Professor’s Name: Leanne Wood Office: Baker E022 Class Time: 8:30 – 9:50 a.m./11:00 a.m. – 12:20 p.m.

Mailbox: Baker S001 Classroom: Hargadon G001 Office Hours: by appointment E-mail:

WRI 131/132: Main Street USA Course Information – Spring 2013
Economist Robert Reich described 2009 as ―the year that Wall Street bounced back and Main Street got shafted.‖ But what does ―Main Street‖ mean, exactly? Even as it is used as shorthand for an idealized image of America and the concerns of ordinary Americans, Main Street has also sometimes been portrayed as the imagined home of our worst tendencies—pettiness, prejudice, and provincialism. In this Writing Seminar, we consider the significance of these contradictory visions of Main Street by tracing the ways that they grow out of American literature, popular entertainment, and politics. We begin with a study in nostalgia as we analyze the stylized and trouble-free townscape that Walt Disney designed for Disneyland in 1955. We then consider how critical representations of small towns in Sinclair Lewis’s 1920 novel Main Street and the 1940s films It’s a Wonderful Life and Shadow of a Doubt complicate the Main Street ideal. During the latter half of the course, students develop their own topics for research as we debate the ways that our national and individual identities depend upon our ideas about Main Street. Finally, students create a guided tour—a podcast, guidebook, or photo-essay—for a street that they know well. This is a writing course in which you will learn to develop ideas in reflection upon many different kinds of evidence and argument: critical theory, the products of contemporary culture, and film analysis. Each of these genres calls for different and increasingly complex combinations of writerly skill and imagination. It is a course in college argument and thinking, a study you implictly requested by choosing to come to a liberal arts university. Much writing instruction is built on the premise that it will be good for you later. This course is not. Of course it will be good for you later, preparing you for difficult and challenging writing tasks throughout your time at Princeton and beyond. But this course is built on the premise that it will also be good for you now, that the writing and thinking we will do are intrinsically valuable, that they expand your capacity for living a reflective life. At times our task will feel quite difficult; college writing instruction has a tendency to take away your confidence in old strategies before it replaces them with new abilities. Fortunately, we will also be learning habits of work and mind that will support you in times of difficulty, and which will sustain a community that also provides such support.


or film. It should make a motivated argument about how your chosen street is representative of and perhaps challenges our notions of a conventional main street. or podcast. using the literary and scholarly lenses to help frame your argument. Possible research topics include the decline of small towns. photo journal. To help with your analysis. Your tour can be in essay form or an alternative format such as a script. you may incorporate personal photographs or other background information gleaned from a local historical society. and uses of ―Main Street‖ in political or economic discourse. you will be asked to submit a hard-copy portfolio of all the writing you did in the course and briefly reflect upon your progress as a writer this semester. (5-6 pages) • ASSIGNMENT SEQUENCE #2: Make an argument about a single text using contextual sources Develop an argument in response to a contradiction or tension in the representation of Main Street in either Shadow of a Doubt or It’s a Wonderful Life. chamber of commerce. You may critique a street in your hometown. be sure to focus heavily on key scenes from the film. draw deeply upon one common source.• ASSIGNMENT SEQUENCE #1: Analyze a Cultural Text Using Theoretical Sources Using primary source evidence from Disneyland’s Main Street U. memoir. For your evidence.S. (10-12 pages) • DEAN’S DATE ASSIGNMENT: Create a Guided Tour Create a guided tour of a main street that you have experienced in person. and make an argument placing that representation in historical context. one of the streets in Princeton. Your tour should be analytical rather than merely descriptive. literature. make an argument that critiques and refines either Svetlana Boym’s or Fred Davis’s theory of nostalgia. (7-8 pages) • ASSIGNMENT SEQUENCE #3: A Researched Argument Placing a Text in Context Make a research-based argument that reflects on the meaning or significance of Main Street in United States culture during the 20th or 21st century. (~750 words) • COURSE PORTFOLIO & END-OF-TERM REFLECTION At the end of the term. as well as a third source you’ve found through research. If desired. Keep track of your graded. handed-back assignments (drafts and revisions) throughout the semester so you don’t have to scramble at the last minute! IMPORTANT DATES 2 . etc..A. revitalization efforts. Or choose a representation of a small town in American art. or somewhere else you have visited. Choose a real small town—or usage of the term ―Main Street‖—and show how it illuminates the culture or politics of the historical moment.

at 6:00 p.m. Streaming versions of both videos are available to view through Blackboard. April 19 at 6:00 p. Paper #2 Paper #3 Dean’s Date Assignment Course Portfolio.m.B. May 4 at 6:00 p. (Location TBA) * N. Draft (D2) Due: Saturday.m.m. Revision (R3) Due: Saturday. at 6:00 p. If you do not currently use a calendar for keeping track of assignment due dates. Research Proposal and Annotated Bibliography (RPR) Due: Wednesday. March 1 at 6:00 p.m. in Blackboard Shared Dropbox ** N. May 14t 1:00 p.m.2 Due: Tuesday. March 3 at 3:00 p. or personal planner as soon as possible. Draft (D3) Due: Friday. (in my office) Sunday. at 6:00 p. (Location TBA) Sunday.B. & End-of-Term Reflection Other Important Dates Video Screenings* Shadow of a Doubt It’s a Wonderful Life Due Monday. February 7 in class Pre-Draft 1.m. Pre-Draft 2 (PD2) Due: Monday. Outlook Calendar. Topic Tweets Due: Monday. February 16 at 12:00 noon Revision (R1) Due: Friday.m. February 24 at 3:00 p.m. Final Class Session 3 . April 10 at 6:00 p. April 3. March 9 at 12:00 noon Revision (R2) Due: Friday.m. on Blackboard Research Proposal Draft (RPD) Due: Wednesday.m.1 Due: Thursday. I strongly recommend that you start doing so. May 13 at 1:00 p. March 29. Attending the video screenings is optional but viewing the videos is not. TENTATIVE DUE DATES Paper #1 Pre-Draft 1. May 13 is the day before Dean’s Date! ** Due Tuesday. February 12 in class Draft (D1) Due: Saturday. March 4. April 1 at 6:00 p.m.Please enter all of these dates into your Google Calendar.

The Writing Center is one of Princeton’s most popular academic resources.000 conferences each year. and more. It is your responsibility to print these materials in hard copy and bring them to class on the day they will be discussed. visit the Writing Center’s website at www.princeton. 4 . Martin’ REQUIRED TEXTS AND MATERIALS Available from Labyrinth Books on Nassau Street     Diana Hacker. Academic Success at Princeton (ASAP) www. in the afternoon. Please plan to be on campus to attend this required class. workshops on academic skills. Writing Center Fellows also hold drop-in hours Sunday through Thursday evenings during the semester. study halls.5‖ spine (or a accordion-style organizer for readings and hand-outs) Assigned Readings: Most readings and viewing assignments for this course are posted on Blackboard. holding over 4.. library assistance.  ACADEMIC RESOURCES The Writing Center Academic Success at Princeton (ASAP) is an online portal to the many academic resources available to Princeton undergraduates. If you miss or lose a handout. look for it on the ―Handouts‖ tab of Blackboard. To do so.princeton. you can access subject tutoring.We will hold one additional class during Reading Period. The Writing Center offers student writers free one-onone conferences with experienced fellow writers trained to consult on assignments in any discipline. May 9. 6th ed. writing conferences. I strongly urge you to sign up for an appointment. on Thursday. Enter through Baker Hall. Through Located in Whitman College. A Pocket Style Manual. Academic Integrity at Princeton (accessible through Blackboard’s ―Links‖ page) 3-ring binder with a 1‖ or 1. In-class Handouts: There will be many! Please save them in your binder. 2011. Bedford/St.princeton.

Because good seminar citizenship is essential in this course. in fact. working energetically in small group or pair activities.  writing cover letters that reflect thoughtfully and critically on your own writing. speaking not only to the professor but also to other students. unlike a lecture.  always being on time and prepared for class. improving the day-to-day quality of the seminar for everyone.  participating actively in class: consistently contributing thoughtful and thoughtprovoking comments and questions. joining in the conversation about your fellow group members’ essays.  participating actively in group draft conferences. submitting written work on time. This kind of active. Our seminar format facilitates this kind of initiative: a seminar. In spite of the number of deadlines and requirements. overall. Being a ―good citizen‖ of the seminar means…  consistently manifesting politeness and respect for your classmates. you will be an active. autonomous work is best undertaken in a mutually respectful and responsive environment—in other words. students who commendably satisfy most or all of the above criteria will earn a B-range grade. you will have an exceptionally high degree of autonomy as you work. and students who meet few of the above criteria will earn a C-range grade. 5 . the community of mutual critical support we establish together will be one of your most valuable resources.  producing thoughtful and complete pre-draft assignments. The more initiative you take in following this model. your Citizenship Grade counts for 10% of your final grade. takes its energy primarily from its participants rather than from its instructor. that energy can be immensely powerful. Students who meet or surpass all of the above criteria in a striking way will earn an A-range grade. an environment in which everyone works collaboratively in a professional manner. independent thinker whose job is to develop your own ideas and help your peers develop theirs. When a seminar is populated by good seminar citizens. Rather than being a passive student tasked with learning facts. the more rewarding the course will be for you.WRITING SEMINAR POLICIES SEMINAR CITIZENSHIP This is a course in which you and your peers are invited to work together as budding scholars.  writing draft response letters that offer fellow students substantive criticism and suggestions for revision while demonstrating constructive engagement with the paper at hand.

Technology and Citizenship: Active participation in this seminar requires your full attention. Office Hours: Although I do not hold weekly scheduled office hours. or any other issues pertaining to this seminar. Just ask or e-mail me.. except for specially noted ―bring your laptop‖ days. to practice active reading—which will help you contribute to class discussions and find salient passages when it’s time to write. for the group conferences. Readings and Citizenship: Consistent with the above. you should not use your laptop or tablet computer during class. COMMUNICATION Conferences: We will have four conferences during the semester to discuss your writing and ideas. Please read every assigned text in hard copy. reading. where you will meet with one other student and me to discuss each other’s drafts for essay #2. This enables you to make notes in the margins—i. where we will hold a 15-minute individual conference on your research proposal and a 90-minute group draft conference with two other students and me.” see below. I am happy to meet with you by appointment to discuss writing. I’ll collect your reflection and provide you with written feedback so you’ll know what to do to improve or sustain your participation in class. This group conference will give you expanded feedback on your draft by having an additional set of eyes read and comment upon your work. print out all readings and bring them to class in paper form. and you should bring an agenda of at least three specific ideas or questions about revising your draft. Instead. The second will be a 60-minute group conference. we will not be using our laptops to consult readings. The first will be a 45-minute individual draft conference with me on your first draft. and we can arrange a time to meet. which is a crucial component of Writing Seminar. It also will familiarize you with reading other student writing and giving constructive feedback on it. There will be no mandatory conference to discuss the draft of the Dean’s Date Assignment. For policies regarding “Missed Conferences. weaknesses. I expect you to be prepared for these conferences. though I will ask you to bring a well-developed draft to our final class meeting during Reading Period. This means you should review your writing before coming in.e. Failure to do so will result in a lowered citizenship grade for the day. it means you should read your group mates’ drafts and come ready to give detailed feedback on the strengths.Around midterms week. I’ll ask you to write a reflection in class on your citizenship so far. 6 . In addition. and most promising ideas in the papers. so cell phones should be powered off during every class and. We will build on this experience in the third unit.

and that you use standard English. All drafts should include both a full citation apparatus and the Princeton Academic Integrity statement. Thank you for understanding. I’m not feeling well and am afraid I won’t be able to attend class today. logistically. Paper Format: Writing assignments must be word-processed and submitted as Word documents. I enjoyed our discussion of Alison Landsberg’s Prosthetic Memory today.E-mail: In an effort to hold in-class announcements to a minimum. professional etiquette from you. I ask that you check your e-mail every day. If you use Pages or another software. Please make sure that your emails address me directly in the salutation. Also. For drafts and revisions. please follow the format of the sample MLA and Chicago style manuscripts in the Hacker Guide (see 33b and 43b). which. many students encounter writer’s block or some other impediment during the drafting stage. You are responsible for any information that I pass along via this medium. your communications with me should not read like text messages.” The draft that you submit should be a completed essay that represents the culmination of your efforts. both in electronic and face-to-face interactions. If this happens to you. and I’m curious about some of the theorists she mentions. I will be using email to relay most of the nuts and bolts of the course. Here are a couple of models: Dear Professor Wood. please convert your document to Word using a cluster computer. please don’t suffer in silence! Let me know what’s going on before the draft is due so we can figure out the best way for you to proceed with the assignment. is quite complex. I have a doctor’s note from McCosh I can give you next week. Please observe the assigned page limits for writing assignments. always: 7 . Do you have any suggestions for learning more about ―collective memory‖? Thanks! Steve Student Hi Professor Wood. Steve lives in my college and I’ve asked him to bring me handouts and update me about in-class announcements. that you sign your name in conclusion. That said. Although you may be composing e-mails on your smart phone or a similar device. papers that exceed or fall below the required length may be graded down. Etiquette: I expect mature. Drafts and revisions that deviate from this format may not be accepted. I encourage you to call me Professor Wood. Submitting drafts of high quality will allow you to get the most out of in-class workshops and readers’ response letters. Susan Scholar YOUR WRITING ―Drafts‖ in the Writing Seminar: In this course “draft” does not mean “unfinished” or “first attempt.

so set this page number to 0 (in Word.g. Use your word-processing program’s automatic pagination function to number your pages in the top or bottom right-hand select ―Paragraph‖ from the ―Format‖ menu to adjust the before/after spacing). cover letters and response letters should be single-spaced.       Submission Method: You will be submitting all writing for this course. You should routinely back up your work to the Google Drive associated with your Princeton Gmail account. Filenames: When you submit an assignment to Shared Dropbox. select ―Page Numbers‖ from the ―Insert‖ or contact OIT for help. Palatino.doc. and punctuation errors. Course Portfolio: At the end of the semester. eliminate these (in Word. AND MISSED CONFERENCES 8 . Tip: Your first page will be a cover letter. Use Times New Roman 12-point or its close equivalent (e.g. etc. Book Please don’t use a narrow font to avoid going over the page limit or a wide font to fulfill the minimum page count. Walt Disney’s draft of Paper #3 would be named: wdisneyD3. Georgia).edu. via our course Blackboard site at http://blackboard. unless otherwise specified. Tip: One of the very best ways to find such errors is to read your entire paper out loud..princeton. Proofread your writing for typographical. Blackboard is relatively intuitive to use. Papers should be double-spaced. you will turn in a hard-copy portfolio of all the drafts and revisions you did in the course—so please save the copies with comments! LATE ASSIGNMENTS. Thus. ―R2‖ for the revision of Paper 1. and do not justify your right-hand margin. grammatical. and click on ―Format‖). but feel free to contact the Blackboard help desk if you need assistance: 609 258-0737 or blackboard@princeton. ―D1‖ for the draft of Paper 1. If you consistently make these kinds of errors.  Title all essays – including drafts. EXTENSIONS. If your word processor adds additional spaces before or after paragraphs.). See https://support. Set your margins at 1 inch. please name the file using your Net ID followed by the assignment abbreviation (e. Simply log on and select our Writing Seminar. your grade will drop. Avoid computer disaster by regularly saving your work and periodically printing out drafts while you write.

for example. which is another way of saying that no one will receive preferential treatment (by. A late pre-draft assignment or a late draft will receive no written feedback. A late revision will be graded down by a third of a grade for every 24 hours that it’s late. I’ll try to reschedule within the restrictions of my schedule. due to such an emergency. at which point you may not complete the course (see the ―Completion of Work‖ policy below). a B+ paper that’s submitted 4 hours late will receive a B grade. If. GRADING Final Grade: The majority of your final grade comes from the major writing assignments. up until the final extended deadline. as important as any class session. please ask your residential college Dean or Director of Studies to contact me by e-mail. having immunity to overrun a deadline in order to work longer on a piece of writing). They are weighted more significantly as the semester goes along in order to reward your improvement and acknowledge the assignments’ increasing complexity. you must produce a note from the University Health Service. Missed Conferences: Conferences are a vital component of your learning in the course. Except in the case of medical or family emergency or religious observance. I give no individual extensions. These policies have two concrete benefits for everyone in the class: (1) you may be less likely to fall behind if you know that your actions (and inactions) have real consequences.All deadlines in this Writing Seminar are firm. and (2) you can count on being treated the same as your classmates. For example. Here is the grade breakdown: 9 . In the event of a family emergency. If you miss a conference. In the event of a medical emergency. There are serious consequences to missing deadlines. you cannot meet a deadline. please contact me as soon as possible so that we may work out an alternative schedule of due dates and times. but please note that I may not always be able to do so.

or use sources in a limited fashion. employs a logical and progressive structure. Please note that for your final course grade. I expect your revisions to be free of grammatical. and draws from well-chosen sources. lack a coherent structure or rely on an overly rigid structure like the five paragraph essay. A C-range paper resembles a B-range paper in some ways. essay #1 will count as 15% and citizenship 10%. confusing prose may at times obscure the argument. employ a generally logical but somewhat disorganized or underdeveloped structure. establishes a compelling motive to suggest why the thesis is original or worthwhile. Pluses and minuses represent shades of difference. I’ll average your grade on the revision of essay #1 and your current citizenship grade. establish a functional but unsubstantial motive. A paper in the A range demonstrates a high degree of command in the fundamentals of academic writing: it advances an interesting. Midterm Grade: To calculate your midterm grade. I evaluate the words on the page. 10 . writing does tend to improve through revision. arguable thesis. Effort and engagement are accounted for in the course citizenship grade. A B-range paper resembles an A-range paper in some ways. Below are the common standards to which papers are held in the Writing Seminars. but may exhibit a vague or inconsistently argued thesis.) Failure to meet these expectations may result in a lowered final grade. analyzes evidence insightfully and in depth. and formatting errors. (I’m happy to explain any technical issues that seem confusing or obscure. spelling. PROGRAM-WIDE POLICIES • Grading Standards on Revisions: When grading. Although neither effort nor improvement is factored into the essay grade. include well-chosen but sometimes unanalyzed and undigested evidence.15% 25% 35% 5% 10% 10% Paper #1 Paper #2 Paper #3 Research Proposal and Annotated Bibliography for Paper #3 Dean’s Date Assignment Good Citizenship (see above for details) As noted in the ―Paper Format‖ section. provide a simplistic motive or none at all. but may also feature a confusing or descriptive thesis.

you must complete all four of the major assignments to pass the course. Responsibilities and discussed at greater length in Academic Integrity at Princeton. For this reason. Unlike an F paper. According to these policies. • Attendance: Your active engagement in writing workshops and other in-class activities is integral to the Writing Seminar experience. there is evidence of little or no research). and sources of the assignment. • Completion of Work: Writing Seminars are organized as a planned sequence of assignments. and more than four absences grounds for not being permitted to complete the course. The e-mail will be copied to your Dean and Director of to present enough evidence. Please note that a late arrival to class of more than 15 minutes will count as an absence. not in the last few days of the semester. It does. For this reason. topics. with each piece of writing building on previous writing. and you must complete them within the schedule of the course. stated in Princeton) resembles a C-range paper but lacks a thesis or motive. You must also write the following pledge at the end of all drafts and revisions and then sign your name: ―This paper 11 . If you fail to submit the final version of a major assignment by the final due date in that unit. in a research paper. A D paper has trouble engaging with the assignment and may not show awareness of the conventions of academic discourse. which is grounded in a strong community of readers and writers. you are normally expected to attend every class. you will receive an e-mail from your professor specifying (1) the new date by which you must submit the late work and (2) any late penalties that will apply (these will be waived in the case of documented medical problems and family emergencies). show signs of beginning to engage with the issues. with two absences considered cause for concern. a 0 does not count as successful completion of the assignment and puts the student in jeopardy of failing the course. you must properly cite your sources to distinguish your ideas from others’. Rules. A D paper (there is no D+ or D. however. as well as the Writing Program Director. It may have an undeveloped structure and draw on little analyzed evidence and sources. • Acknowledgment of Original Work: This course follows Princeton University policies on plagiarism. If you fail to meet the new deadline. An F paper is similar to a D paper but is half the assigned length and addresses the assignment superficially. A 0 paper is less than half the assigned length and does not fulfill the basic expectations of the assignment (for example. and drop in sources without properly contextualizing or citing them. or present evidence that is insufficiently analyzed. you may not complete the course.

‖ Suspicions of plagiarism will be reported to the Committee on Discipline and may have serious consequences.represents my own work in accordance with University regulations. Exceptions are the professor of this course and Writing Center Fellows. 12 . a footnote acknowledgment is appropriate. If you wish to thank a particular person for help with a specific idea in your paper. your classmates. you should express your indebtedness in an Acknowledgments section or footnote to anyone who gave you feedback on drafts or contributed informally to your thinking on your topic—for example. • Acknowledgment of Feedback and Support: In keeping with common scholarly practice. roommates. o The placement of Acknowledgments varies for different disciplines. you should place your Acknowledgments section just before the Works Cited or Bibliography page. but in this course. and family members.