English 1102: English Composition II, Spring 2012

Section 13: MW 2:00-3:15PM, Arts & Sciences 150

Section 10: MW 3:30-4:45PM, Arts & Sciences 150



Dr. Alex E. Blazer


Office Hours: MW 4:55-5:25PM A&S 330, T 1:00-1:45PM A&S 330, and R 1:00-1:45PM Blackbird


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 novel, Gary Shteyngart's Super Sad True Love Story and a graphic novel, Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá's Daytripper. Finally, we will learn methods for examining drama. We will journey through the entire writing process, from 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 informal responses; peer responses; a drafted, peer reviewed, and revised close reading paper; a drafted, peer reviewed, and revised paper arguing a work of literature's significance; a group presentation on 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

Bá and Moon, Daytripper

McMahan, ed. Literature and the Writing Process, 9th ed.

Lunsford, Easy Writer, 4th ed.

Shteyngart, Super Sad True Love Story

required (online)

supplemental works of literature


Assignments and Grade Distribution


informal and peer responses, 5%

Informal responses will explore literature and and how it applies to life; and peer responses will review fellow student papers.

paper 1 close reading, 20%

The 4-5 page drafted, peer reviewed, and revised close reading will rigorously analyze either a 20 line poem or a short story paragraph.

paper 2 significance, 30%

Using textual analysis, this 5-6 page drafted, peer reviewed, and revised significance paper will argue a work of literature's aesthetic, cultural, and/or philosophical importance.

paper 3 research, 35%

The 6-8 page drafted, peer reviewed, and revised research paper will research and interpret an issue in a work of literature.

group project, 10%

Groups of 3-4 will choose a work of literature, compile a 12-16 source annotated bibliography of literary criticism on the text, write a 4-6 page paper summarizing the literary debate on the text, and share their findings with the class in a 20 minute presentation.


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 quizzes.

Office Hours and Email

I encourage you to stop by my office hours to discuss any aspect of the course. 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 etiquette in both email and in person.


We will be using GeorgiaVIEW and TurnItIn for assignments. Check your university email for course-related messages. Use an online backup or cloud storage service such as Dropbox to save your work.


Any student who misses seven or more classes for any reason (excused or unexcused) will automatically failure of the course. There will be a one letter final grade deduction for every unexcused absence beyond three. 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. Unexcused absences include work, family obligations, and scheduled doctor's appointments. Excused absences include a death in one's immediate family, one's own medical emergency, religious observance, and participation in a college-sponsored activity. If you have a medical condition or an extracurricular activity that you anticipate will cause you to miss more than four days of class, I suggest you drop this section or risk failure. You can check your attendance online. A note about religious observances: Students are permitted to miss class in observance of religious holidays and other activities observed by a religious group of which the student is a member without academic penalty. Exercising of one's rights under this policy is subject to the GC Honor Code. Students who miss class in observance of a religious holiday or event are required to make up the coursework missed as a result from the absence. The nature of the make-up assignments and the deadline for completion of such assignments are at the sole discretion of the instructor. Failure to follow the prescribed procedures voids all student rights under this policy. The full policy and prescribed procedures can be found here.

MLA Style and Length Requirements

While in-class exams, discussion board responses, informal/journal writing, and peer review may be informally formatted, formal assignments and take-home exams must adhere to the Modern Language Association (MLA) style. 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. A formal paper or take-home exam will be penalized one-third of a letter grade if it does not end at least halfway down on the minimum page length while implementing 12 pt Times New Roman font, double-spacing, and 1" margins. Each additional page short of the minimum requirement will result in an a one-third letter grade penalty. 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.

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 give short extensions if you request one for a valid need 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. Failing to submit an assignment that is worth 15% or more of the course grade within a five days of its due date will result in automatic failure of the course. Failing to submit a final exam or final paper within two days of its due date will result in automatic failure of the course.

Academic Honesty

The integrity of students and their written and oral work is a critical component of the academic process. 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." The submission of another's work as one's own is plagiarism and will be dealt with using the procedures outlined in the Undergraduate Catalog. Allowing another student to copy one’s own work is considered cheating. As plagiarism is not tolerated at GCSU, any student found guilty of willful plagiarism or dishonesty will fail the assignment and the course. This course uses plagiarism prevention technology, The papers may be retained by the service for the sole purpose of checking for plagiarized content in future student submissions.

Passing or Failing 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.

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 Lanier Hall 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 annually. In the event of a fire alarm, students will exit the building in a quick and orderly manner through the nearest hallway exit. Learn the floor plan and exits of the building. Do not use elevators. If you encounter heavy smoke, crawl on the floor so as to gain fresh air. Assist disabled persons and others if possible without endangering your own life. Assemble for a head count on the front lawn of main campus or other designated assembly area. For more information on other emergencies, click here.

Student Opinion Surveys

Given the technological sophistication of Georgia College students, the student opinion survey is being delivered through an online process. Your constructive feedback plays an indispensable role in shaping quality education at Georgia College. All responses are completely confidential and your name is not stored with your responses in any way. In addition, instructors will not see any results of the opinion survey until after final grades are submitted to the University. An invitation to complete the online opinion survey is distributed to students near the end of the semester. Your participation in this very important process is greatly appreciated.


Course Schedule


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

Typically, we'll read 5 poems or 2 short stories per day in the first 7 weeks; however, we will not always be able to discuss every selection in class.


Week 1
M, 1-9

Literature Survey

Stallings, 3 Poems ("Epic Simile," "First Miracle," and "After a Greek Proverb")

W, 1-11

Boyle, "The Love of My Life" (McMahan 380-92)

Oates, "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" (McMahan 208-24)

McMahan, Ch6 How Do I Read Short Fiction? (McMahan 109-114)

Week 2
M, 1-16

No Class: Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday

W, 1-18

Baraka, "Biography" (McMahan 640-1)

Browning, "My Last Duchess" (McMahan 670-1)

Cummings, "pity this busy monster,manunkind" (McMahan 609)

Olds, "Sex without Love" (McMahan 645)

Piercy, "Barbie Doll" (McMahan 642-3)

McMahan, Ch12 How Do I Read Poetry? (McMahan 461-4)

McMahan, Ch1 The Prewriting Process (McMahan 3-17)

In Class Activity: Analysis and Synthesis

Week 3
M, 1-23

Achebe, "Dead Man's Path" (McMahan 345-47)

Erdrich, "The Red Convertible" (McMahan 394-99)

McMahan, Ch7 Writing about Structure (McMahan 115-33)

Informal Writing 1 Due

W, 1-25

2 McMahan stories, 2:00 selections | 3:30 selections

McMahan, Ch8 Writing about Imagery and Symbolism (McMahan 134-57)

McMahan, Ch2 The Writing Process (McMahan 18-31)

In Class Activity: The Most Significant Passages

Week 4
M, 1-30

5 McMahan poems, 2:00 selections | 3:30 selections

McMahan, Ch13 Writing about Persona and Tone (McMahan 465-82)

Developing Your Thesis

W, 2-1

2 Best 2011 stories, 2:00 selections | 3:30 selections

McMahan, Ch9 Writing about Point of View (McMahan 158-70)

McMahan, Ch3 Writing a Convincing Argument (McMahan 32-47)

MLA Style Formatting and Quoting

In Class Activity: Inventing the Close Reading Paper

Week 5
M, 2-6

5 Best 2011 poems, 2:00 selections | 3:30 selections

McMahan, Ch14 Writing about Poetic Language (McMahan 483-500)

Paper 1 Close Reading Draft 1 Due

W, 2-8

2 Best 2011 stories, 2:00 selections | 3:30 selections

McMahan, Ch10 Writing about Setting and Atmosphere (McMahan 171-87)

Informal Writing 3 Setting & Theme

Week 6

M, 2-13

Paper 1 Peer Response (Groups 1-3)

W, 2-15

Paper 1 Peer Response (Groups 4-6)

Week 7
M, 2-20

5 Best 2011 poems, 2:00 selections | 3:30 selections

McMahan, Ch15 Writing about Poetic Form (McMahan 501-24)

McMahan, Ch4 The Rewriting Process (McMahan 48-70)

W, 2-22

Shteyngart, Super Sad True Love Story (Shteyngart 1-98)

McMahan, Ch11 Writing about Theme (McMahan 188-207)

In Class Activity: Tentative Satirical Themes

Informal Writing 4 Super Sad Quiz

Week 8
M, 2-27

Shteyngart, continued (Shteyngart 98-203)

In Class Activity: "The pogrom within and the pogrom without"

Paper 1 Close Reading Draft 2 Due

W, 2-29

Shteyngart, concluded (Shteyngart 204-334)

Recommended: Fresh Air (2 Aug. 2010)

In Class Activity: Inventing the Significance Paper

Informal Writing 4 Another Super Sad Quiz

Week 9

M, 3-5

Moon and Bá, Daytripper, Chapters One-Six (Moon and Bá 1-152)

W, 3-7

Moon and Bá, Daytripper, Chapters Seven-Ten (Moon and Bá 153-256)

Recommended: Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá's Blog

Paper 2 Significance Draft 1 Due

Week 10
M, 3-12

Arrabal, "Picnic on the Battlefield" (McMahan 1095-1104)

Valdez, "Los Vendidos" (McMahan 1110-7)

Ives, "Sure Thing" (McMahan 1118-28)

McMahan, Ch16 How Do I Read a Play? (McMahan 715-9)

Group Project Sign Up

Informal Writing 6 Short Plays Quiz

W, 3-14

Paper 2 Peer Response

Week 11
M, 3-19

Shakespeare, Othello (McMahan 889-945), 2:00 selections | 3:30 selections

McMahan, Ch17 Writing about Dramatic Structure (McMahan 720-68) [don't read Antigone]

In Class Activity: The Agon of Othello

W, 3-21

Shakespeare, Othello (McMahan 945-975)

McMahan, Ch18 Writing about Character (McMahan 769-26) [don't read Fences until after spring break]

Literary Research Methods

Group Project Topic Due

Informal Writing 7 Othello Quiz

Paper 2 Significance Draft 2 Due

Week 12
M, 3-26

No Class: Spring Break

W, 3-28

No Class: Spring Break

Week 13
M, 4-2

Wilson, Fences (McMahon 770-817), 2:00 selections | 3:30 selections

McMahan, Ch19 Writing about Culture (McMahan 827-88) [don't read M. Butterfly]

In Class Activity: Pretending to Present a Play

Group Project Plan and Bibliography Due

W, 4-4

Wilson, concluded

McMahan, Ch5 Research Writing (McMahan 71-106)

Informal Writing 8 Annotating an Article

Week 14
M, 4-9

Research Groupwork

Bibliography Resubmission Due

Groups 1-2 Conferences

W, 4-11

Research Groupwork

MLA Works Cited Format

Groups 3-4 Conferences

Week 15
M, 4-16

Research Groupwork

Optional Group Works Cited Page Due

Groups 5-6 Conferences

W, 4-18

Groups 1-2 Presentations

Week 16
M, 4-23

Groups 3-4 Presentations

W, 4-25

Groups 5-6 Presentations

Paper 3 Research Draft 1 Due

M, 4-30

Paper 3 Peer Response

W, 5-2

Paper 3 Research Draft 2 Due by 3:30PM