There are several kinds of writing assignment for Lit 320. See descriptions and links below.
Each week groups of students will formulate questions on the course readings for the week. Such a question might be, for instance, "How is symbolism a central artistic principle in Hart Crane's poetry and what are some of the symbols to be found there?" Answering these questions is also important, and each group will, weekly, have to answer questions posed by other groups. The answers to the weekly study questions need not be more than two or three sentences in length per question. Your answers, and all your submitted writing in this course, including your participation in class discussions, must be in complete sentences and must, to the best of your ability, contain correct spelling and grammar (as explained further below). These assignments must be submitted electronically but not as attachments, in the appropriate Bulletin Board discussion space. Thus, for instance, if your group is to devise questions regarding Mark Twain's novel Huckleberry Finn, then someone in the group would post those questions in the Bulletin Board sector or discussion space marked "Twain" (all group members are to have their names attached to the questions posted by one of the members). Likewise, if another group has posted questions about, say, Edith Wharton's short story "The Other Two" in the Bulletin Board sector marked "Wharton," then your group would, as a group, with all the group members' names attached the group's answers to the respected questions, post answers to those questions in that same Bulletin Board sector by first clicking on "Reply" for the posted questions (the idea is to generate a threaded discussion). Under no circumstances is any group to post answers if they are not preceded by their questions--otherwise confusion will ensue.
N.B.: All assignments implicitly demand that each member of a team read ALL of the assigned readings. Team members who try to make arrangements to share the reading load will be deemed to have cheated and will, if discovered, automatically receive a failing grade for the course.
In order to carry out the above process successfully, you must read "Help for Group Work," which can be accessed by clicking on the "Help for Group Work" icon to be found at the course homepage.
Helpful links for learning how to analyze literature so that you can pose and also answer a question such as the above are:Literary Analysis: http://www.gpc.peachnet.edu/~lawiss/literaryanalysis.htm;PAPERS
Literary Analysis Guide: http://www.goshen.edu/english/litanalysis.html;
The Literary Analysis Essay: http://www.english.wayne.edu/~peterson/Fiction/litessay.html;
A Handbook for Discussing Poetry: http://www.cc.emory.edu/ENGLISH/classes/Handbook/Handbook.html;
A Glossary of Literary Terms and A Handbook of Rhetorical Devices: http://www.uky.edu/ArtsSciences/Classics/Harris/rhetform.html;
Pathfinder: Literary Criticism: http://www.ipl.org/ref/QUE/PF/litcrit.html#terms.
Prof. Kimmelman's Literary Links: http://eies.njit.edu/~kimmelma/litsources.html
See also other links on the course website or via the icon "Help for Group Work" on the course homepage.
A major component of this course is your individualized research project, which will involve three papers as described below. For all three, it is STRONGLY recommended that research begin with the MLA Bibliography (locally to be found at the Rutgers-Newark library). Each paper must utilize at least three secondary sources (explained below), and one of these, as a minimum, must be paper-based (i.e., you will need to visit a library to accomplish your research project). The three papers comprising your total research project are to be crafted according to a polemical argument you are going to advance (if you don't know what "polemical" means then look it up). The final stage of this project will be an argumentative essay that sets out to prove something. It is not to be a report. It is to be an informed opinion that has been clearly and otherwise systematically explained.
Term Paper Announcement:Consists of 1) a descriptive paper title, 2) a one-sentence thesis statement that includes the point of your argument, the breadth of that argument, and the argument’s significant concepts and details, 3) a one-paragraph description of the writing strategy to be employed in your paper, 4) a bibliography in MLA format and alphabetized. For the purposes of this assignment, use must be made of at least three secondary research sources (including at least one non-Internet source) excluding textbooks, encyclopedias and dictionaries. An example of a primary source is the short story "The Open Boat" by Stephen Crane; an example of a secondary source is a book of essays about Crane's work.
Term Paper Prospectus:Consists of 1) a descriptive paper title, 2) a one-sentence thesis statement that includes the point of your argument, the breadth of that argument, and the argument’s significant concepts and details, 3) an abstract—that is, a one-paragraph summary of your term paper as you think it will turn out to be, 4) a précis—that is, a small version of the essay you are projecting for your term paper, about one fourth of the final length, and fully documented, 5) paragraph-length descriptions of the writing strategy (i.e., a description of how you will prove your argument) involved in each section of the essay you are projecting for your term paper, 6) a bibliography in MLA format and alphabetized. For the purposes of this assignment, use must be made of at least three secondary research sources (including at least one non-Internet source) excluding textbooks, encyclopedias and dictionaries. An example of a primary source is the short story "The Open Boat" by Stephen Crane; an example of a secondary source is a book of essays about Crane's work.
Term Paper:Consists of: 1) a descriptive paper title, 2) a full-length, fully documented essay, 3) a bibliography in MLA format and alphabetized. For the purposes of this assignment, use must be made of at least three secondary research sources (including at least one non-Internet source) excluding textbooks, encyclopedias and dictionaries. An example of a primary source is the short story "The Open Boat" by Stephen Crane; an example of a secondary source is a book of essays about Crane's work.The three principle papers are to be submitted before their respective deadlines as attachments to e-mails to the instructor's WebCT e-mail address only. The papers are to be in Word for Windows (this is necessary so that the instructor can use the available Word function for making editorial and other comments within a submitted paper). Papers not meeting their minimal requirements will not be read and will not receive credit (see above and below). If a paper is read, graded and returned to you (via e-mail to your WebCT e-mail address), and if the grade for the paper is less than "A," then you will have the opportunity to revise your paper and in so doing possibly to raise the paper's grade; however, no revision will be considered unless it is accompanied by the prior draft that includes the instructor's comments (thus you would send, in one attachment: the revised paper followed by the edited earlier draft), and any subsequent revisions must contain all prior graded drafts, arranged in descending chronological order.
All submitted work on paper must be word processed on 8 1/2" x 11" paper, double spaced with one inch margins. All written work (with the exception of exams) must be spell checked, and to the best of one's ability grammar checked. Moreover, if on occasion use is made of the ideas or words of someone else in one's writing, then the source(s) of those ideas and/or words must be cited; that is, when appropriate, papers must be fully documented (you must cite sources--using footnotes, endnotes, or parenthetical documentation, whichinclude specific page numbers keyed to particular passages in one's text, and complete bibliographical information). (If you are not sure about documentation principles and/or procedures, you should consult a freshman English textbook such as The Beacon Handbook or better yet The MLA Handbook. PAPERS NOT MEETING ALL OF THESE REQUIREMENTS WILL NOT BE READ AND WILL NOT RECEIVE CREDIT. Papers not adequately cited may be liable to be judged as plagiarized. Plagiarism will result in course failure at a minimum.
Both Writing and Documentation help can also be found at my website (http://eies.njit.edu/~kimmelma/) by clicking on:
"Writing Guide" (http://eies.njit.edu/~kimmelma/writing.html )
"Documentation Guide" (http://eies.njit.edu/~kimmelma/documentation.html )
as well as via some of the links provided above.