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The goal of this course is to teach you how to write a clear, well-argued, and interesting analytical paper. We will spend most of our class time actively engaged in a variety of techniques to improve your critical reasoning and analytical skills, both written and oral. Though the skills you learn will be applicable to other disciplines, and a central purpose of the course is to improve all aspects of your writing, this is a literature class, designed partly to prepare you for upper level courses in the English Department, so we will, therefore, spend equal time on the interpretation of literature, in this case, contemporary American fiction, examining the very, very recent (last thirty years) developments in American fiction. We will read short stories and novels by writers such as Danielle Evans, George Saunders, Kali Fajardo-Anstine, Mary Robison, Karen Russell, ZZ Packer, among others.
Format: seminar; This course will be fully remote and structured as a seminar/tutorial hybrid. We'll mix whole-group meetings with small group sessions of 4 students.
Grading: no pass/fail option,
no fifth course option
Active participation, written and verbal comments on published and peer work, five essays (2-5 pages each, most in multiple drafts, including a final radical revision of an essay of the student's choice).
Five essays ranging from 2-5 pages each, most in multiple drafts. Students will receive extensive written comments on their writing skills, with suggestions for improvement, and may choose to meet with the professor individually outside of class as often as they'd like. Students will also comment (verbal and written) on published work and their peers' drafts, operating under the assumption that becoming a better writer involves becoming a better reader.