English 1102 Honors: English Composition II, Fall 2016

Section 05H: TR 11:00-12:15PM, Bell Hall 340




Dr. Alex E. Blazer


Office Hours: TR 12:30-1:30 p.m. and 5:00-5:30 p.m., Arts & Sciences 330


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. As an Honors section, we will focus on a theme. What is literature, and what is existence?  How does literature reveal the core conflicts and truth of the self, and how does literature help readers to engage their beings in the world?  In this literature for composition course, we will learn how to critically think and analytically write by reading existentialist literature.  We will look at literature as a complex encounter among Self, Text, and World.  We will read poetry by Bishop, Rich, and Rilke; fiction by Carter, Dostoevsky, Kafka, and Sartre; drama by Beckett and Treadwell; and we will view films by Bergman, Linklater, and Tarkovsky. 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 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 or GCSU Bookstore)

Dostoevsky, Notes from Underground

Gardner and Diaz, Reading and Writing about Literature, 4th ed.

Sartre, Nausea

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 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. Here's how to calculate your course grade.


Course Policies



We will use the course site for the syllabus schedule and assignment prompts; supporting documents include an attendance record, a course grade calculation spreadsheet, FAQ, a GeorgiaVIEW walkthrough, a guide to literary analysis, a research methods guide, and paper templates. We will use GeorgiaVIEW for assignment submission and the course packet; if you experience problems with GeorgiaVIEW, immediately contact support. Check your university email for course-related messages. Use an online backup or cloud storage service 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 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. The university class attendance policy can be found here. You can check your attendance 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. Feel free to use these 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 failure of the course. Failing to submit a final exam or final paper within two days of its due date will result in 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 Undergraduate Catalog defines academic dishonesty as "Plagiarizing, including the submission of others’ ideas or papers (whether purchased, borrowed, or otherwise obtained) as one’s own When direct quotations are used in themes, essays, term papers, tests, book reviews, and other similar work, they must be indicated; and when the ideas of another are incorporated in any paper, they must be acknowledged, according to a style of documentation appropriate to the discipline" and "Submitting, if contrary to the rules of a course, work previously presented in another course," among other false representations. "As plagiarism is not tolerated at GCSU, "since the primary goal of education is to increase one's own knowledge," 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: failing to regularly attend class, plagiarizing, 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 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.

Additional Policies

Additional statements regarding the Religious Observance Policy, Assistance for Student Needs Related to Disability, Student Rating of Instruction Survey, Academic Honesty, and Fire Drills can be found here.


Course Schedule

Week 1

T, 8-22

Rilke, "The Panther," "Archaic Torso of Apollo," "Imaginary Career," and "Duration of Childhood" (GeorgiaVIEW)

R, 8-24

Hemingway, "The Killers" (GeorgiaVIEW)

Kafka, "A Hunger Artist" (GeorgiaVIEW)

Gardner and Diaz, "Introduction to Reading and Writing about Literature" (1-5) (GeorgiaVIEW)

Week 2

T, 8-29

Bishop, "The Man-Moth," "The Fish," and "In the Waiting Room" (GeorgiaVIEW)

Rich, "Diving into the Wreck," "Phenomenology of Anger," "Burning Oneself In," and "Burning Oneself Out" (GeorgiaVIEW)

Gardner and Diaz, "The Role of Good Reading" (6-24) (GeorgiaVIEW)

R, 8-31

Dostoevsky, Notes from Underground (1-60) (GeorgiaVIEW)

Gardner and Diaz, "The Writing Process" (25-54) (GeorgiaVIEW)

Informal Writing 1 Due

Week 3

T, 9-5

Dostoevsky, Notes from Underground (61-130)

Gardner and Diaz, "Common Writing Assignments" (55-75)

In Class Activity: From Thought to Action

R, 9-7

cummings, [but the other], [conversation with my friend is particularly], [rosetree,rosetree], [out of midsummer's blazing most not right], and [now winging selves sing sweetly, while ghosts(there] (GeorgiaVIEW)

Dickinson, [I'm nobody! Who are you?], [I felt a cleavage in my mind], [I cannot live with You—], [I have no life but this], [I felt a funeral in my brain] (GeorgiaVIEW)

Gardner and Diaz, "Writing about Poems" (100-14)

Reading, Analyzing, and Writing about Poetry

Informal Writing 2 Due

Week 4

T, 9-12

No Class: Hurricane Irma

R, 9-14

Rilke, The Duino Elegies 1-5 (GeorgiaVIEW)

Developing Your Thesis

In Class Activity: Analyzing a Book of Poetry

Informal Writing 3 Due

Week 5

T, 9-19

Rilke, The Duino Elegies 6-10 (GeorgiaVIEW)

MLA Style: Format and Quotations

R, 9-21

Writing Day: Bring Your Laptops

Paper 1 Draft 1 Close Reading Due

Week 6

T, 9-26

Paper 1 Peer Response Groups 1-2

R, 9-28

Paper 1 Peer Response Groups 3-4

Week 7

T, 10-3

In Class Activity: The Significance of a Work of Literature

Sartre, Nausea (1-92)

Gardner and Diaz, "Writing about Stories" (76-99)

Reading, Analyzing, and Writing about Fiction

R, 10-5

Sartre, Nausea (92-178)

In Class Activity: From Close Reading to Significance Theses

Paper 1 Draft 2 Close Reading Due

Week 8

T, 10-10

No Class: Fall Break

R, 10-12

Writing Day: Bring Your Laptops

Paper 2 Draft 1 Significance Due

Week 9

T, 10-17

Group Project Sign Up

Paper 2 Peer Response

R, 10-19

Beckett, Endgame and Act without Words (GeorgiaVIEW)

Gardner and Diaz, "Writing about Plays" (115-34)

Week 10

T, 10-24

Ionesco, The Chairs (GeorgiaVIEW)

Gardner and Diaz, "Writing a Literary Research Paper" (135-69)

Literary Research Methods

Paper 2 Draft 2 Significance Due

R, 10-26

Treadwell, Machinal, Episodes One-Five (GeorgiaVIEW)

Group Topic Due

Week 11

T, 10-31

Treadwell, Machinal, Episodes Six-Nine (GeorgiaVIEW)

Film Screening: Shame, 5:00-6:45 p.m., Arts & Sciences 274

(You may either attend this screening or obtain and watch the film on your own)

R, 11-2

Shame (Bergman, 103 minutes, GCSU Library)

Viewing, Analyzing, and Writing about Film

In Class Activity: Film Analysis

Group Working Bibliography and Plan of Action Due

Week 12

T, 11-7

Gardner and Diaz, "Literary Criticism and Literary Theory" (170-84)

Maxfield, "Bergman's Shame: A Dream of Punishment"

In Class Activity: Critical Approaches to Literature

Informal Writing 4 Due

R, 11-9

Film Screening: Stalker, Part 1, 11:00-12:15 p.m., Bell Hall 340

Film Screening: Stalker, Part 2, 5:00-6:45 p.m., Arts & Sciences 274

(You may either attend these sceenings or obtain and watch the film on your own)

Week 13

T, 11-14

Group Conferences

R, 11-16

Stalker (Tarkovsky, 161 minutes, GCSU Library, Amazon, Apple)

Burlacu, "The 'Zone' as Heterotopia in Andrei Tarkovsky's Stalker" (GeorgiaVIEW)

Riley, "Hauntology, Ruins, and the Failure of the Future in Andrei Tarkovsky's Stalker" (GeorgiaVIEW)

White, "Brakhage's Tarkovsky and Tarkovsky's Brakhage" (GeorgiaVIEW)

Pontara, "Beethoven Overcome: Romantic and Existentialist Utopia in Andrei Tarkovsky's Stalker" (GeorgiaVIEW)

Informal Writing 5 Due

Week 14

T, 11-21

Stalker, concluded

Optional Paper 3 Research Thesis, Outline, Peer Response Due

R, 11-23

No Class: Thanksgiving Holidays

Week 15

T, 11-28

Writing Day: Bring Your Laptops

Mandatory Paper 3 Research Draft Due

R, 11-30

Paper 3 Peer Response

Week 16

T, 12-5

Group Presentations 1-2 Due

R, 12-7

Group Presentations 3-4 Due


T, 12-12

Paper 3 Research Due