Please see individual assignment sheets in the drop-down menu. Here is a broader description, borrowed from the syllabus, for each assignment. 

Assignments and Grades_______________________________________

Your grade in this course will reflect your performance in five broad categories as described below.  You can earn a maximum of 1000 points in this course.  You can read more about the major assignments under the “Assignments” tab.

  • Presence—150 points / 15%: measured, in roughly equal parts, by random quizzes and low-stakes in-class writing, and blog comments of around 150-200 words. 4 Blog Comments will be required across the semester at 10 points each. I do not have a set amount of your grade set aside for “class participation” because it is such an elemental part of the course: it is expected. I will invite quieter students to participate at times. If you are simply a quieter person, though, one way to signal your interest in class discussion would be to compose a few extra blog posts or comment on your peers’ posts more regularly.
  • The Great American Blog—200 / 20%: Over the course of the semester, each of you will compose 8, blog posts of 300-400 words each relating to our work in this course. I will grade these posts in two groupings: at the mid-term point and at the end of the semester.  I expect your posts to be polished, free of errors, properly formatted, and they should, at times, incorporate various forms of media and external reference (images, video embeds, links to other sites or posts, and so on). Never blogged before using the WordPress platform? No problem, just check out these instructions. As you review the instructions, please pay close attention to the use of categories; if your post is not properly categorized, it will not receive full credit.
  • Final Paper–350 points / 35%: Each student will compose a roughly 10-page researched critical paper on a novel of their choice. Students must closely engage at least four sources, and each paper will go through a drafting process that will include small-group conferences. The Annotated Bibliography and Presentation described below are worth 50 out of this assignment’s possible 350 points.
    • Annotated Bibliography and Presentation: On the final day of each assigned novel, a group of students will turn in an annotated bibliography and offer a presentation that provides an overview of their key sources, a rough outline for their argument, and an in-depth view of one key source in particular.
  • Final Exam–300 points / 30%: The final exam will be comprehensive and it will involve a combination of author IDs, short-answer questions, and two longer essay questions: one that will ask you to engage 2-3 or the 8 assigned novels in a comparative manner, and one that will relate to the final novel (on which no one is writing a paper).

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