Instructor:             David Owens

e-mail:                   [email protected]

Phone:                  (509) 527 - 4425

Office:                   Main Building - AAA 111

Office Hours:          By Appointment



Online Peer Mentoring: [email protected]

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                                           500 points

Collaborate Sessions                                                   70 points

Literary Analysis of Persepolis                                       50 points

Analytical Interaction w/ a Class Text                             80 points

Creative Response to a Class Text                                100 points


Total                                                                      900 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 527 - 4425. 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.


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



This quarter, there will be a forum marked "Optional" for each week. You can choose not to respond to this forum without penalty if you are an active member of the face to face classroom or if you are ahead on points in the Collaborate sessions. You will still get a 0 for that forum if you choose not to post in it, but you will not receive a -5 penalty to your overall discussion board score. This only applies if you have met your minimum points for participation for that week.

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 (most attempts earn less than 50%).

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.


If you are not able to participate in as many sessions as you would like, you can earn 5 points by listening to recordings of each session, which I will post under course resources. This will also be important because lecture materials from the sessions might show up in quizzes. Angel will let me know when you have listened to a session, but I usually only update grades once a week. You will note that fully participating in both sessions of 4 Monday classes will fulfill your participation requirement for the quarter, but participation is the one category that will allow you to push your grade above 100% so that you can use points from this to make up for bad quiz scores and skip optional forums.

It is important to know that Collaborate is a java application that pops up in a new window. In order to run it successfully, you will need to make sure that your java software is updated and that you can set your browser to allow some pop-ups if it tends to block or filter them automatically. A link will appear in the Collaborate Live! box in the center column of the course page on the day of each session, and you will be able to log in half an hour before the session begins.


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 5 solid paragraphs per week (Monday to Saturday) 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 10 points (no matter how many points the forum is worth, which is determined by the number of forums there are that week).

·         Notice that in some weeks there will be fewer than five 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 4 forums, you have only earned 40 points for the week, so, to get your full points for the week, you will want to write at least two paragraphs for two 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.

·         I also tend to favor full paragraphs over several 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. Saying essentially the same thing in every response will also not count as much as a full and original response.

·         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 5 forums in it (-25 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 Collaborate 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. The exception to this, of course, is if you earn over 100% in the Collaborate/Participation category as stated above. Those points will always be added to your score.