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ENG100: Literature and Composition I

Section A: T/R 1:20-2:35pm


Section B: T/R 11:00-12:15pm
Prof. Sean Davidson Office hours: by appt. Home #: 756-2222
Office: 133D E-mail: sdavidson@briercrest.ca Work #: 756-3421

Course Outline and Objectives

This course will provide an introduction to academic writing and the study of literature with a
special focus on the short story and novel. The prospect of having to take a course called
“Literature and Composition” can carry with it a variety of emotions ranging from gloomy
indifference to a queasy sort of dread. My hope is that our readings in Flannery O’Connor,
Graham Greene, and C.S. Lewis will serve to break down our fear of the unknown while opening
up horizons that we hardly knew existed. Ultimately, we want to appreciate how the social,
psychological, and spiritual realms of life come together in what Northrop Frye once called “the
literary universe.” Let’s explore together . . .

Required Texts

O’Connor, Flannery. The Complete Stories. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1971. (ISBN:
0374515360)
Greene, Graham. The Power and the Glory. New York: Penguin, 1990. (ISBN: 0142437301)
Lewis, C.S. Till We Have Faces: a Myth Retold. New York: Harvest Books, 1980. (ISBN:
0156904365)
Quick Reference Format Guide (2007-08). Briercrest College, 2007.

Recommended Texts

Hacker, Diana. A Canadian Writer’s Reference. Third Edition. New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s,
2004.

Tutorials

One of the advantages of this course is that we will meet together not only in a large classroom
for lectures, but also in a smaller tutorial group. At first, this may not seem like much of an
advantage, but really there’s no way for any of us to learn to read and write better simply by
having someone lecture to us from the front of a classroom. What we all need is interaction with
others in a variety of learning spaces. There will be occasions when we will discuss and dialogue
with each other in the larger classroom, but you’ll discover opportunities for interaction in the
tutorial setting that you could find nowhere else. It may be hard to believe, but this kind of
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interactive experience is crucial for learning to read and write better. If you need more
convincing, check out the testimonies from former students on reverse in the library. Tutorials
will be lead by senior students who have a love for learning and are eager to explore with you the
important interconnection between literature and life. Tutorial sections will be assigned in the
first weeks of class. Please observe the following schedule:

Sections 1-4 Sept. 18 Section 5 Sept. 19


Sept. 25 Sept. 26
Tuesdays, 8-9pm Oct. 9 Wednesdays, 8-9pm Oct. 10
Nov. 13 Nov. 14
Nov. 27 Nov. 28
Dec. 4 Dec. 5

Assignments

Assignments are due at the beginning of the tutorial period on the assigned day (unless otherwise
indicated). Standard penalties for lateness will apply (see Briercrest Student Handbook). All final
drafts of essays should be submitted with first drafts in a portfolio (a folder small enough to fit in
your student boxes).

1. Participation and Short Assignments (15%)

Given the highly participative nature of this class, it will be important for everyone to show
up regularly and punctually and be ready to engage in conversation, both in class and tutorial.
As I’ve suggested above, learning to read and write well requires interaction and
collaboration on a variety of levels. It may sound cliché, but we need each other if we’re
going to make some progress this term.

In order to help you prepare for class discussion, I am going to provide you with questions at
the end of class that will help you to engage actively with your reading and contribute in
discussion for the following meeting time. I will collect these assignments periodically
throughout the term without warning so be prepared!

2. Midterm Reflection (5%)

In her essay “Reflections on the Right Use of School Studies with a View to the Love of
God,” Simone Weil explores the interrelationship between prayer, compassion, and
attentiveness, suggesting that intimacy with God and the love of our neighbor are impossible
if we are not developing our “faculty of attention.” We want to build on this insight in our
class-time this term. More important than mastering an academic discipline is learning to pay
close attention to words, to ourselves, to each other, to God. Perhaps the study of literature is
not your thing and you are somewhat reluctant to be in this class. Take heart. If you do not
have a natural aptitude or taste for literature, this does not disqualify you from becoming
more attentive. In fact, as Weil points out, “it is almost an advantage.” What we need to do,
though, is plan our time wisely so that we can slow down, focus, and engage. What I would
like you to do midterm is write a short three page reflection on the relationship between your
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use of time and the quality of your learning experience in your reading/writing to date and
draw up a plan for how you hope to continue developing your faculty of attention to the end
of term. Your reflection can be written in the first person, but you must follow the standard
rules of good essay writing (i.e. complete sentences, paragraph breaks, etc). Evaluation will
be based on both content and style.

3. Two Essays (50%)

a. Assigned Topic for Essay #1: The Prophetic Imagination of Flannery O’Connor.

For the first essay, I’d like you to consider one of the assigned short stories by O’Connor
with this quotation from a critical essay and the following questions in mind:

O’Connor sought to give new life to what she believed to be significant religious
truths that were once a living reality but which the modern mind has tended to
either distort or reject. Her stories, which are in a sense, grotesque parables,
dramatize the existence of evil. Satan’s greatest triumph, her works seem to
suggest, lies in the fact that he has convinced the world that he does not exist.
(Bob Dowell “The Moment of Grace,” 239)

In the story you have chosen, how does O’Connor “give new life” to long neglected
“religious truths”? What’s her way of highlighting the distortion or rejection of these
truths in modern life? In what sense is your story “a grotesque parable” that “dramatize[s]
the existence of evil”?

Perhaps the best way to develop an essay around these questions is to focus on the
protagonist of the story that you’ve chosen and consider the spiritual struggle that s/he
undergoes. In each of the assigned stories, the protagonist assumes a modern outlook on
life and at some point in the story comes to experience a crisis of worldview. What had
seemed normal or natural to her/him at the outset comes to be viewed as a distortion by
the end. How does O’Connor use this reversal in her stories to “give new life to . . .
significant religious truths” and critique the “modern mind” which “has tended to either
distort or reject” them? As you develop your essay, make sure to keep rooted in the text
and be as specific as you can.

The first essay will be comprised of the following three components:

i. Provisional thesis statement (complete/incomplete; 1-2 sentences)


ii. First draft (10 marks; 5-7 pages)
iii. Final draft with a brief summary of improvements (20 marks; 6 pages)

NOTE: Shortly after you submit your first draft for marking, you’ll find a short essay
on reserve in the library. Please read it carefully. You will be required to quote from
this source in the final draft of your essay.
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b. Assigned Topic for Essay #2: Saints and Sinners in Graham Greene’s Power and the
Glory.

At the end of Power and the Glory, the narrator tells us that the protagonist of the story,
the whiskey priest, “felt only an immense disappointment because he had to go to God
empty-handed, with nothing done at all.” Beaten down and defeated, he comes to see that
“only one thing counted – to be a saint.” In what sense has the priest read his situation
right? In what sense has he got it dead wrong? Focusing on the whiskey priest and the
encounters he has had with other characters, write an essay that helps to clarify not only
the truth behind the priest’s disappointment but also the lie. In the course of your essay it
will be important for you to consider the title of the novel and what bearing it has on your
overall argument.

The second essay will be comprised of the following two components:

i. Provisional thesis statement (complete/incomplete; 1-2 sentences)


ii. Final draft with a brief summary of improvements (20 marks; 6 pages)

NOTE: There will be an optional first draft (5-7 pages) for the second essay. I would
strongly encourage you to take advantage of this non-compulsory assignment. Your
instructor and tutorial leaders will give you the same kind of feedback that they gave
for the first draft of the first essay. Also, those who complete a first draft will receive
an automatic 5% bonus on their final draft.

Additional instructions for both essays will be provided in class.

4. Final Exam (30%)

The final exam consist of a sight passages (section one) and an essay (section two) and will
be on based on all readings, lectures and discussions from the term with special emphasis on
C.S. Lewis’s Till We Have Faces.
.
Bonus: Reflections on Tutorial (5%)

This assignment is for bonus marks and is available to those students who have missed no
more than one tutorial and no more than two regular classes. In a three page essay, I’d like
you to reflect on your strategy for engaging in tutorial over the course of term and explore
how your participation has contributed positively not only to your own learning, but also to
the learning of your peers. Please be specific and make sure that you follow all the
conventions of good essay writing.

Due Dates

Note below that 20% of your overall grade is based on participation and short assignments with
an additional 5% bonus available for a reflective assignment based on faithful attendance in class
and tutorial. You may find yourself on a steep learning curve with the composition requirement
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and this may make it difficult to achieve the kind of marks you’d like on your formal essays, but
you can make up for this by showing up regularly, reading attentively, participating actively, and
generally fostering a good attitude throughout the course. Keep this in mind as you go!

Assignment or Exam Due Date Weight


Participation and Short Assignments N/A 15%
Midterm Reflection Oct. 18 5%
Essay #1 Provisional thesis statement Sept. 24 (by email) 30%
First draft Oct. 2
Final draft with outline Oct. 30
Essay #2 Provisional thesis statement Nov. 12 (by email) 20%
First draft (optional) Nov. 20
Final draft with outline (5% Dec. 11
extra w/ first draft)
Final Exam Dec. 15, 1-3pm 30%

Bonus: Reflections on Tutorial Dec. 11 5%

Schedule of Readings and Assignments

Date Readings Class Activities Assignments


Sept. 6 Introduction and Welcome - -
11 O’Connor: “A Good Man Is - -
Hard to Find”; “The Lame Shall
Enter First”; “The Displaced
Person”
13 O’Connor: “Revelation”; - -
“Parker’s Back”; “Everything
That Rises Must Converge”
18 O’Connor: “The Enduring Tutorial (S18/19) -
Chill”; “Good Country People” (interest letter)
20 O’Connor: Review - Provisional thesis statement
25 due no later than Sept. 24 (by
27 email)
Thesis Workshop -
Tutorial (S25/26)
- -
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Oct. 2 - First draft due


4 - -
9 Greene: Power and the Glory, Tutorial (O9/11) -
11 Part One - -

16 Greene: Power and the Glory, - -


18 Part Two - Midterm Refection
23 Modular Class / Midterm Break
25
30 Greene: Power and the Glory, - Final draft w/ outline due
Part Three
Nov. 1 - -
6 Day of Prayer
8 Greene: Power and the Glory, - Provisional thesis statement
Part Four due no later than Nov. 12 (by
email)
13 Greene: Review Thesis Workshop -
15 Tutorial (N13/14)
20 - -
22 - Optional first draft due
27 - -
Tutorial (N27/28) -
29 Lewis: Till We Have Faces, Part - -
One, Chapters I-VII
Dec. 4 Lewis: Till We Have Faces, Part Tutorial (D4/5) -
One, Chapters VIII-XIV
6 Lewis: Till We Have Faces, Part - -
One, Chapters XV-XXI
11 Lewis: Till We Have Faces, Part - Final draft w/ outline due
Two Reflections on Tutorial (bonus)

Bibliography

There is no reason for you to consult secondary sources for this course and in fact I would
caution you from doing so. It is all too easy to misuse secondary sources when learning to read
primary texts closely. There will come a time when secondary sources will be essential for
research, but for this course I’d like you to focus on primary texts alone.

Note on Plagiarism

My point in the previous section leads naturally to this one. Of course, you will not need to
worry about plagiarism if you steer clear of secondary material, but if you decide to consult other
works and borrow ideas or words from them, make sure that you do so correctly. Just so we’re
clear, you are plagiarizing if you submit “the work of others, published or unpublished, in whole
or in part without acknowledgement or proper documentation” (BC Student Handbook, 6). To
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avoid charges of plagiarism, make sure to cite your sources throughout the body of your work,
remembering to include the proper bibliographic information for each citation in your reference
list. For further information on documentation see the Quick Reference Format Guide, pp. 10-23.
For further information on plagiarism, see the BC Student Handbook, pp. 6-7.

http://www.briercrest.ca/college/prospective/academics/handbook/handbook.pdf

NOTE: Penalties for plagiarism can range from a zero on an assignment to failure in the course.
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Reference Format for ENG100


Quotations and Parenthetical Notes

For this course, please use parenthetical notes instead of footnotes. After the end of each
reference include the following within a pair of parenthesis: author’s last name, date of
publication, and page number. The contents of your parenthesis should look like this: (Name
Date, page #). Note that there is no punctuation between the author’s name and the date. Note
also that quotation marks come before the parenthesis, the punctuation after.

Example: Orual experiences significant relief at the “first notion of her being mad”
(Lewis 1984, 122).

If you have already given the author’s name in your text and the reference is clear, you may
simply put the relevant page number(s) in parentheses.

Example: In Flannery O’Connor’s conception, the Holy Spirit is not only a comforter,
but also an agent of “purifying terror” (382).

Quotations should be typed exactly as in the original, including wording, spelling, capitalization,
and punctuation. It will be appropriate on occasion to alter the original wording of a passage for
the purposes of integrating into your own essay. Use square brackets to indicate what you have
altered or added to the original:

Example: The Underground Man admits that he is “exaggerating because [he] know[s],
as well as twice-two, that it is not the dark cellar that is better, but something else,
something else altogether” (127).

If you omit part of the material you are quoting, insert an ellipsis. Ellipses before or after
quotations are unnecessary. Only use ellipses when omitting material from the middle of a
passage that you are citing.

Example: “All day . . . I was recalling every passage of the true story,” confesses Orual as
she “write[s] . . . quickly before the gods found some way to silence [her]” (247-48).

When inserting an ellipsis after a full sentence, include the period along with an ellipsis.

Example: The Underground Man declares his desire for something more in life out of an
experience of profound frustration and disappointment: “I know that I shall never be
content with a compromise, with an everlasting recurring zero. . . . Destroy my desires,
eradicate my ideals, show me something better, and I will follow you” (125).

Quotations shorter than four lines are to be incorporated into the text and enclosed in double
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quotation marks. Quotations that are four or more lines long should be set off in a block
quotation. A single blank line should separate the regular text from the block quotation. Block
quotations are single-spaced and offset ½ inch from the left-hand margin. If there is a paragraph
indention in the original text, show it by indenting the first word of the block quotation another
½ inch. Do not enclose a block quotation in quotation marks. Do not use right justification or
right indention with block quotations. Document your block quotation with a parenthetical note
after the punctuation.

NOTE: If you paraphrase your source, you are still required to document the author and text in
parentheses.

Reference List

When typing your reference list on a new page after the body of your paper, type REFERENCE
LIST in capital letters, centered, and 2 inches from the top of the page. Entries start on the third
line below this. All entries are single-spaced, with a blank line between entries. The first line
starts at the margin, all other lines of the entry are indented ½ inch (usually 5 spaces) from the
left margin. Your reference list should continue the paper’s pagination. Reference list entries are
listed in alphabetic order according to the author’s last name. Examples:

Greene, Graham. 1990. The Power and the Glory. New York: Penguin.
Lewis, C.S. 1980. Till We Have Faces: a Myth Retold. New York: Harvest Books.
O’Connor, Flannery. 1971. The Complete Stories. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Page Setup

Please DO NOT include a title page (see format guide for the new formatting of first page). Set
the left margin to 1½ inches and all other margins to 1 inch. Use Times New Roman, 12 point
font. Do not use page breaks. Double space throughout (except block quotations). No extra
spaces between paragraphs. All page numbers should be centred and placed ¾ of an inch from
the bottom of the page. The first page of the main body of your paper begins with the Arabic
number 1. Pagination should continue to the very end of your paper—your bibliography or
reference list should continue your paper’s pagination. Important note: All pages should have a 1
inch top margin except for your reference list and outline. In these cases, the title is positioned 2
inches from the top of the page and the text begins on the third line after the title.
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Marking Symbols with Descriptions and Examples

Symbol Description Example


TS Problem with thesis statement -
dev Inadequate development of argument -
plot Avoid plot summary -
rev Revise or proof-read -
? Confusing, unclear, doubtful, or unreadable -
awk Awkward or confusing sentence -
ss Problem with sentence structure -
shift Shift in logic or point of view A writer must not shift your point of view.
inc Incomplete construction As far as incomplete constructions, they are wrong.
agr Error in agreement Make sure each pronoun agrees with their antecedent. Verbs
has to agree in number with their subjects.
apos Indicate possession or add apostrophe To ensure everyones understanding its important to use
apostrophes.
frag Sentence fragment About sentence fragments.
cs Comma splice Avoid comma splices, they are incorrect.
fuse or Fused sentence or run-on sentence Avoid fused sentences your essay will receive a higher
run-on grade. The same goes with run-on sentences you have to
use punctuation.
dm Dangling modifier Being bad grammar, a writer should not use dangling
modifiers.
pass Overuse of the passive voice It has been said that the passive voice lacks assertiveness.
clic Cliché or colloquial wording In reviewing the style of your essay, check to see that
jargonwise it’s A-OK. Last but not least, lay off clichés.
sp Spelling error Be caerful to spell all words correctly. Spell checkers are
knot always reliable.
rep Repetitive About repetition, the repetition of a word might be effective
repetition, and then again, it might not.
wrdy Too complex and wordy In my opinion, I think that when he is writing an author
should definitely not get into the habit of making use of too
many words that are unnecessary in that he does not really
need them in order to put his message across.
wc Word choice Choosing the best word is respectable.
¶ New paragraph -
trans Better transition between paragraphs -
needed
^ Insert -
// Parallel construction needed Use parallel construction not only to be concise but also to
clarify.
O Circle indicates a problem that should be -
relatively obvious
/ Delete -
quote Supporting evidence lacking or inadequate -
integ Better integration of quotation needed See above for examples of good integration of quotations
doc Error in documentation See above for proper formatting of quotations.