College Writing II sections 217 & 220 Spring 2006 Syllabus

Dr. Bridget Marshall:

Office Hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays 12:30 to 1:45 in O’Leary 414 and most other times by appointment.    E-mail me or call my office to set up a time to meet with me.
Office Phone: 978-934-4179

Required Texts:

In College Writing II, we will build on the skills you have learned in College Writing I.  We will read, think about, discuss, and write about sophisticated texts and ideas, developing your analytic and interpretive skills.  Although our readings will be of the sort that you would expect from an English class (short stories, plays, poems), the skills of reading, interpreting, discussing, and writing that we will hone are ones that are useful in every discipline and every career.

There are six major essays for this class, each with multiple drafts.  This is a total of approximately 25 pages of writing with 250 words per page.  You will be required to share your drafts and final essays with peers in the class.  Here is a general outline of the essay assignments:

#1            Short Stories: Analysis of any short story we’ve read so far           
#2            Drama: Analysis & Performance Review of Intimate Apparel
#3            Substantial Revision: Revise one essay completed so far
#4            In-Class essay exam: Covers all readings in the class so far
#5            Poems:  Analysis of any poem(s) we’ve read so far
#6             Substantial Revision: Revise one essay (including an essay exam question) not
       previously revised

All of these essays will involve multiple drafts.  There is a draft due (in class and/or in conference) at least once before the final paper is due.  It is to your benefit to have your draft as advanced as possible so that you can get thoughtful response from your peers and me.  Essay #3 and Essay #6 are called “Substantial Revisions.”  For these essays, you will take a previous essay that received a grade and work to develop it – to change and revise it substantially.  The “Substantial Revision” assignments will involve much more than just cosmetic revisions like copy-editing and fixing grammar.  In the Substantial Revisions, I will be looking for expanded thinking and writing, typically involving the incorporation of a research source.  The revised essays will not erase the original essay grades, but the revisions will be weighted more heavily in the calculation of the final grade. 

Class Requirements: 



Evaluation and Grading:  Grading writing is my least favorite aspect of the course, however, grades are necessary, not only to the University, but also in many cases in order to motivate students.  Here is some general information about what is graded and how I tabulate a final grade:

Essay 1 (Stories):  10%
Essay 2 (Drama): 10%
Essay 3 (Revision): 20%
Essay 4 (Exam): 10%
Essay 5 (Poetry):  10%
Essay 6 (Revision): 20%
Classroom Citizenship: 10%
Short Writings (one-pagers) and in-class writing: 10%


In accordance with University policy and the ADA, I will provide accommodation for students with documented disabilities.  If you have a disability, please contact the Office of Disability Services: McGauvran 363, phone: (978) 934-4338 as soon as possible.  They will contact me regarding effective accommodations.  In order to speed up this process, you can also let me know in person or via e-mail.  This documentation is confidential.

Semester Schedule

Below you will find a preliminary outline for the semester.  If you miss a class, you are still responsible for what was due on the day(s) you missed and on the day you return, so ALWAYS consult the syllabus (or a classmate, or me) if you have missed or will miss a class.  If the University closes and class is cancelled, keep reading and writing; we will attempt to cover both class sessions’ materials on the day we return.


Reading and Writing DUE IN CLASS on the day listed

Tuesday 24 January

First meeting: “The Story of an Hour”
In-class essay writing; MLA style for literary citations

Thursday 26 January

Reading: “How Do You Read Literature?” xii - xxiv; “Everyday Use” (Walker) 329 - 338
Writing: Group 1: 1 page (on the story)

Tuesday 31 January

Reading: “What Are Stories?” pages 3 – 21; “The Yellow Wallpaper” (Gilman) 110 - 127
Writing: Group 2: 1 page (on the story)

Thursday 2 February

Reading: “A Rose for Emily” (Faulkner) 93 - 102
Writing: Group 3: 1 page (on one story)

Tuesday 7 February

Reading: “I Stand Here Ironing” (Olsen) 274 - 282
Writing: Draft of Essay 1 (on any short story we’ve read)

Thursday 9 February

Reading:  “Hills Like White Elephants” (Hemingway) 142 - 147
Writing: Final of Essay 1

Tuesday 14 February 

Reading:  Trifles (Glaspell) 949 - 964
Writing: Group 1: 1 page

Thursday 16 February

Reading: Intimate Apparel (Nottage) 1 - 23
Writing: Group 2: 1 page

Tuesday 21 February

No Class (University Monday)

Thursday 23 February

Reading:  Intimate Apparel (Nottage) 24 - end
Writing: Group 3: 1 page

Tuesday 28 February

You must have seen the Merrimack Rep performance by this date.
Writing: Draft of Essay 2 (Performance Review)

Thursday 2 March

Re-Reading: Intimate Apparel (review the full text of the play)
Writing: Final of Essay 2

Tuesday 7 March

Reading:  Introductory matter on poetry 365 – 394
Writing: Group 1: 1 page (choose one of the poems included in the reading)

Thursday 9 March

Reading: Anne Bradstreet poems 419 – 421; William Blake poems 415 – 419; Emily Dickinson poems 438 – 441
Writing: Group 2: 1 page

March 14/16

No Class: Spring Break

Tuesday 21 March

Reading: Robert Frost poems 461 – 473; Gwendolyn Brooks poems 421 – 424; William Carlos Williams poems 585 - 587
Writing: Group 3: 1 page
Poetry Presentation groups will be assigned today

Thursday 23 March

No Class: Required Conferences on Draft of Essay 3 [Revision of essay 1 or 2]
On your own: read poems, meet/talk with your presentation group

Tuesday 28 March

No Class: Required Conferences on Draft of Essay 3 [Revision of essay 1 or 2]
On your own: read poems, meet/talk with your presentation group



Reading and Writing DUE IN CLASS on the day listed

Thursday 30 March

Reading: Rita Dove poems 449 – 451
Writing: Bring your most-developed Draft of Essay 3 for peer response
Group Assignment: bring a list of 5 possible poems to explicate/perform

Tuesday 4 April

Writing: Final Essay 3 Due: [Revision of either essay 1 or 2]
In-class discussion of how to do poetry explication/performance group project; how to do an in-class essay exam

Thursday 6 April

Reading: Browning poems (both Elizabeth & Robert) 424 – 427; Carolyn Forche poem 460 – 461; Ginsberg poem 474 – 475
Writing: bring 3 good essay questions that you think should be on the test.

Tuesday 11 April

Essay 4: In-Class essay exam on texts read up to this point

Thursday 13 April

Class Cancelled for work on group poetry projects.  Organize a time to meet with your group.

Tuesday 18 April

Presentation of group poetry projects.  10-minute presentations from each group explicating and/or performing an unassigned poem from the textbook.

Thursday 20 April

Reading:  Langston Hughes poems 502 - 505
Writing: Draft of Essay 5: Poetry

Tuesday 25 April

Reading: “The Things They Carried” (O’Brien) 226 - 244

Thursday 27 April

Reading: Leon Stokesbury poem 575 - 576
Writing: Final Essay 5

Tuesday 2

No class: CONFERENCES: bring a draft of Essay 6: A revision of any previous essay; complete peer response on your own.

Thursday 4

No class: CONFERENCES: bring a draft of Essay 6: A revision of any previous essay; complete peer response on your own.

Tuesday 9

Last Day of Class
Writing: Bring Draft of Essay 6: A revision of any previously un-revised essay

Thursday 11 May

No Class: Friday Schedule

Final Exam date (as scheduled)

Final Essay 6 due at final exam time, to be scheduled by the Registrar.

About Academic Honesty

All University policies on plagiarism apply to all writing assignments in this course.  If you plagiarize an assignment, you will receive an “F” for the course, and you are subject to other discipline (including expulsion from the University) at the discretion of the instructor and the University.  Here is the University’s definition of plagiarism, as found in the Academic Rules & Regulations, available online at
Plagiarism is defined as:

Unintentional plagiarism is still plagiarism.  You must cite all sources that you use, including online sources.  Also, remember that “using” a source includes DIRECTLY QUOTING, PARAPHRASING, AND USING IDEAS from any source.  There is nothing wrong with “getting help” from other writers, just be sure to acknowledge it by using quotation marks or author/page citation appropriately.  Please take the time to give proper credit to the work of other authors.  It is a matter of respect – for yourself, for other authors, for your classmates, and for me.

I know that it is easy to find information and indeed whole papers on the internet.  You should know that it is also easy for me to find these sources.  If I suspect you’ve done this, I will take the time to find the source, and there is every likelihood you will be caught.  Please don’t waste your time or mine by plagiarizing a paper.  If you’re having difficulty with a writing assignment, please talk to me before the day it is due.  Please, do not make the decision to plagiarize a paper.  It is always better to turn in an assignment late – or even not turn one in at all – than to turn in a plagiarized paper, for which you will fail the entire course.

Some Final Words of Advice:

Come to class prepared.  Bring the course text every day.  Bring a draft – a printed, readable copy – on days when writing is due.

Because there is writing due most days, you need to work hard to keep up with it.  Sometimes student schedules lead one to take some time off with the expectation of getting back to it later.  This is a very bad idea for this course especially, since the multiple drafts, in-class peer response, and comments from me will happen on a pretty tight timeline.  I urge you now – at the beginning of the semester – to set aside regular (ideally, daily) time to read and write for this course.  Developing good study habits now will serve you well as we get to the busiest time of the semester, when you have longer papers due for me, not to mention the lab reports, exams, and other obligations to all of your courses.

Save everything you write for this class.  When I collect a paper, I expect you to turn in all drafts, short assignments, and peer response work associated with this essay.  On occasion, I will ask you for an electronic copy of your essay, so be sure to keep all essays saved on your computer, and ideally on a backup disk or the University’s system.  Practice good organization and save everything.

Back up your computer files by saving to a disk, burning a CD, saving to the University network, or another safe and secure source.  You can even e-mail papers to yourself.  Whatever you do, keep your backups up to date.  This is good advice for all of your academic work, not just the writing you do for this course.  Computers break, get stolen, get locked in cars and dorm rooms, and are otherwise unreliable.  You are responsible for backing up your system.  Please do it.