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COURSE TITLE: Writing Matters: English Literature and Academic Interpretation I
CREDIT WEIGHT AND WEEKLY TIME DISTRIBUTION: credits 3(hrs lect 3 - hrs sem 0 - hrs lab 0)
COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course, along with its complement, Writing Matters: English Literature and Academic Interpretation II, builds students' skills as critical readers and writers through the discipline of English. Students learn to be sophisticated readers of literature, and to examine the assumptions and implications of a wide array of texts as well as culture. The courses develop students' sensitivity to language use and their appreciation of the relationship between form and content. Students will learn about the range of literary genres, periods, and geographic locations, as well as specific terms and devices for reading lyric poems, non-fiction, and one long work (novel or drama). Assignments will introduce stages one and two of a cumulative research paper methodology, with stages three and four completed in the complement course. Through interpretative practices, we are able to examine the literary foundations of our worldviews and look on the world, ourselves, and others anew.
  • Babington, Doug, et al. The Broadview Pocket Guide to Writing. 4th Canadian ed.,
    Broadview, 2017.
  • Chalykoff, Lisa, Neta Gordon, and Paul Lumsden, eds. The Broadview Introduction to  Literature. Peterborough, ON: Broadview Press, 2013.
  • Marlowe, Christopher. Doctor Faustus. Ed. Michael Keefer. 2nd ed. Peterborough,   ON: Broadview Press, 2007. 
Participation 8%
Writing Reflection2%
Essay 1 (4-5 pages)15%
Essay 2 (5-6 pages)25%
Final Exam 30%
COURSE OBJECTIVES:  Students will . . .
  • engage with a variety of poetry and non-fiction.
  • develop close reading skills by learning to appreciate the relation between the form and content of literature.
  • be encouraged to read both sympathetically and critically within a Christian framework.
  • learn basic literary terminology related to poetry and non-fiction.
  • practice writing persuasive essays which argue an interpretation of a literary text or texts.
COURSE OUTLINE: Interpreting Poetry
  • Sept. 6 Introduction to the Course
  • Sept. 8 Fictional Context and Diction: Introduction (855-56, 875-77); Adrienne Rich’s “Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers” (1155)
  • Sept. 11 The Substitution Method and Tone: William Wordsworth’s “The world is too much with us” (970); Al Purdy’s “Lament for the Dorsets” (1135-37)
  • Sept. 13 Line Breaks and Word Order: Introduction (“The Look of Poetry” 856- 57); E. E. Cummings’ “In just-” (1089-90) and “l(a” (1093)
  • Sept. 15 Imagery: William Carlos Williams’ “The Red Wheelbarrow” (1071); Ezra Pound’s “In a Station of the Metro” (1075); Seamus Heaney’s “Digging” (1193-94) Sept. 18 Figures of Speech: Introduction (“Imagery, Metaphor and Simile, Symbol” 866-71)
  • Sept. 20 IS Conference (regular classes canceled)
  • Sept. 22 Figures of Speech: Richard Wilbur’s “The Writer” (Moodle)
Academic Writing
  • Sept. 25 Writing Workshop I: The Academic Essay (Broadview Pocket Guide ch. 5)
  • Sept. 27 Writing Workshop II: From Brainstorming to Thesis
  • Sept. 29 Introduction to Research: Library Resources, Citation Practices, and More (Broadview Pocket Guide ch. 34)
  • Oct. 2 Writing Workshop III: Integrating Sources (Broadview Pocket Guide ch. 36)
Interpreting Poetry (cont.)
  • Oct. 4 The Sounds of Poetry: Introduction (“Rhyme” 863-66); Gerard Manley Hopkins’ “God’s Grandeur” (1052-53)
  • Oct. 6 Rhythm and Metre: Introduction (“Poetry and Sound” and “Metre and Rythm” (857-63); Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s “Metrical Feet: A Lesson for a Boy” (Moodle)
  • Oct. 9 Thanksgiving (no classes)
  • Oct. 11 Rhythm and Metre (cont.): George Herbert’s “Virtue” (Moodle)
  • Oct. 13* Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” (1064-65); J. R. R. Tolkien’s “The road goes ever on and on” (Moodle)
Religion and the Nature of Evil
  • Oct. 16 Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus
  • Oct. 18 Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus (cont.)
  • Oct. 20 Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus (cont.)
  • Oct. 23 Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus (cont.)
  • Oct. 25 Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus (cont.)
  • Oct. 27 Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus (cont.)
  • Oct. 30 William Blake’s “The Lamb” (959-60) and “The Tyger” (962-63)
  • Nov. 1 Emily Dickinson’s Poem 712 “Because I could not stop for Death—” (1026- 27) and Poem 465 “I heard a Fly buzz—when I died—” (1026)
  • Nov. 3 Midterm
Interpreting Non-Fiction
  • Nov. 6 Introduction (1363-71); G. K. Chesterton’s “On Running after One’s Hat”
  • (Moodle)
  • Nov. 8 David Foster Wallace’s “Consider the Lobster” (1455-71)
  • Nov. 10 Fall Break (no classes)
  • Nov. 13 Mariam Toews’ “A Father’s Faith” (1472-77)
  • Nov. 15 Writing Workshop IV: Common Errors and Paragraph Unity (Broadview Pocket Guide chs. 1-4)
Exploring Types of Poetry
  • Nov. 17 Old English (Anglo-Saxon) Poetry: “The Seafarer” (Moodle)
  • Nov. 20 The Sonnet: Thomas Campion’s “There is a garden in her face” (898-99); William Shakespeare’s Sonnet 130 (897); John Donne’s Holy Sonnet 14 (902)
  • Nov. 22* Ekphrasis: W. H. Auden’s “Musée des Beaux Arts” (1103-04)
  • Nov. 24 The Villanelle: Elizabeth Bishop’s “One Art” (1120) and Dylan Thomas’ “Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night” (1128)
  • Nov. 27 Satire: Arundhathi Subramaniam’s “To the Welsh Critic Who Doesn’t Find Me Identifiably Indian” (1301-03)
  • Nov. 29 Popular Music Lyrics (BYOP = bring your own poem)
Biblical Poetry
  • Dec. 1 Biblical Poetry: Psalms 23 and 114
  • Dec. 4 Biblical Poetry: Lamentations ch. 1
  • Dec. 6 Review
  • Dec. 8 Review

Required texts, assignments, and grade distributions may varyfrom one offering of this course to the next. Please consult the course instructor for up to date details.

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