Assignments & evaluation

ENGL 341: Modern Fiction


  • Submit a hard copy AND identical e-copy of all work. Use 12-pt Times New Roman, with normal margins. Double-sided printing is accepted.
  • Double-spacing is required for the essay; the textual analyses can be single-spaced.
  • Use MLA format for citations and references.
  • Late penalty for all assignments is 1.5% per day, at instructor’s discretion, until a week after the deadline; after a week, late work will not be accepted without a suitable explanation.

Quizzes (8 X 1.25% = 10%): over the course of the term, eight pop quizzes based on the week’s readings will be administered at the beginning of class. There will be three questions per quiz, each requiring an answer of one or a few words. The questions will be very easy for anyone having read the required text (e.g., Question: “Why can’t Stephen Dedalus do his schoolwork in Chapter I of Portrait?” Answer: broken eye-glasses.)

Textual analyses (first analysis: 10% + second analysis: 15% = 25%). Based on your choice from several pre-selected passages, write a succinct close-reading attending to such issues as language use, narration, allusion, irony, etc. The analysis should be about a ¾ page single-spaced, and should not exceed a page. With such tight constraints, you would do well to be very focused and narrow in your analysis. An example of the sort of specificity and attention to detail I am looking for is available on the blog from my past course on film adaptation.

Final Essay (40%): you can approach this essay as either (1) a creative-analytical study on style and its effects on meaning, in which you translate a passage from one work read in class into the style of another, and then analyse your translation (details to follow); or (2) a more traditional alternative, a thesis-based analysis of one of the works discussed in the Fall terms. Essay topics to be distributed, though may write also write, with my approval, on a topic of your own devising; you are also encouraged to use your textual analysis as the seed for an essay. Due November 27.

Final in-class test (25%): this will take place in normal class hours on November 20. It will cover all the class materials, and will consist of passage identifications and short-answer questions.


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