English 320: Introduction to the Short Story


There are 2 examinations, a Mid-Term and the Final Exam). The Final will cover only the works assigned since the Mid-Term, but, you will be expected to show a mastery of critical concepts throughout the course.  Each exam will have an out-of-class portion (a 2-3 page single-spaced analytical essay) and an in-class portion (short analytical essays, plus some short answers).  Faculty Senate regulations require me to bring to your attention the University's provisions regarding Academic Honesty and Plagiarism.  Approximately a week before each exam, I will post on the Web a guide to preparing for it.  Each exam will be worth a total of 100 points.

If you score below C+ on the Mid-Term, you will have the opportunity to do one or more extra assignments to bring your grade on those items up to the equivalent of C+.  That will put you within striking distance of a B, depending on how well you do on the remainder of the assignments.

Both the Mid-Term and the Final will each be divided into two parts  an out-of-class essay, and an in-class session in short-answer format. Typically in the in-class session, you will be required to write a well-organized, well-developed paragraph on each of 5 topics, or somewhat more thorough mini-essays on 3 topics, together with a brief series of shorter answers on questions directed to stories not covered in your essay answers. Each answer, whether shorter or longer, will expect you to show familiarity with certain critical concepts and, of course, with the work under discussion. In the Mid-Term, I will be looking to see whether you can undertake an appropriate sequence of moves in answering a specific question I pose about the work. In the Final, I will begin looking to see whether you can formulate for yourself an appropriate agenda of curiosity, and carry it through in an appropriate way. In each case, you will be required to discuss at least one work that we have not focused on in class. (Being able to deal appropriately with material concerning which you have not been provided with a direct model is the "acid test" of whether you have internalized an appropriate battery of readerly moves.) For a detailed description of what I mean by "readerly moves," see the discussion in Goals and Methods of the Course.

Each exam will be worth 100 points  50 points for the out-of-class portion and 50 for the in-class part.  A week before each exam, I will issue a "prep sheet" that will point you fairly specifically to the matters you can expect to encounter on the test. I may set back the Mid-Term somewhat, depending on how the pace of the class is proceeding, but I will not set it forward. If you are attending class regularly and paying attention to your e-mail, you will be informed well in advance of any changes in this schedule.  It is your responsibility, however, to monitor your e-mail regularly to make sure that you are aware of any alterations.

The out-of-class exam essays will be devoted to a detailed analysis of a work or pair of works, on a specific topic chosen from among several I will pose. The important points to stress are that you will not be writing an explication, nor will you be writing a research paper; rather you will be writing either an analysis or a comparison-contrast. You may expect to deal with at least one work that we have not discussed in class. The out-of-class essays are considered part of the exams for the course. They will be due at the beginning of the in-class exam session. They will each count 50 points.

You will want to review the memo on criteria for evaluating examination answers.  What is said here applies both to short essays written in-class and to longer essays written out of class.

The following will be ready for your perusal as the respective exams approach or (in the case of feedback) after they have been evaluated:

The in-class portion of the Final Examination will take place in our regularly scheduled classroom, Eh224.  Students may attend either of the sessions scheduled for Lyman Baker's sections, regardless of the section in which they happen to be enrolled.  (The trade-off for this flexibility is that latecomers may need to be patient if they have to sit on the floor if we happen to run out of desks in one of the sessions.  Students enrolled in the section for which the Final is officially scheduled will have priority for a desk, even if they arrive late.  Should a student decide to exercise this option, I'll start in the first row, counting from the seat nearest the door, until I come across a student from a different section, who will then have to surrender his or her seat.) 

The officially scheduled sessions are

Monday, May 10, 11:50am-1:40pm (for Section B, which met regularly at 11:30 MWF)
Friday, May 14, 11:50pm-1:40pm (for Section B, which met regularly at 11:30 MWF)

  Suggestions are welcome.  Please send your comments to lyman@ksu.edu .

   Contents copyright 1999 by Lyman A. Baker

Permission is granted for non-commercial educational use; all other rights reserved.

  This page last updated 06 May 1999.