Instructor:             David Owens

·         e-mail:         

·         Phone:                  (509) 527 - 4425

·         Office:                   Main Building - AAA 111

·         Office Hours:          By Appointment

·         Homepage:   

·         ANGEL:        

·         ANGEL Help: 


Required Texts and Materials: (click on the link for more detailed information)


Course Objectives:

At the end of the course, students should have made significant progress in



Weekly Reading Quizzes                                           100 points

Discussion Board Forums                                          400 points

Class Participation                                                   100 points

Literary Analysis of Persepolis                                      80 points

Analytical Interaction w/ a Class Text                            80 points

Creative Response to a Class Text                               100 points


Total                                                                     860 points


Some Notes:

I usually check my campus e-mail a few times each week. It is not the best way to contact me or submit late assignments.

During my office hours, I can be reached at 524 - 5153. At other times of day, you can leave a message at this number, but I usually only remember to check my messages once a week, so it is ALWAYS better to e-mail me a quick message at  

I hope that you will find many of our texts enjoyable, but I know that you will find some of our texts challenging. I expect that you will approach all readings in this class by trying to understand each text in its own context as well as being able to productively articulate your own thoughts and feelings about it. Even if you find something boring, confusing or even offensive at first, I hope that your response will be to re-engage with it, ask questions about it, re-read it, roll it around in your head, write about what you don't understand or what bothers you on the discussion board. When all else fails, read the text again. Even if you think you understand the text perfectly, reading it (or parts of it) again will often yield different interpretations, expanded understanding and deeper insight.


If you want to read more about how I chose the texts for this class, you can read my explanation HERE.

For an overview of the reading schedule for this quarter, look HERE.


Copyright Notice: Many of the materials posted to this course site are protected by copyright law. These materials are only for the use of students enrolled in this course and only for the purposes of this course. They may not be further retained or disseminated. 


The best responses will:

·         Contain at least 5 compound/complex sentences per paragraph

·         Contribute materially to the discussion generated by the prompt (but does not need to respond directly to the prompt)

--- This means that your contribution should be original, either by taking the prompt in a new direction or by expanding on, or disagreeing with, another student's response

·         Reflect an accurate reading of the text and make a specific reference to it

·         Be thoughtful rather than casual, perfunctory, slap-dash or merely humorous

·         Be clear, effectively worded, polite and academic

·         Attempt to use literary terms to ask questions or explain something about the text

Often propose another prompt or question to move the conversation forward


If you fall behind on the Discussion Board, I will allow you to write ONE make-up essay about one of our texts that can be worth up to 100 points (almost two weeks' worth of posts). Be warned, however, that I have higher expectations for essays than I do of forum posts, so don't count on getting the full 100 points unless you write an extremely original and exciting essay.

Please note, however, if the pattern of missed forums indicates that you have skipped one of our major texts entirely (a film, play, or novel that we have spent an entire week or more on), then you will not be able to earn higher than a B no matter how much extra credit you attempt.

Also note, plagiarism of any kind, from outside sources or from other students, will not be tolerated and will very likely result in a failing grade for the class.


For the most part, I try to be very specific about my expectations for class work. If you feel confused about why you have a particular grade on any given assignment, or at any point during the quarter, please feel free to e-mail me about it. Here are some more specifics about how I grade the Discussion Boards:

·         I am looking for at least 4 solid paragraphs per week (Monday through Sunday) from each student, spread throughout the different forums. All of the sentences in your paragraph should be compound or complex and vigorously explore the text (none being introductory or filler - they are allowed, I just don't count them). A paragraph like this will earn you ten points.

·         Notice that on some weeks there will be fewer than four forums, so you will want to contribute multiple paragraphs to at least one of the forums. For example, if you only contribute one paragraph per forum, and there are only 3 forums, you have only earned 30 points for the week, so, to get your full points for the week, you will want to write at least two paragraphs for one of the forums. Doing even more than that will ensure that you get full credit - just in case some of your sentences are not really about the text or are too short.

If there are more than four forums, one of them will be optional, and this will be a good way to make up points for low participation of poor quiz scores

·         I also tend to favor full paragraphs over short replies to other people's posts. It is fine that you reply, just make your reply a fully developed paragraph or you may not earn full points for it. So, for example, you may write 8 short replies consisting of 2 or 3 sentences a piece, but that would still only earn you the same 10 (or perhaps 15) points as if you had written a full paragraph response to one post.

·         Finally, I have asked that students post to every forum. By not posting to a forum, you are essentially telling me that you have not read the text, which is like being absent, and is definitely not participating in the class. I will deduct 5 points for each forum you fail to post to. This could really add up if you miss a whole week with 4 forums in it (-20 points).

Hopefully, setting the bar this low will encourage people to contribute because they are interested rather than because they are forced to.

I would like to say that I will update your overall grade every week, but I don't think I will be able to fulfill that promise. However, I should be able to update your grades every other week. It will actually be fairly easy for industrious students to earn the maximum points each week by attending extra Elluminate sessions and contributing well over the minimum on the Discussion Boards, but I will not grant more than 100% at given any point in the quarter. You may do extra work to make up for lapses during previous weeks (up to a point), but I won't grant extra credit over 100% in advance so that students feel like they can slack off at the end of the quarter.