English 1102 Honors: English Composition II, Fall 2013

Section 07H: TR 2:00-3:15PM, Arts & Sciences 150




Dr. Alex E. Blazer


Office Hours: MTW 1:15-1:45PM Arts & Sciences 330, R 1:15-1:45PM 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, Stag's Leap by Sharon Olds; a novel, Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain; and a graphic memoir, Are You My Mother?: A Comic Drama by Alison Bechdel. Finally, we will examine the dramas Clybourne Park by Bruce Norris and Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller, the latter of which we will attend a performance. 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 (Amazon)

Bechdel, Are You My Mother?: A Comic Drama

Fountain, Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk

Gardner, Reading and Writing about Literature, 3rd ed.

Norris, Clybourne Park

Olds, Stag's Leap

Hacker, A Pocket Style Manual, 6th ed.

required (GeorgiaVIEW)

course packet


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 personal or cultural.

paper 3 research, 35%

The 7-9 page drafted, peer reviewed, and revised research paper will research and interpret an issue in a work of literature.

group project, 10%

Groups of 4-5 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

We're going to be working with challenging texts; therefore, we'll all benefit from sharing our ideas and questions. I expect you to come to class having read, annotated, and reviewed the assigned reading. To make sure your reading is active, I suggest you also prepare a few comments and questions for each selection. If I feel that the class is not participating because it's not keeping up with the reading, I will give pop quizzes.

Office Hours and Email

I encourage you to visit my office hours to discuss any aspect of the course. I am 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 for assignment submission and electronic course reserves. Check your university email for course-related messages. Use an online backup or cloud storage service such as Dropbox to not only save but also archive versions of your work in case of personal computer calamities.


Because this liberal arts course values contemporaneous discussion over fixed lecture, regular attendance is required. Any student who misses seven or more classes for any reason (excused or unexcused) will automatically fail 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 family emergency, 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 religious observance policy can be found here. The university class attendance policy can be found here.

MLA Style and Length Requirements

Part of writing in a discipline is adhering to the field's style guide. While other disciplines use APA or Chicago style, literature and composition follows MLA style. In-class exams, discussion board responses, informal/journal writing, and peer review may be informally formatted; however, formal assignments and take-home exams must employ 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) margins, header, and heading, 2) font, font size, 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 (not including Works Cited page)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 additional one-third letter grade penalty. It is your responsibility to learn how to control your word-processing program. Before you turn in a formal paper, make sure your work follows MLA style by referring to the FAQ handout and using the MLA style checklist. I encourage students to use my templates that are preformatted to MLA style.

Late Assignments

We're all busy with multiple classes and commitments, and adhering to deadlines is critical for the smooth running of the course. 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. Because your completion of this course's major learning outcomes depends on the completion of pertinent assignments, 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; and submitting the same paper in two classes (recycling or double-dipping) is dishonest. As plagiarism is not tolerated at GCSU, any student found guilty of substantial, willful plagiarism or dishonesty will fail the assignment and the course. Here is how I have dealt with plagiarists in the past. This course uses plagiarism prevention technology from TurnItIn. 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 Library 228, 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

Week 1
T, 8-20

Dickman, "Black Ice" and "Sky" and "The Mysterious Heart," "Love," and "V"

R, 8-22

Bambara, "The Hammer Man"

Joyce, "Araby"

Gardner, "Introduction to Reading and Writing about Literature" and "The Role of Good Reading" (1-20)

Week 2
T, 8-27

Cirelli, "Dead Ass"

Dove, "Trayvon, Redux"

Kumanyakaa, "Facing It"

Moxley, "The Atrophy of Private Life"

Nezhukumatathil, "Are All Break-Up Poems Real?"

Gardner, "The Writing Process" (21-50)

R, 8-29

Olds, Stag's Leap (1-42)

Gardner, "Common Writing Assignments" (51-71)

In Class Activity: Analyzing a Book of Poetry

Informal Writing 1 Due

Week 3
T, 9-3

Olds, Stag's Leap (43-89)

Gardner, "Writing about Poems" (96-110)

Literary Analysis: Poetry

MLA Style

R, 9-5

Englander, "What We Talk about When We Talk about Anne Frank"

Pearlman, "Honeydew"

Gardner, "Writing about Stories" (72-95)

Literary Analysis: Fiction

Informal Writing 2 Due

Week 4
T, 9-10

Collins, "Delivery"

Joseph, "So Where Are We?"

Kocot, "Poem"

Orlen, "Where Do We Go after We Die"

Ruefle, "Middle School"

R, 9-12

Haigh, "Paramour"

Millhauser, "Miracle Polish"

Informal Writing 3 Due

Week 5
T, 9-17

Betts, "At the End of Life, a Secret"

Schwartz, "The Afterlife"

Seidel, "Rain"

Shippy, "Our Posthumous Lives"

Yezzi, "Minding Rites"

In Class Activity: The Significance of a Poem

R, 9-19

Writing Day: Bring Your Laptops

Paper 1 Draft 1 Close Reading Due

Week 6

T, 9-24

Paper 1 Peer Response Groups 1-3

R, 9-26

Paper 1 Peer Response Groups 4-5

Week 7
T, 10-1

Fountain, Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk (1-107)

Paper 1 Draft 2 Close Reading Due

R, 10-3

Fountain, Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk (108-216)

In Class Activity: The Cultural Evaluation of a Novel

Week 8
T, 10-8

Miller, Death of a Salesman (showing October 2-5 at 8:00PM and October 6 at 2:00PM in Russell Auditorium)

Gardner, "Writing about Plays" (111-29)

Informal Writing 4 Due

R, 10-10

Fountain, Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk (217-307)

Week 9
T, 10-15

No Class: Fall Break

R, 10-17

Writing Day: Bring Your Laptops

Paper 2 Draft 2 Significance Due

Week 10
T, 10-22

Group Project Sign Up

Paper 2 Peer Response

R, 10-24

Bechdel, Are You My Mother? (1-118)

Week 11
T, 10-29

Bechdel, Are You My Mother? (119-204)

Literary Research Methods

Paper 2 Draft 2 Significance Due

R, 10-31

Bechdel, Are You My Mother? (205-289)

Gardner, "Writing a Literary Research Paper" (130-165)

Group Topic Due

Week 12
T, 11-5

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead

Group Project Bibliography and Plan of Action Due

R, 11-7

No Class: Professor at Conference

Nardo, "Stoppard's Space Men: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern on Film"

Informal Writing 5 Due

Week 13
T, 11-12

Norris, Clybourne Park (1-100)

R, 11-14

Norris, Clybourne Park (101-210)

Week 14
T, 11-19

Group Conferences 1-3

R, 11-21

Group Conferences 4-5

Week 15
T, 11-26

Paper 3 Research Thesis, Outline, Peer Response Due

Group Presentation 1 Due

R, 11-28

No Class: Thanksgiving Holidays

Week 16
T, 12-3

Paper 3 Optional Draft and Peer Response Due

Group Presentations 2-3 Due

R, 12-5

Group Presentations 4-5 Due

T, 12-10

Paper 3 Research Due