English 1102: English Composition II, Spring 2010

Section 06: MW 2:00-3:15PM, Arts & Sciences 340B

Section 07: MW 3:30-4:45PM, Arts & Sciences 340B



Professor: Dr. Alex E. Blazer



Phone: 478.445.0964

Office: Arts & Sciences 330

Office Hours: MW 5:00-5:30PM A&S 330, T 12:30-1:45PM A&S 330, R 12:15-1:30 Blackbird, and by appointment


Course Description


The undergraduate course catalog describes English 1102 as "a composition course that develops writing skills beyond the levels of proficiency required by ENGL 1101, emphasizes interpretation and evaluation of texts, and incorporates a variety of more advanced research methods." While 1101 practices critical, analytical writing through the reading of exemplary essays, 1102 develops analytical, interpretive writing through the reading of literature. We will learn how to closely read poems and key passages from fiction. In addition to interpreting individual poems and stories, we will analyze a book of poetry and a novel. Finally, we will learn methods for examining drama. We will journey through the entire writing process, from a reading journal that collects our initial response to a work of literature, an interpretive thesis, literary research, outlining, an initial draft of a paper, peer review, and revision. Assignments include a reading journal; peer responses; a drafted, peer reviewed, and revised close reading paper; a drafted, peer reviewed, and revised paper arguing a work of literature's theme or idea; a summary of scholarly interpretation of a work of literature; and a research paper.


This course's Academic Assessment page describes our topics:

as well as course outcomes:

Course Materials


required (GCSU Bookstore or

Diaz, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

Schilb and Clifford, eds. Making Literature Matter, 4th ed.

Lunsford, Easy Writer, 3rd ed. with 2009 Update

required (online)

supplemental articles


Assignments and Grade Distribution


reading journal and peer response, 20%

10-12 1 page reading journal entries will explore literature and and how it applies to life; and 6-8 1 page peer responses will review fellow student papers.

paper 1: close reading, 20%

The 4 page close reading will rigorously analyze either a 20 line poem or a short story paragraph.

paper 2: idea and theme, 25%

Using textual analysis, this 4-6 page paper will argue the main idea or theme of a work of literature.

paper 3: critical summary or staged reading, 5%

Depending on which option one selects, the 3 page critical summary paper will review the scholarly criticism on a work of literature or the 3 page staged reading paper will discuss the acting choices behind the staged reading of a 5 minute scene.

paper 4: research, 30%

The 6-8 page research paper will research and interpret an issue in a work of literature.


Course Policies


Class Preparation and Participation

I expect you to come to class having read, annotated, and reviewed the assigned reading. Moreover, you should prepare at least two comments and two questions for each reading. We're going to be working with challenging texts; therefore, we'll all benefit from sharing our ideas and questions. If I feel that you're not participating because you're not keeping up with the reading, I will give a pop quiz.

Office Hours and Professor Email

I encourage you to stop by my office hours to discuss any aspect of the course, literature, or life. I'm happy to answer minor questions such as due dates over email, but I prefer face-to-face conversations for more substantive topics like papers and exams. Please use email etiquette.

GeorgiaVIEW and Student Email

We will be using GeorgiaVIEW for assignment upload and GCSU email for class communication (please do not send email inside GeorgiaVIEW). It is your responsibility to learn GeorgiaView as well as to check your university email for possible course related messages.

MLA Style

Formal assignments should adhere to the Modern Language Association (MLA) style. Formal papers and take-home exams require MLA style while in-class exams; discussion board responses, informal writing, and peer review may be informally formatted. One-third of a letter grade will be deducted from a formal paper or take-home exam for problems in each of the following three categories, for a possible one letter grade deduction total: 1) header, heading, and title, 2) margins, font, and line-spacing, and 3) quotation and citation format. Before you turn in a formal paper, make sure your work follows MLA style by using the checklist on the MLA style handout. I encourage students to use my MS Word template.


There will be a one letter final grade deduction for every absence beyond three days. Therefore, missing four class periods will result in a one letter final grade deduction and missing seven classes will result in automatic failure of the course. I suggest you use your three days both cautiously and wisely; and make sure you sign the attendance sheets. Habitual tardies, consistently leaving class early, texting, and surfing the internet will be treated as absences. Excuses like work, family, and scheduled doctor's appointments will be declined. The only acceptable excuses are death in one's immediate family and one's own medical emergency. If you participate in an extracurricular activity that you anticipate will cause you to miss class, I suggest you switch sections now. You can check your attendance online by looking for your course number and the last four digits of your student identification number.

Late Assignments

There will be a one letter assignment grade deduction per day (not class period) for any assignment that is turned in late. I sparingly give short extensions if you request one for a valid need; however you must make the request at least one day before the assignment is due. I will inform you via email if I cannot open an electronically submitted assignment; however, your assignment will be considered late until you submit it in a file I can open. I neither read nor grade assignments that are turned in more than five days late for whatever reason, be it extension or computer error. Failing to submit (or resubmit) an assignment that is worth 15% or more of the course grade within five days (not class periods) of its due date will result in automatic failure of the course. Failing to submit (or resubmit) a final exam or final paper within two days of its due date will result in automatic failure of the course.


Do not do it. The Honor Code defines plagiarism as "presenting as one's own work the words or ideas of an author or fellow student. Students should document quotes through quotation marks and footnotes or other accepted citation methods. Ignorance of these rules concerning plagiarism is not an excuse. When in doubt, students should seek clarification from the professor who made the assignment." Section 3.01 of the Academic Affairs Handbook elaborates other examples of academic dishonesty and outlines disciplinary procedures and appeals for academic misconduct. As plagiarism is not tolerated at GCSU, any student found guilty of willful plagiarism will fail the assignment and the course. Students must submit all formal papers to

Failure of the Course

There are three ways to fail the course: 1) failing to regularly attend class, 2) plagiarizing, 3) failing an assignment that is worth 15% or more of the course grade, be it from poor quality, lateness of submission, or a combination of poor quality and lateness. By contrast, students who regularly attend class, complete their work with academic integrity, and submit assignments on time will pass the course.


The last day to add a course is Wednesday, January 13. The last day to drop a course without fee penalty is Friday, January 15. The last day to withdraw without academic penalty (unless previously assigned an F by professor for absences) is Monday, March 8.

Assistance for Student Needs Related to Disability

If you have a disability as described by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 504, you may be eligible to receive accommodations to assist in programmatic and physical accessibility.  Disability Services, a unit of the GCSU Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity, can assist you in formulating a reasonable accommodation plan and in providing support in developing appropriate accommodations to ensure equal access to all GCSU programs and facilities. Course requirements will not be waived, but accommodations may assist you in meeting the requirements.  For documentation requirements and for additional information, we recommend that you contact Disability Services located in Maxwell Student Union at 478-445-5931 or 478-445-4233.

The Writing Center

The Writing Center is a free service available to all members of the university community. Consultants assist writers in the writing process, from conception and organization of compositions to revision to documentation of research. Located in Lanier Hall 209, the Center is open Monday through Friday. Call 445-3370 or email for more information.

Fire Drills

Fire drills will be conducted during the semester.  In the event of a fire alarm signal, students will exit the building in a quick and orderly manner through the nearest hallway exit.  Learn the floor plan and exits of the A & S Building.  Do not use elevators.  Crawl on the floor if you encounter heavy smoke.  Assist disabled persons and others if possible without endangering your own life.  Assemble for a head count on front lawn main campus.


Course Schedule


This schedule is subject to change, so check back in class and online for possible revisions.


Week 1
M, 1-11

Pavlova, 8 Poems (online)

W, 1-13

Schilb and Clifford, "What Is Literature? How and Why Does It Matter?" (3-16)

Carter, "The Company of Wolves" (1580-8)

Vonnegut, "Harrison Bergeron" (1512-8)

Week 2
M, 1-18

No Class: Martin Luther King Day

W, 1-20

Schilb and Clifford, "How to Read Closely" (16-32)

Bishop, "In the Waiting Room" (online)

Kinnell, "Another Night in the Ruins" (online)

O'Hara, "Meditations on an Emergency" (online)

Rich, "Diving into the Wreck" (online)

Rilke, "Archaic Torso of Apollo" (online)

Reading Journal Entry 1 Due

Week 3
M, 1-25

Paper 1 Prompt

Schilb and Clifford, "How to Write about Stories" (91-124)

Dubus, "The Killings" (1175-89)

Kureishi, "My Son, the Fanatic" (1319-27)

In Class Activity: Character, Conflict, Theme

W, 1-27

Schilb and Clifford, "How to Write about Poems" (125-48)

Ai, "True Love" (online)

Klug, "True Love" (online)

Olds, "True Love" (579-80)

Szymborska, "True Love" (577-8)

Warren, "True Love" (online)

In Class Activity: The Elements of Poetry

Reading Journal Entry 2 Due

Week 4
M, 2-1

Kafka, "In the Penal Colony" (979-98)

Gilman, "The Yellow Wallpaper" (924-49)

Reading Journal Entry 3 Due

MLA Style

W, 2-3

in class writing time: bring your laptops to finish and revise your first drafts

Paper 1 Draft 1 Due

Week 5
M, 2-8

Paper 1 Peer Response Due (Groups 1, 2, and 3)

W, 2-10

Paper 1 Peer Response Due (Groups 4, 5, and 6)

Week 6

M, 2-15

Schilb and Clifford, "The Writing Process" (59-90)

Stafford, "Travelling through the Dark" (1519-10)

Burnside, "Penitence" (1521-2)

Wrigley, "Highway 12, Just East of Paradise, Idaho" (1522-3)

Tate, "Thinking Ahead to Possible Options and a Worst-Case Scenario" (1524-5)

Goodman, "Traveling through the Dark (2005)" (1525-6)

In Class Activity: Revising Your Thesis

W, 2-17

Oates, "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" (1367-80)

Updike, "A & P" (600-6)

Week 7
M, 2-22

in-class writing time

Paper 1 Draft 2 Due

W, 2-24

Boyle, "The Love of My Life" (528-41)

Cheever, "The Swimmer" (1459-68)

Schilb and Clifford, "How to Make Arguments about Literature" (33-58)

In Class Activity: Making Arguments about Literature

Week 8
M, 3-1

Carruth, "The Asylum" (online)

Snodgrass, "Heart's Needle" (online)

In Class Activity: Reading a Long Poem

W, 3-3

Ostriker, "The Book of Life" (online)

Rich, "Twenty-One Love Poems" (online)

Week 9
M, 3-8

Diaz, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (1-75)

In Class Activity: Beginning to Read a Novel

In Class Activity: Brainstorming Paper 2

W, 3-10

Diaz (76-166)

In Class Activity: Composing a Thesis and/or Outline for Paper 2

Week 10
M, 3-15

Diaz (167-262)

W, 3-17

Diaz (263-335)

Paper 2 Draft 1 Due

Week 11
M, 3-22

No Class: Spring Break

W, 3-24

No Class: Spring Break

Week 12
M, 3-29

Paper 2 Peer Response Due (Groups 1, 2, and 3)

W, 3-31

Paper 2 Peer Response Due (Groups 4, 5, and 6)

Week 13
M, 4-5

Sophocles, Antigone (1274-1314)

W, 4-7

Sophocles, continued

Schilb and Clifford, "How to Write about Plays" (149-67)

In Class Activity: Brainstorming a Research Paper Topic

Paper 2 Draft 2 Due

Week 14
M, 4-12

Sophocles, concluded

Literary Research Methods

In Class Activity: Finding Scholarly Criticism

W, 4-14

Norman, 'night, Mother (1527-64)

Schilb and Clifford, "How to Write a Research Paper" (190-220)

In Class Activity: Rationalizing Suicide

Week 15
M, 4-19

Norman, continued

MLA Citation Style

W, 4-21

Norman, concluded

Week 16
M, 4-26

Staged Readings and In-Class Writing Time for Paper 3

***Bring your laptops for course evaluations

W, 4-28

No Class: Optional Individual Conferences

Paper 3 Due

W, 5-5

Paper 4 Due by 2:00PM for Section 06 MW 2:00-3:15PM

F, 5-7

Paper 4 Due by 2:00PM for Section 07 MW 3:30-4:45PM