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Course: English 201, Critical Composition

Winter Semester, 2012

Instructor: Emily Bradshaw
Office: McKay 103-A
Office hours: Monday 9:30-11 by appointment
Phone: (cell) 358-8373

Perspectives on Faith in Literature

The authors we will read this semester take up religion from the perspective of the sinner, the doubter, the preacher, and the believer.
As we analyze their take on belief and organized religion, we will have a chance to articulate some our own personal stories, realizing
that faith is a journey, and our stories on the way define how we see the world and the purpose of life. You will leave the class as
independent critical thinkers, who read texts insightfully and argue meaning analytically in discussion and writing. We will do indepth readings of texts as we try on different lenses for reading literature, using literary theories as tools for uncovering meaning. You
will improve your critical writing through written analyses of the literature, and through a process of revision, including peer review
sessions. As one of the major assignments of the course, you will do expanded research on one of our texts, going beyond our
classroom and adding your voice to the larger literary discussion. By the end of the journey, hopefully, you will have an enlarged
perspective of how we read in a context of culture.
Required Texts:
Hosseini, The Kite Runner
Miller, The Crucible
Martel, Life of Pi, Harcourt, Inc.
Robinson, Gilead
Other essays on Canvas.
Course Policies:
Come to class prepared and on time. This is a discussion course. For each class period, complete the reading and writing
assignments posted. To rely solely on summaries and digest forms of our readings is dishonest, and you end up cheating yourself.

Dont eat the pre-fab, cold, day-old cheeseburger meal, when the seven course gourmet feast is before you. You need to be in class for
discussion of literature, theory, and for peer review sessions, and the class needs your perspective as you participate in the discussion.
A silent observer will not get full participation points. Also, you may expect a quiz in the first five or ten minutes of each class period.
These cannot be made up. Also, missing more than four class periods is grounds for failing the course.
Turn in assignments at the beginning of class on the date they are due. Late assignments will not be accepted. No late work.
Print your papers the night before they are due to avoid printer catastrophes. Do NOT miss class to finish an assignment. It will not be
Bring your book to class. You will need to refer to your texts often. Bring your book! Underlining is part of engaging a text.
Your books should be well-marked with questions, comments, common themes, etc. If you choose to sell back your book at the end of
the semester, you can do so even if the book is marked.
Use of Technology. Use of laptops and phones during class is permitted for accessing readings only. However, you may use
your laptop during the group presentation, if you need it.
Dont Plagiarize. Using another persons work without giving them credit is grounds for failing the course. Expect a visit to the
standards board (see University policy on plagiarism). It is unethical, even if you dont mean to do it. You must be academically
responsible and conscientious in your writing. This is not to say you cannot engage others ideas. Its fine to bring in other sources.
Just give credit where credit is due. For citations, we use the 7th Edition of the MLA Handbook. You can find good examples of text
citations at the Purdue OWL website.
Your writing is fair game. Part of improving writing is looking at examples of others writing. Unless you specifically tell me
not to use your writing as an example, I assume that anything you write for this class is fair game. I use student writing to show good
examples of writing. But we will often read each others writing in workshops, so be prepared to have classmates work with you on
your writing.
Extra-Credit: I may give one ten-point opportunity for extra-credit, but do not count on extra credit to help you make up for past
Canvas. We will utilize this online grading and discussion program. You are responsible to check for announcements before
Other Resources and Concerns:
Special Needs. Brigham Young University-Hawai'i is committed to providing a working and learning atmosphere, which

reasonably accommodates qualified persons with disabilities. If you have any disability that may impair your ability to complete this
course successfully, please contact the students with Special Need Coordinator, Leilani A'una at 293-3518. Reasonable academic
accommodations are reviewed for all students who have qualified documented disabilities. If you need assistance or if you feel you
have been unlawfully discriminated against on the basis of disability, you may seek resolution through established grievance policy
and procedures. Contact the Human Resource Services at 780-8875.
Preventing Sexual Harassment. Title IX of the education amendments of 1972 prohibits sex discrimination against any
participant in an educational program or activity that receives federal funds, including Federal loans and grants. Title IX also covers
student-to-student sexual harassment. If you encounter unlawful sexual harassment or gender-based discrimination, please contact the
Human Resource Services at 780-8875 (24 hours).
4 Analysis Papers (100 each),


4 Short Personal Essays (25 each)


Research Paper (8-10 pages)

Topic Proposal (10)
List of 10 sources with summaries ( 20)
Outline and Consultation (20)
Draft (50 pts)
Revised Paper (100 pts)


Quizzes, Discussions, Class discussions, 20%

Group Reports, Reading Guides, Discussion Board,


Reading Guide. For each reading, I want you to engage the text. I will give you a reading guide of some kind. This is meant to make
you more accountable for your reading, and also to help prepare you to write your analysis papers. For the smaller essays, you will
complete a They say, I say assignment.
Analysis Paper Packets (4)
On the same day that your reading is due, you have a paper due. This includes an analysis paper, a reading guide, and (sometimes) a
Reading/Writing Center Evaluation form. Here are my instructions for the analysis paper: you are to write a one-page, single-spaced

analysis of the text, and hand in both a hard copy to me and a digital copy through Canvass Turn-it-in program. Its a good idea to
start out by brainstorming and coming up with an outline of ideas. You are required to visit the Reading/Writing Center as part of
your packet. Take with you the rubric form that I have prepared, and get feedback on specific areas.
Here are some of my expectations for you papers:
In the analysis paper, you will argue a specific thesis that not only (1) asserts what the authors point is, but (2) suggests HOW the
author makes that point.
Each paragraph should begin with a topic sentence, which asserts part of your thesis. At the end of the paragraph, wrap it up and
make a point that supports your thesis.
Paragraphs should build on one another.
Your final, concluding paragraph should sum up your argument and reassert your thesis. Your audience is other members of the class
and your instructor.
The essay should be grammatically clean, clearly written, and should allow your own voice to come through. Dont use outside
sources for these unless assigned to do so.
Use MLA format for in-text citations. For example, for a quote on page 64, you would write this: Quotation (64). Thats it. Include
book reference in correct MLA format at the bottom of the page.
Steer clear of plot retelling, teaching the moral of the story, or merely sharing superficial personal reflection in these analyses. You
are to look at the text with a critical eye, even from a specific critical perspective when possible. When you hand in the analysis, it
should be your best work, ready for comment and constructive criticism from classmates. The one-page limit is meant to force you to
be concise and direct in your argument. Please come see me if you need help.
Discussion boards and participation points
For every class period, you will have something due. It may be a discussion board post on a shorter essay that is assigned. Also, at the
beginning of each class, I will take roll or give a quiz. The quiz will generally be taken through canvas, so you must have your laptops
in class. These quizzes are generally worth 5-10 pts. You cannot make these up.
Group Author Project
You will sign up to introduce an assigned author to the class, and your goal is to introduce the author in a way that allows us to get
inside their mind and experience. Creatively plan a meaningful experience for the class which includes CLASS INVOLVEMENT. To

back up your creativity, you will also create a handout and present information on the novels social and historical context, the authors
life, and other works the author has written. Cite any sources you used at the bottom of the handout. You must use at least 5 sources.
Take about 20 minutes of class time.
Smaller research inquiries
You will be assigned to do some individual research of your own. The point of this is to familiarize you with library databases and
give you small encounters with research, which will prepare you for your research project. I expect you to use all of the following
databases, especially when researching cultures: Culturegram, World Factbook (by CIA), Encyclopedias, ProQuest, JSTOR, Ebsco,
LION (Literature Online), LRC, Acadeic Search Premier, Academic One File, Filmakers online, Films on Demand. Find them through
the alphabetical database list on the library home page. Assignments will be posted on Canvas.
Research Paper
You will research an issue related to faith in the world today. It would be great if you could use one of the novels as a focusing tool
and analyze it more in depth. However, during this short semester, I will also allow for research projects that do not touch the novels,
as long as they are related to the topic of faith. If you use one of the novels, you may analyze it from a specific critical viewpoint (e.g.
do a Marxist reading of a play, a psychological analysis of the relationships in one of the novels, a multicultural analysis of a novels
meaning, or a developmental analysis of a two contrasting characters, etc.). If you don not focus on one of our novels, then you must
make sure you narrow your topic considerably, since faith is a huge topic! All topic proposals must be approved by the instructor.
You will use at least 10 sources (at least 3 different types of sources), and cite your sources according to MLA style. The paper should
be 2000 words (roughly 8-10 pages). Because this is a larger project, it will be broken into these parts: (1) topic proposal email (2) list of
10 sources (3) annotated bibliography, (4) outline and individual consultation (5) draft, and (6) revised research paper. More
information will follow on the requirements of each portion. Reminder, you must cite any idea that is not your own, even if you only
paraphrase it in your paper. Also, you should not include sources on your works cited that you did not cite in your paper.
You are required to attend the finalno exceptions. This will be a comprehensive written final, in which you will be asked to answer
several essay questions, drawing from each of the texts weve read and using the theoretical and critical perspectives weve discussed.
A portion of your total points will be given to class participation, and I reserve the right to take points away from students who are
consistently late or who do not speak up in large and small group discussions.
This is a fluid course. Over the course of the semester, I reserve the right to change the syllabus and assignment schedule to fit the
needs of the class. This may alter the percentage weights given to certain assignments. If I cut an assignment do to lack of time, you
are subject to grading without that assignment figured in to the total.