English 208 Study of the Short Story (PDF Version)
MRC 416, MWF 1:10 a.m.–2:00 p.m.
Grant T. Smith, Ph.D.
S Y L L A B U S
Office: MC 533
Office Hours: MF 2–3:00 p.m.; TTh 9–11:00 a.m. or by appointment
In this course we will continue the study and practice of composition.
Click here for Viterbo University’s General Education Foundations page on Written Communication.
- Click here for the university definitions of an excused and unexcused absence
- Click here for the university policy on sexual harassment
- Click here for the university policy on plagiarism
- If you are a person with a disability and require any auxiliary aids, services or other accommodations for this class, please see Jane Eddy in Murphy Center Learning Center 332 (796-3194) within ten days to discuss your accommodation needs. If there other accommodations that need to be made for you to succeed in the class, please indicate those needs to the instructor. Click here for a link to the Academic Resource Center.
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- Thinking—Students engage in the critical and creative thinking
- Ethical Decision Making—Students respond to ethical issues
- Communication—Students communicate effectively orally and in writing
- Aesthetic Sensitivity—Students engage in artistic experiences and reflect critically upon them
- Cultural Sensitivity—Students demonstrate a respect for the diversity of the human experience
- Community Involvement—Students demonstrate responsible citizenship
Student Learning Outcomes for English 208:
- You will comprehend fiction on a literal level.
- You will develop and support in written language a convincing thematic interpretation of short stories. This goal will be measured by your papers and revisions.
You will compose original and valid written arguments, support them with sufficient evidence, organize them to convince a specific audience, and use stylistically and grammatically appropriate language to convey those ideas. These skills will be measured by your papers and revisions.
Research and document effectively
You will formulate, effectively research, and accurately document an argument on a topic relevant to our course using fiction and non-fiction sources, including scholarly print and electronic sources. This goal will be measured by your papers and revisions.
Understand literary classifications
You will demonstrate an understanding of one literary genre, the short story. This skill will be measured by your literary analysis papers.
English Department Student Learning Outcomes:
Links related to English Department Student Learning Outcomes:
- Thinking—The students will engage in critical thinking when they explicate or “close read” literary texts; when they identify formal elements such as point of view, literary language, symbolism, imagery; when they consider texts and authors in relation to historical, cultural, ideological, and theoretical contexts; when they compare what they are reading with what they have read previously; when they relate what they are reading to the wider world and to universal issues of human life. Click here for a Critical Thinking Web Page. Click here for a Logical Fallacies Web Page.
- Communication—The students will articulate in class and in assigned writing assignments their interpretations, insights, analyses, and evaluations of the assigned literature. Click here for the English Department’s Home Page on Writing a Critical Analysis of Literature. Click here for Viterbo University’s General Education Foundations page on Written Communication.
- Aesthetic—The students will articulate in class and in assigned writing assignments their understanding of the elements of a “masterpiece” of young adult literature. The students will evaluate the lasting quality of literature from the formal and contextual elements embedded in the literature.
- Ethics—The students will articulate in class and in assigned writing assignments their responses to the ethical questions and dilemmas posed in the assigned readings. Ethics is generally defined as the principles of conduct governing an individual or group; concerns for what is right or wrong, good or bad. The students will not plagiarize. Click here for the Viterbo University plagiarism statement. Click here for the English Department plagiarism statement. Click here for the Viterbo University Institute of Ethics in Leadership.
- Cultural Sensitivity—The students will read various texts by diverse authors. The students will articulate in class and in assigned writing assignments their understanding of life values represented in different texts in relation to their own. Individual projects are designed to give the students an opportunity to move outside of their own culture and to study and interact with a new culture. Click here for the university’s statement on sexual harassment.
The Norton Anthology of Short Fiction, eds, Richard Bausch and R.V. Cassill, seventh edition, 2006
- Attendance: Students who have three or fewer absences during the semester will receive 100 points. Students who have four to six absences will receive 60 points. Any student who has more than six absences will be asked to withdraw from the course.
- Respond to three reading assignments with a 3–5 page reflection paper (300 points). The journal responses should reflect a thoughtful, careful, clean, and analytic reading of one of the texts.
- Complete an extended final extended essay (200 points). The final extended essay (5–7 pages) should reflect a thoughtful, careful, clean and analytic reading of one of the themes discussed during the semester. The extended essay may include outside sources properly documented.
Weeks One and Two: August 29, September 5 (Labor Day)
Introduction to Short Story
Reading Signs and Symbols and Semiotics
Elements: Character, Setting, Plot, Theme, Tone
Read “The Story of an Hour” 297 Notes on “The Story of an Hour”
Read “A Good Man is Hard to Find” 1201 Notes on “A Good Man Is Hard to Find”
Read “The Open Boat” 379
Read “Brokeback Mountain” (Library Reserve)
Weeks Three and Four: September 12, 19
Theme: Who Am I? Why Should Anyone Care?
Read: “Paul’s Case” 235
Read “Everyday Use” 1512
Read “The Man Who Was Almost a Man” 1609
Weeks Five and Six: September 26, October 3
Theme: How Shall I Live?
Read “Bartleby the Scrivener” 1085 Notes on “Bartleby the Scrivener”
Read “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” 1447
Read “A White Heron” (Library Reserve) Discussion Questions for “A White Heron”
Read “A New England Nun” 576 Notes on “New England Nun”
Read “I Stand Here Ironing” (Library Reserve)
Weeks Seven and Eight: October 10, 17 (Mid-term Break, October 21)
Theme: How Shall I Die?
Read “The Jilting of Granny Weatherall” 1292
Read “The Things They Carried” 1188
Read “The Death of Ivan Llych” 1452 Notes on “The Death of Ivan Ilich”
Weeks Nine and Ten: October 31, November 7
Theme: Women Behaving Badly
Read “The Chrysanthemums” 1389 Notes on “Chrysanthemums”
Discussion Questions for “The Chrysanthemums”
Read “A Rose for Emily” 520
Read “The Yellow Wallpaper” 597
Weeks Eleven and Twelve: November 14, November 21 (Thanksgiving Break, November 23-35)
Theme: Men Behaving Badly
Read “The Birthmark” 648 Discussion Questions for “The Birthmark”
Read “Hills Like White Elephants” 661
Read “The Lady with the Dog” 284
Weeks Thirteen and Fourteen: November 28, December 5
Theme: Is This Dangerous?
Read: “Death in Venice” 918
Read: “Fall of the House of Usher” 1264
Read: “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” (Library Reserve)
Themes of “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?”
Background Information on “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?”
All journal responses are due before December 5.
Week Fifteen: December 12
Final Exam: Tuesday, December 13, 9:50–11:50 a.m.
Theme: What Have I Learned? In-class discussion.
Final Extended Essay is due any time during Final Exam Week