English 345: English Novel II (37794)
Professor Jason Tougaw
Classroom: Kiely 248
Office: Klapper 633
Office Hours: Tuesdays 3:30 – 5:30
Essay Guidelines & Academic Integrity
All your formal writing should be typed, double-spaced, with 1” margins. Please proofread carefully, so that your essay is polished and free of typographical errors. Give every essay a title and include your name as well as the course name and number. Be sure to include a list of works cited. Use MLA guidelines (see link on Blackboard) for citing sources and constructing your works cited list. We will discuss my expectations in class, but in general I expect essays to contain serious thought, analysis, and reflection, not simply summary or description.
A student’s work should be his or her own. But a student’s ideas should also engage the ideas of other thinkers and writers. Communication gives ideas meaning and creates a community of thinkers. This is where citation and plagiarism can become tricky. Plagiarism is, of course, a serious issue. It is important that you establish your own point of view, make it clear what ideas are yours and which come from your sources, and respond to your sources critically. Be sure also to cite all sources appropriately, using MLA style. Finally, if you’re struggling with your ideas, your writing, or your sources, be sure to talk to me. Plagiarism sometimes arises from confusion and sometimes from desperation. If you are feeling panicked or just unsure about a writing assignment, talk to me. I can help you with the process.
Late work: For this course, you will complete three blog entries, a collaborative timeline project and a final essay, completed in stages (see “Requirements) for this course. I will accept one of these up to one week late without penalty. (Any of the essay’s stages counts as one assignment with regard to this deadline policy; the final revision of the essay, which is due during finals week, may not be late under any circumstance.) Additional late assignments will lose 1/3 of a grade for every two days the assignment is late.
The Writing Center
Located in Kiely Hall 229, tutors there are trained to help you revise your writing at various stages. If you believe you need additional help with your writing, or if I ask you to set up a regular meeting with a tutor, you should make an appointment at least one week prior to when an assignment is due. You can also get online help by visiting their website at http://qcpages.qc.edu/qcwsw/.
The Online Writing Lab (OWL)
Purdue University’s OWL is a great resource for help with grammar, citation, and other writing tips and problem. The site can be found here: http://owl.english.purdue.edu.
Located in Kiely Hall 171, the Office for Special Services for Students with Disabilities was established to make sure that students with disabilities have access to resources that will allow them to succeed at Queens College. If you have questions about services you might qualify for, visit their website at http://sl.qc.cuny.edu/oss/index.php. I’ll also be happy to talk with you about any questions or concerns you may have.
Grading Criteria for Essays
When I evaluate your writing, I am looking for independent thought expressed in engaging prose. Your essays should both please and enlighten readers and give them a sense of why your essay is important—why what you have to say needs to be said. I evaluate the words on the page before me and do not factor in potential, improvement, or effort. The work you put into an assignment will most certainly be evident in the completed essay. You will find below the general criteria according to which I will evaluate your formal writing—in this case, mainly your Honors Seminar Essay, which you’ll begin in the fall and complete in early spring. These descriptions are very general and cannot capture the nuances and distinctions of individual writers or essays. Just use them as a guide, certainly not as a template. (Plusses and minuses represent shades of difference.)
• An “A” range essay is both ambitious and successful. It presents and develops solid, compelling ideas with grace, confidence, and control. It engages sources with nuance and complexity and makes its motives clear to readers. Generally, an “A” essay makes for a reading experience so engaging that the nuts and bolts of the writing become nearly invisible. Finally, an “A” essay should prompt readers think about the world in new ways. It should teach us something.
• A “B” range essay is one that is ambitious but only partially successful, or one that achieves more modest aims well. A “B” essay must contain solid ideas, but these may not always be particularly complex, or may not be presented or supported well at every point. Its motives may not always be clearly communicated. It engages sources in interesting ways, but doesn’t always carve out the writer’s stance in relation to these sources adeptly or clearly enough. A “B” essay is generally clear and readable, but may lapse into confusion from time to time. A “B” essay will make readers think, but it usually leaves them with an incomplete picture of its topic, some confusion about the ideas it explores, or a feeling of incompleteness.
• A “C” range essay has significant problems in articulating and presenting its ideas, though it usually contains an identifiable focus. Such essays often lack clarity and use source material in simple ways, without significant analysis or insight. A “C” essay doesn’t make its motives clear to readers. It usually suffers at the level of the sentence as well, obscuring the writer’s ideas. An essay like this is difficult to read because it doesn’t approach and guide readers. It requires readers to do the difficult work of sorting out the writer’s ideas.
• A “D” range essay fails to grapple seriously with either ideas or texts, or fails to address the expectations of the assignment. A “D” essay distinguishes itself from a failing essay by showing moments of promise, such as an emerging argument, which isn’t sufficiently developed or articulated. “D” essays do not engage or integrate sources effectively, though there may some effort to discuss them.
• A failing essay does not grapple with either ideas or texts, or does not address the expectations of the assignment.