Tuesday, January 8, 2008

English 340 Form and Technique Spring 2008

Professor Diana Joseph Office: AH 201 L
Interns: Natalie Stowe and Matthew Vercant Phone: 389-5144
Email: diana.joseph@mnsu.edu Hours: MW 12-2 T 5-6
and by appointment

English 340: Form and Technique in Prose

This course studies the technical underpinnings of prose genres. Through lectures, readings, class discussions, exercises in imitation, and large and small group workshops, we will examine the relationship between form (how the story is told) and content (what the story is about.) Specifically, we will pay close attention to technical matters including point of view, characterization, setting/place, tone, style, imagery, structure, and theme.

Required Texts and Materials
The Scribner Anthology of Contemporary Short Fiction, ed. Martone
$ for copying expenses

1. Imitation=50%
For each story we read, I’ll give you an imitation exercise. You’ll begin it in class and complete it on your own time. These exercises must be typed and double-spaced. You will have at least 3 opportunities to workshop one of these exercises in a small group. Toward the end of the semester you’ll develop your exercise into a full-length imitation of the original text. We’ll workshop these in a large group. You’ll turn in your story, all drafts and revisions, along with a reflective preface on Finals Day.

2. Craft Analysis=25%
A. Select a story from any edition of Best American Short Stories between 1994—2007. The story you pick should be one you love. Make a copy that you’ll turn in to you with your essay.

B. In your essay, define, then discuss and analyze ONE of the following elements of fiction as it relates to the story you selected. Support and illustrate claims with specific examples from the text; explain how and why the examples support your claim.

Point of view Characterization Style Structure

Setting/place Tone Imagery Theme

3. Participation=25%
Participation is not merely showing up for class—that’s called attendance. I define participation as your active engagement with the class demonstrated through thoughtful contributions to class discussion, evidence of preparedness, and helpful feedback during workshops. Because this class relies so heavily on participation, you can’t sit silently and expect to do well (that’s called intellectual freeloading.) But I also don’t want one voice to dominate class discussions. Expect to listen as much as you talk. I don’t want to give reading quizzes so do the readings. Finally, each of you will offer an assessment of your peers’ workshop responses; I will take this into consideration when determining participation grades.

Class Policies
Each absence over 3 will lower your final grade by 5%. I do not distinguish between excused and unexcused absence.

Frequent tardiness will affect your participation grade.

All coursework must be completed to pass this class.

Writing done for this class is considered public text.

Assignments are tentative and subject to change.

Academic dishonesty will not be tolerated; it may result in failure of the class.

I’m available for help outside class during my office hours or by appointment.

Schedule of Events

Monday, January 14 First day of class
Wednesday, January 16 “Sarah Cole: A Type of Love Story,” 53

Monday, January 21—NO CLASS—MLK DAY
Wednesday, January 23 “Gryphon,” 131

Monday, January 28 “Silver Water,” 159

Monday, February 4 “White Angel,” 229
Wednesday, February 6 Small Groups

Monday, February 11 Small Groups
Wednesday, February 13 Small Groups

Monday, February 18 “Fiesta, 1980,” 244
Wednesday, February 20 “Pet Milk,” 256

Monday, February 25 “Nebraska,” 338
Wednesday, February 27 “The Things They Carried,” 501

Monday, March 3 Small Groups
Wednesday, March 5 Small Groups

Wednesday, March 12—NO CLASS—SPRING BREAK

Monday, March 17 Craft Analysis Due
Small Groups

Wednesday, March 19 “Brokeback Mountain,” 521

Monday, March 24 “The Way We Live Today,” 569
Wednesday, March 26 “First Body,” 595

Monday, March 31 “Strays,” 542
Wednesday, April 2 Small Groups

Monday, April 7 Small Groups
Wednesday, April 9 Small Groups

Monday, April 14 Large Group
Wednesday, April 16 Large Group

Monday, April 21 Large Group
Wednesday, April 23 Large Group

Monday, April 28 Large Group
Wednesday, April 30 Large Group

Finals Day Imitation Story/Reflective Preface Due

On a scale of 1-10, estimate the time/effort you estimate each student put into your workshop critique.

1. Akers, Timothy

2. Anson, Michaela

3. Barna, Regina A

4. Brovold, Anna E

5. Casperson, Nicholas J

6. Crowley, Allison

7. Franzen, Adam P

8. Gillespie, Lynn K

9. Harder, Christopher J

10. Harms, Mitchell A

11. Herauf, Derek W

12. Hickey, Ryan T

13. Kelley, Brandy A

14. Klecker, Michael S

15. Mielke, Peter D

16. Milbert, Mary E

17. Myers, Emily S

18. Natale, Richard D

19. Paulsen, Niquoia M

20. Peregrin, Anthony J

21. Seipel, Nicholas J

22. Tanner, Erik V

23. Urlacher, Emily S

24. Vevea, Elizabeth M

25. Young, Lucian R

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