Course Requirements

  • Class attendance is mandatory; it counts 50% toward the course grade since it is taken in the form of a short quiz on the material (reading and viewing assignments) due on that day as well as lecture notes;¬†these true/false and multiple-choice quizzes cover reading assignments and the contents of classroom lecture handouts and discussion; make-up quizzes taken later and outside the classroom count only half of what they are worth when proctored as scheduled.
  • Three 4-5 page (single space, font size 12, word-count 2,500) papers, 30%. The paper is an exercise of your skills in critical analysis and literary interpretation. As a literary critic, you need to interpret the ideas and attitudes presented in the literary text, discuss the author’s aesthetics (the art or way s/he organizes his or her material). Every time you introduce a fictional detail or scene, some significance has to be attributed to it by way of analysis or interpretation. You need to write formally instead of the way you speak; and you need to proofread to eliminate typos and syntactical errors. A title is absolutely necessary and it should nicely sum up your review like a cap-stone, therefore, must be more meaningful than “the first paper”. References to secondary readings by critics are not necessary but greatly encouraged if their interpretations and critical perspectives influence your take on a certain work. Submit your review in Word as email attachment. Here are some topics for paper assignment in the past.
  • To write a high quality literary or film review, it is essential to know a lot about the artist, the historical time and society in which she lived, and the set of issues or intellectual preoccupations for which her works provide answers and responses. For this reason, you are encouraged to find web sites dedicated to the work or author in question, comparing the various perspectives within which the writer and his or her work are talked about.
  • Final, which may be taken home and open-book, to identify and interpret short excerpts taken from primary literary texts;¬†20%.

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