused Absence.
GRADED WRITING ASSIGNMENT:
Because effective writing is the result of an ongoing process of revision, the three-page Paper you submit for a grade should be a carefully edited revision/expansion of an ME submitted to your PolyLearn discussion group; it must cover substantial new ground and should be 50% longer (three pages) than your initial 2-page ME posting. (Even the strongest writing can be improved through the revision process.)
To allow time for thoughtful revision and careful editing, hard
copy of an ME submitted for a grade will not be accepted
earlier than a week after CRs have been posted.
Students are encouraged to discuss their ideas with Dr. Schwartz
during an office hour, take a draft of their ME to the University
Writing Center, and/or get additional feedback from a friend or
classmate who is familiar with the conventions of writing about
literature (or who has read and understands those conventions, as
articulated in the ME
Guidelines, the Paper
Guidelines formerly used for the final paper in ENGL
380, and the Essay Evaluation
Checklist) prior to submitting the revised ME for
-- ONE of your two-page Mini-Essays will be revised and expanded
to a three-page graded paper which must be turned in in
hard copy, along with a hard-copy print-out of the original
ME that has been peer-edited by another
member of your Discussion Group. This carefully
edited revision/expansion is worth 15% of your course
grade. To allow time for careful revision and editing,
the revised/expanded ME submitted for grading must be submitted at
least one week after Classmate responses have been posted. The
header for the revision should begin "Revised ME #: Title."
in order to receive credit for your Mini-Essays, you must post at
least two short (but thoughtful) Classmate Responses [=
"CR"] to the MEs posted by two other members of your Polylearn
Discussion Group (with whom you may agree or disagree, as long as
you do so respectfully and back up your response with your own textual
support from the play). CRs must including at least
one ADDITIONAL quotation from the play (that was not cited in the
ME to which you are responding) in support of your
observations. Classmate responses are due no later than
midnight on the the dates indicated on the Calendar of Assignments (generally, 2
days after Mini-Essays are due).
Your twelve classmate responses will not be graded as Written Work, but they are required to get credit for your Graded Paper and they factor into the Participation, Intellectual Engagement, and Collaboration component of your final course grade: each missing Classmate Response counts as an Unexcused Absence. Additionally, your peer-editing of the first draft of the essay revised and submitted for credit by another member of your Discussion Group is REQUIRED; failure to peer-edit the ME of ONE member of your Discussion Group WILL COUNT AS AN UNEXCUSED ABSENCE.
There are two Peer-Editing
assignments (which each student must complete for ONE other
member of her/his Discussion Group). The first is
"dry-run" peer edit of ME 1 which ALL students will complete and
turn in to Dr. Schwartz. The second, "official" Peer Edit
will be completed for a classmate as part of her/his revision
process prior to submitting her/his expanded/revised paper for a
grade. Both Peer Edits require the Peer Editor to fill out a
hard copy print-out of the Essay Evaluation Checklist
available as a printer-friendly document on Polylearn (a
print-out of the Essay Evaluation
Checklist webpage will not be accepted); to write
corrections and editing suggestions on the first draft of
the ME under revision using the Error Codes at the bottom
of the Essay Evaluation Checklist; to CIRCLE on that checklist
ALL error codes used in peer-editing the first draft ME; and
to write an end comment that points to strengths
and/or weaknesses of the ME and provides at least one
suggestion for what new material to include while expanding the
paper to three pages.
On the front of the hard-copy check-list, the Peer Editor's name
must be clearly indicated ("Feedback by NAME") along with the name
of the person whose ME is being responded to ("Feedback to NAME");
also indicate your Discussion Group number. If the names are
not included, the Peer Editor will not receive credit for this
On the front of the hard-copy check-list, the Peer Editor's name must be clearly indicated ("Feedback by NAME") along with the name of the person whose ME is being responded to ("Feeback to NAME"); also indicate your Discussion Group number. If the names are not included, the Peer Editor will not receive credit for this required assignment.
Your Graded paper counts for 15% of your final course grade.
Because revised MEs will not be accepted earlier than a
week after CRs have been posted, students choosing to
revise an ME submitted in weeks 8 or 9 may not have finished their
revisions by the final class meeting. In that case, the
revised ME should be submitted as a .docx (or .doc) file sent as
an email attachment.
An ME submitted for grading via email at the end of the quarter MUST:
CALCULATION: 20%: Intellectual Engagement and Collaboration (more concrete
than the general term "participation"), based on class attendance (20 class meetings); 2 (ungraded)
peer-edits of a classmate's ME (all students will
submit a peer-edit for ME 1; each student will submit a
peer-edit of ONE other ME that a classmate is revising
as his or her final, graded paper); and
the following ungraded submissions to the assigned
Discussion Group forum: 6
(ungraded) MEs, 12 (ungraded) Classmate
Responses, and 5 (ungraded) video
15%: quizzes (lowest score dropped). If quiz average is more than 6 pts., a bonus of .05 to .3 will be added to the normally top score of 4.0. (4.0=A, 3.7=A-, 3.3=B+, etc., as in computing GPA)
15%: Graded Revision and Expansion to Three Pages of ONE 2-page Polyearn Discussion Group Mini-Essay. Your carefully edited, revised and expanded paper may NOT be identical to your initial ME posting ; you must cover significant new ground in the additional page of the essay. To receive credit for the graded, revised ME, you must turn it in along with hard copy of the original 2-page ME posting, which must be peer-edited by one other Discussion Group member. Peer-editing requires: 1) written corrections and notations on the hard copy ME, using the grading codes on the Essay Evaluation Checklist posted on PolyLearn; 2) a final comment addressing strengths of the ME and offering at least one suggestion for revision/improvement; and 3) filled out hard copy of the Essay Evaluation Checklist (.PDF file available on PolyLearn). Be sure that the name of both the essay writer and the Peer Editor is found on BOTH the hard copy of the first draft ME AND the Essay Evaluation Checklist filled out by the Peer Editor.
|20%||Intellectual Engagement and Collaboration (more concrete than the general term "participation"), based on class attendance (20 class meetings); 2 (ungraded) peer-edits of a classmate's ME (all students will submit a peer-edit for ME 1; each student will submit a peer-edit of ONE other ME that a classmate is revising as his or her final, graded paper); and the following ungraded submissions to the assigned Discussion Group forum: 6 (ungraded) Mini-Essays, 12 (ungraded) Classmate Responses, and 5 (ungraded) Video Worksheets.|
|15%||Quizzes (for quiz score calculation, please see note below!)|
|15%||One three-page graded paper, a Revision/Expansion of ONE PolyLearn Discussion Group Mini-Essay. Your carefully edited, revised and expanded paper may NOT be identical to your initial ME posting; because the target length is 50% longer than the originally posted ME, you must cover significant new ground in the additional page of the essay. To receive credit for the graded, revised ME, you must turn it in along with hard copy of the original 2-page ME posting, which must be peer-edited by one other Discussion Group member. Peer-editing requires: 1) written corrections and notations on the hard copy ME, using the grading codes on the Essay Evaluation Checklist posted on PolyLearn; 2) a filled out hard copy of the Essay Evaluation Checklist (.PDF file available on PolyLearn); and 3) a final comment addressing strengths of the ME and offering at least one suggestion for revision/improvement (written on the back of the Essay Evaluation Checklist). Be sure that the name of both the essay writer and the Peer Editor is found on BOTH the hard copy of the first draft ME AND the Essay Evaluation Checklist filled out by the Peer Editor.|
Exam (100-pt. Objective Exam and 100-pt. Essay)
(150-pt. semi-cumulative Objective Exam and 150-pt. Essay)
Note 1: Because this is a C4 writing-intensive course, 50% of points on each exam are for the essay.
Note 2: The Exams component of final course grade will be calculated by adding together the total number of pts. earned on the Midterm and Final Exams and dividing by 500, the total number of exam pts.
A NOTE ON QUIZ SCORES:
Remember that quiz points and exam points are not equivalent,
since the percent scores awarded on quizzes have been
artificially inflated (an average of 10 correct answers on
quizzes with 15-20 questions is recorded as a quiz score of "100%"
rather than the actual percent score, 66% or below). A score
of 100% on a 100-pt. objective midterm means 100 of 100 exam
questions are correct, while "100%" on a "10-pt." quiz means 10 of
15-20 quiz questions are correct -- and quizzes are worth
significantly less than exams.
You therefore cannot calculate your final course grade
directly from the raw percentage grades earned on quizzes and
exams. For this reason (and also because so many
students finish the quarter with quiz averages above "100%"!), I
convert the scores on all components of the class to a 4.0-scale
(4.3=A+, 4.0=A, 3.7=A-, 3.3=B+, etc.) before calculating the final
Everyone whose quiz average is more than 10 pts. per quiz will receive a bonus in the form of a quiz grade of above the normal maximum grade of 4.0. The amount of this bonus (from .05 to .3) will be commensurate with the strength of the quiz average relative to other students in the class.
OH MY GOSH . . . CAN I HANDLE THIS CLASS??
Sure you can -- if you do the readings! Because not all readings are equally long, look ahead to plan your time. Finally. . . remember that I LOVE teaching this stuff, and I'm told that my enthusisam makes my classes more fun.
And WHAT ABOUT THOSE TWO-HOUR BLOCKS?
Rest assured, we'll take a break each day. Feel free to bring along a caffeinated (or non-caffeinated) drink -- whatever it takes to keep you alert through two hours. If there is sufficient interest, rotating cookie duty can be arranged!
WELCOME, AND ENJOY!!!
Contents of this and all linked pages Copyright Debora B. Schwartz, 2004-2018
Return to Dr. Schwartz's Teaching Page