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Writing Assignments: Students will be required to write 4 short responses to the assigned readings (250-500 words). These responses will not be graded, but will be reviewed. Failure to turn them in at the end of class will result in the loss of credit for participation. Students who turn in all these responses in on time will receive a grade revision of one degree, i.e. from B+ to A-. Students who turn in 2 or less of the responses will receive a grade revision of minus one degree, i.e. from B to B-. You are encouraged to try out ideas for your longer papers in these.
You will also be required to write one 4-5 page paper (1250 word miniumum) and one 8-10 page paper (2500 word minimum). For both papers you may write on any topic you like, so long as you discuss an issue addressed in at least one of the assigned readings.
For each paper, choose a literary or film text (movies are texts) to analyze, making a point about its treatment of one or more issues relevant to gender identity or sexuality. You may work with the novel Sula or any literary text or film required for this class, but you may also choose another literary or film text to analyze. Use an approach informed by one or more of the theoretical texts assigned for this class, that is, anything in This Bridge Called My Back, Introducing the New Sexuality Studies, or the essays linked to on this syllabus. I require that you show you have read the assigned theoretical essays by responding to ideas in these readings that are relevant to your own arguments and discussing the authors' claims and support (or lack of it) for them.
Paper #1 does not require any sources other than these and is due on Tuesday, February 8; see the daily syllabus entry for more details. The second paper should have at least four sources, which may be from the assigned readings or from your own research. This paper is due on Tuesday, March 22; see the daily syllabus entry for more details. Please refer to my
Short Guide to Analyzing Texts and to the
Guide to Avoiding Plagiarism. for more information on how to do these assignments.
Think of each paper as an entry into an ongoing conversation about the text you have selected. Both papers may be expansions of one of your study question responses, but should still have all the features required in an academic paper.
Late Work: Late papers will not be marked down. However, late work may not be returned in time for you to discuss the paper with me or a tutor or to do a revision by the revision due date and this may very negatively impact your grade. You cannot turn in revisions for credit late, except with my written approval. You cannot turn in more than one paper in one week. Absolutely no late papers will be accepted for a grade after Tuesday, April 26.
Revision: Revisions are optional. Revision grades replace the original grades. Revisions of graded papers will be accepted for a grade change only if they are turned by the due dates on the syllabus. They must be accompanied by the marked and graded original. I will be happy to help you revise!
Notes on Revision:
Grading Rubric: You will be graded on a twelve point scale (A+=12, F=0). All graded work will have a grade on it when it is returned to you. If at any point you are confused about what your grade is, you can ask me, and I will tell you. Each of the two papers will count for one half of your grade, prior to adjustment for attendance and participation (including the short responses). Choice of an appropriate thesis, paragraph coherence, and support for claims will be most heavily weighted, but when grammar errors are so plentiful as to be distracting or to make it impossible to follow the argument, this will negatively impact the grade.
The grade on the revision, should you decide to revise, will replace the paper's original grade. The adjustment for participation will be plus one degree (e.g. from B+ to A-). If you don't participate in class, you will not lose points, so long as you are present in class and attentive.
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