English 104:03: Composition and
Literature (PDF Version)
MC 346, MWF 11:15 a.m. – 12:10 p.m.
Grant T. Smith, Ph.D.
Office: MC 533
Office Hours: MWF 3 p.m. – 4 p.m.
T Th 10 a.m. – 12 noon
In this course we will explore the
following environmental themes as they appear in American
literature. We will read nonfiction, fiction, and poetry that will
help us to explore the complex relationships between “place” and “self.”
We will first attempt to identify and define the environments (places) around
us and discover the inter-relationships we share with members (human and
non-human) of those environments. Through the literature we read we shall
then attempt to define the “self” through a paradigm of relationships with the
members of those places. We shall consider these questions throughout the
- What is a sense of place?
- How am I connected physically and or spiritually to a
- How am I shaped by a place?
- What affect do I have on a place?
- How do I define my physical, spiritual, and
- What experiences with the environment and with others
have shaped my being?
In this course we will continue the
study and practice of composition.
- Click here for the university definitions of an excused and
unexcused absence(page 15).
- Click here for the university policy on sexual harassment (page
- Click here for the university policy on plagiarism (page 10).
- Click here for the English department’s statement
- 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 Academic Resource 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.
- In the event of an infectious disease outbreak,
university officials will monitor progress and work with local, state, and
national authorities to determine the best course of action regarding
institutional operations. Information related to any widespread infectious
diseases outbreak will be available on Viterbo’s website and Viterbo Health Services website. In addition, the Center for Disease
Control (CDC) website
has extensive information on health threats. If you have specific
questions about your personal health, please contact your medical provider
or Health Services.
Academic Integrity Policy
Maintaining a standard of academic
honesty is a responsibility shared by the students, faculty and administration
at Viterbo University. The faculty has the responsibility to create an
atmosphere in which students may display their knowledge. This atmosphere
includes sufficient safeguards to control dishonesty including an orderly
testing room, restrictions on text messages, etc. Students have the
responsibility to understand academic misconduct and to refrain from it.
Late Work Policy
Students are expected to submit
their work on the designated due date.
Exceptions may be made at the discretion of the professor.
Electronic Submissions Policy
All written assignments should be
submitted as Word Documents to firstname.lastname@example.org.
engage in the critical and creative thinking
- Ethical Decision Making—Students respond to ethical issues
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
- You will comprehend poetry, fiction, and essays on a
- You will develop and support in written language a
convincing thematic interpretation of poetry, fiction, and essays.
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 two literary genres (poetry and fiction). This skill
will be measured by your literary analysis papers.
English Department Student Learning
Links related to English Department
Student Learning Outcomes:
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
- 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.
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
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
Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family
and Place by Terry Tempest Williams
Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold
Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
without Fish by Mark Kurlansky
Hoot by Carl Hiaasen
Night Thoreau Spent in Jail by Robert
Edwin Lee and Jerome Lawrence
Texts and/or Reserve Materials
Handbook for Writers of Research Papers,
- 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 two reading assignments with a 2-3 page
reflection paper (200 points).
- Complete an approved individual project (100 points).
- Complete an 8-to-10 page term paper (200 points).
Credit Hour Equivalents
Regardless of format, all courses
are required to meet the required credit hour standards by a combination of
seat time and outside work. Outside work could include additional outside
reading, group work, service projects, field work, clinical rotations, among
other learning activities. Viterbo
defines one credit hour as 750 minutes over 15 weeks. In addition, each credit
of a course requires that students spend two hours of work outside of class per
Weeks One and Two: August
27, September 3 (Labor Day, September 3)
Introduction to Environmental Concerns
PowerPoint Presentation: “Environmental
Read World without Fish by
Writing Assignment: Summarize one chapter of World without Fish
Find three different sources to support or refute any claim made in World without Fish. Be prepared to discuss your research in
PowerPoint Presentation: “End of the Line”
John Gast's painting, American Progress
Weeks Three and Four:
September 10, September 17
Read Walden by Henry David Thoreau, Chapters One and
Walden full text: http://xroads.virginia.edu/~hyper/walden/walden.html
“Civil Disobedience” full text: http://art-bin.com/art/odisob.html
“Letter from a Birmingham Jail” full
Discussion questions on "Economy"
Discussion questions on "Civil Disobedience."
Reader Response Questions on "Civil Disobedience."
A quiz on "Peacemakers."
Full text of Crito
Writing Assignment: Personal Narrative
Weeks Five and Six:
September 24, October 1
Read Hoot by Carl Hiassen
“Archetypes in Hoot”
Read The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail by Robert
Edwin Lee and Jerome Lawrence
Weeks Seven and Eight:
October 8, October 15 (Mid-semester break October 19)
Read Into the Wild
Discussion questions for Into the Wild
A review of Into the Wild.
A student's journal response to Into the Wild
A student's formal essay on Into the Wild
Presentation: Into the Wild
Weeks Eight and Nine:
October 22, October 29
Read Refuge by Terry Tempest Williams
PowerPoint Presentation Refuge
"The Politics of Place" with Terry Tempest Williams
Official Web Page of Terry Tempest Williams
Official Web Page of the Mormon Church
Definition of ecofeminism by
Rosemary Radford Reuther
Research and reference guide to nature, ecocriticism, and ecofeminism
Discussion questions on Refuge
Weeks Ten and Eleven: November
5, November 12
Continue Refuge by Terry
Writing Assignment: Topic for research paper, thesis
statement, bibliography (five sources)
Weeks Twelve and Thirteen:
November 19, November 26 (Thanksgiving, November 22)
Read A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold (Read
Part 1: "A Sand County Almanac" and "Wisconsin" in Part II
and "The Land Ethic in Part IV.
PowerPoint Presentation: A
Sand County Almanac
Read "A White Heron"
by Sarah Orne Jewett
Home Page for the Aldo Leopold Nature Center.
Outline on the Aldo Leopold land ethic.
Definition of environmental ethics
The Greenpeace International Home Page
News Network (ENN)
A Web Page on the land ethic
The official "Endangered Species" web site
Three pages of research paper
Weeks Fourteen and Fifteen:
PowerPoint Presentation: “To Autumn” and “Wild Geese”
PowerPoint Presentation: “How Are We Doing?”
Presentation of Term Projects