English 10: Intro to Literature Syllabus

From UCSB English Department Knowledge Base
Jump to: navigation, search

Welcome to the English Department Knowledge Base at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
The EDKB Wiki is a database that makes available the various interests, talents, and resources of the English Department community. See the Main Page to learn more about the EDKB. The wiki does not offer information on current course offerings, nor is it a comprehensive archive of materials related to all past courses. Visit the English Department home page for this type of information.

English 10 – Introduction to Literature

Summer 2006

Liberty Stanavage


Schedule and Instructor Contact Info

Office Hours: T 4-5 p.m., W 4-5 p.m., or by appointment

Office: South Hall 3432 E

Email: lstanavage@umail.ucsb.edu

Mailbox: South Hall SH 2623

Telephone numbers:

  • cell 805-259-5134
  • office 805-893-2613 (messages only)

Class Times: M-R 5:35 – 6:55 p.m.

Class Location: HSSB 1231

Texts and Materials


  • Kennedy, X.J. and Dana Gioia. Backpack Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama. Longman; NY, 2006.


  • Kennedy, X.J., Dana Gioia, and Mark Bauerlein. Handbook of Literary Terms: Literature, Language, Theory. Longman, NY, 2005.


While to many people, literary criticism seems to function as a smokescreen for questionable or unsupported thinking, this is not actually its purpose. We will be working on methods to keep your writing and analysis from resembling that described here by Calvin (writing that often seems superficially to be arguing some deeper point, but that fails to maintain clarity, define its terms, or to make a concrete argument.) Specifically, this course will focus on preparing you to assume an active or participatory role in the literary community by making you familiar with the conventions, terminology and expectations of the study of literature. Students will learn how to clearly and effectively communicate ideas and intuitions/feelings about the literature you read for the course. The course's overall intent is to encourage students to formulate their own arguments about the aesthetic, political, and/or cognitive value of literature. In very simple terms, students should leave this course with the ability to:

a) read literature "actively" (i.e. read and reread texts slowly, ask appropriate questions, research unfamiliar textual references, take notes recording a set of impressions in a reading log or in the margins of the text);

b) analyze literature "logically" (i.e. compare and contrast the use of literary devices, make meaningful connections between references in the text or between texts written by different authors);

c) write about literature "critically" (i.e. develop interesting claims, make arguable points, attempt to answer a set of questions raised during the reading process, understand and apply theoretical approaches, provide comprehensive commentary on ambiguous meanings, TAKE RISKS!!!).

Course Requirements


More than two unexcused absences will result in a penalty. Repeated unexcused absences will result in failing the course. You must arrive, prepared, to class on time and stay for the class period—two late arrivals or two early departures equal one absence. Be aware that most in-class assignments cannot be made up. Repeated excused absences will need to be made up through additional conferences during my office hours.

Please notify me in advance if any circumstances will keep you from meeting your attendance or other requirements.

Class Participation

Your active participation is necessary for this course to function. This means that you are expected to attend class, do the required reading as assigned for each class meeting and other assignments, and to participate in class discussion. Lack of preparation or participation will affect your course grade. All course work must be turned in to receive a passing grade.

Late work is not acceptable; do not ask. Early work is encouraged.


The breakdown for course grades will be as follows:

  • Quizzes and Short Assignments: 10%
  • Class participation: 10%
  • Essay 1: 25%
  • Essay 2: 25%
  • Final Exam: 30%

Quizzes and In-class writing ... 10%:

There will be a number of "surprise" quizzes that will involve in-class writing. These quizzes will test for basic reading comprehension (i.e. your ability to identify the text's main characters, basic themes, key moments in terms of the plot, etc.), or for key terms that we have discussed, but they will sometimes also ask for a "critical" response to a passage or to the set of works we are reading for that day.

Class Participation ... 10%:

You are required to keep up with daily reading assignments and to come to class prepared to contribute to class discussions. If you know yourself to be particularly shy in group settings, you MUST still contribute to discussion by taking advantage of alternative forms of communication (e.g. via email or by submitting reading logs).

Essays 1 and 2 ... 25% each:

For these essays, I will assign specific topics on our readings. You are expected to come up with and argue an original, argumentative claim on these topics. Papers should conform to MLA style standards. Deviations from this format will result in a lowered grade.

Final ... 30%: For the final you will be expected to identify and interpret - using short-answer form - various passages from the literature we will have covered up until the exam. The final will also ask you to identify important literary terms and other concepts discussed in lecture. There will also be a short essay section on the readings from the last two weeks of class.

Revision policy:

Essay #1 may be revised with instructor consent, granted during an individual meeting. Revisions are due one week after having received the original grade. Revisions must include: a brief defense of your reasons for revising, a detailed plan for revision, your revised essay, and the original graded essay – all of which must be typed. Only grades of C+ and below are eligible for revision. Grades may not increase more than one full letter grade.

A Note On Discussion:

In this course, you are required to treat each other with respect. Disagreement is natural and voicing different opinions is vital to conducting an effective discussion. However, rudeness and disrespect for your peers will not be tolerated and will result in you being dropped from the section. In addition, I expect you to turn off or silence cell phones, pagers, and other forms of electronic communication.


Using another’s ideas or language without acknowledging the source or passing off another’s ideas or language as your own is plagiarism and will not be tolerated. Plagiarism (or any other form of cheating) will earn you a failing grade in this course and will be reported to the Dean of Students Office for possible additional disciplinary action. Note: Students often plagiarize without intending to because they are unsure about how to cite sources. Plagiarism by accident is still plagiarism (and will be punished as such), so please feel free to come see me if you are unsure about how to cite sources.

(For a detailed description of the University policies regarding academic misconduct please see this helpful website put together by Professor Harry N. Nelson from High Energy Physics: http://hep.ucsb.edu/people/hnn/conduct/disq.html#over ).

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment or assault is unacceptable in this classroom or the broader environs of the University. Harassment of any kind is incompatible with the University's commitments to excellence and to respect for all individuals. If you are the target of sexual harassment or assault, please report it, either to me, or to one of the following resources:

Paula Rudolph, Ph.D.

Sexual Harassment Complaint Officer

2121 Cheadle Hall


The Women's Center

Building 434



Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center

111 N. Milpas

Santa Barbara, CA

(805) 963-6832


24 hr hotline: (805) 564-3696

Disabled Students Policy

If you are a student with a disability and would like to see me to discuss special academic accommodations, please contact me during my office hours.

Important Dates

  • Monday 8/07: Instruction begins
  • Monday 8/21: Essay #1 Due
  • Monday 9/4: Labor Day- No Class
  • Tuesday 9/5: Essay #2 Due
  • Thursday 9/14: Final Exam

This syllabus and all dates subject to change by instructor.

Personal tools
Reports from the Field
Message Boards