In this 124 course we will read several contemporary novels about death as a focal point for our discussion of writing at the college level. The reading list will include Watchmen by Moore , Gilead by Robinson, and Nine Stories and Franny and Zooey by JD Salinger.
The goal of the course is to introduce you to writing arguments that matter in an academic context. That means getting beyond summary, and getting beyond stating the obvious. We will focus on using critical analysis as defined by the logic of a thesis statement to
1. Summarize what is obvious about a text
2. Focus on some overlooked portion of that text that seems to conflict with what we thought was obvious
3. Derive a new, more refined understanding of the text and its meaning.
Expect to read nine short stories and three novels, to write a thorough summary of each story and each novel, to come to class and discuss the books by starting with the summaries and moving out from the known to the unknown.
Also, expect to peer edit other student papers, and to have one of your own papers peer edited.
Expect to read a lot, write a lot, and talk a lot.