Conventions of Reading

LIT 168, Spring 1999
Sec. 01: M 418, TTh 12:30-1:45 pm 
Sec. 80: M 418, W 4:15-7 pm 
Instructor: Dr. Robert Fletcher

Course Description Course Objectives
Class Schedule 
Section 01
 Section 80

Course Description

This course introduces you to the academic study of literature and, more specifically, to the theories and practice of reader-response criticism. We will read and discuss examples of short fiction, poetry, drama, and the novel, and, at the same time, we will also be studying the cultural, cognitive, and rhetorical processes that enable people to read and write texts. In addition, we'll use computer technology--including hypertexts and the WWW--to help foreground the constructed nature of our seemingly "natural" responses to texts. Finally, we will also spend some time discussing and then practicing the conventions of scholarly writing.



The goals of this course are as follows:  



The following are required and can be purchased at the campus bookstore:  



Your performance in the course will be evaluated in 3 different ways:   


Plagiarism: "Plagiarism is using another's words or ideas without appropriate acknowledgement" (MLA Style Manual 4). In formal essays, "acknowledgement" means using conventions of citation such as the quotation marks and parenthetical note in the previous sentence. Even if you paraphrase someone's words, you must provide a note showing your debt. In informal writing, as a common courtesy, you should always credit the name of the person whose idea you are mentioning or borrowing. NOTE: If you plagiarize or use commercial study aids (e.g. Cliff's Notes), in your formal essays, you will receive an irrevocable "F" grade.

Attendance: A class that studies reader response, as ours will, has to have some healthy discussion of actual responses to readings, and so attendance will be part of your participation grade. You are permitted three absences during the semester, excluding those for major medical problems, which will be handled on an individual basis. If you miss too much of the semester--even with a legitimate medical excuse--I may have to ask you to withdraw. After the three cuts, your final grade in the course will be lowered a third of a grade (e.g. from C to C-) for each cut.

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