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English 102: Critical Thinking and Literary Analysis (Section 1301)

Spring 2017

MW 10:45-12:10 AD 243

Dr. Jessica Groper

Office: AD 245, Phone: x5626


Office Hours: Monday 1:30-2:30, Tuesday 2:30-3:30, Wednesday 1:30-2:30, Thursday 1:30-2:30

Learning Center (AD 232) Office Hour: Tuesday 1:30-2:30 (Note: Tutoring in the Learning Center is not reserved for my students only; I will help any student who has scheduled an appointment.  If you wish to work with me during this time, you must schedule an appointment.  I cannot give priority to my students.)

If you cannot attend my office hours, you may schedule an appointment with me.  This must be done via e-mail or Facebook message at least 48 hours prior to the appointment.


Required Texts:        Griffith, Writing Essays About Literature

                                    Lahiri, Interpreter of Maladies

                                    Levithan, Every Day

            Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest


Required Materials: A notebook to be used to take notes inside and outside of class

                                    A binder to keep your notes and handouts for the course


GCC Catalog Description of English 102:

English 102 helps students to develop their critical thinking and writing skills beyond the level achieved in English 101. The course emphasizes the application of logical reasoning, analysis, and strategies of argumentation in critical thinking and writing, using literature (both fiction and non-fiction) and literary criticism as subject matter. Students will also receive instruction in literary research, and will complete a fully documented research paper.


Student Learning Outcomes:

Upon successful completion, the student will be able to:

1. Critically read and evaluate culturally diverse literary and prose texts which address critical positions and problems. Identify thesis or unifying theme of text and its traditional use of reasoning and logic. Identify and evaluate supporting evidence for relevance and accuracy and evaluate text in terms of diction, tone and unity.

2. Demonstrate appropriate application of supporting evidence from primary and secondary sources. Evaluate evidence in terms of accuracy, relevance, and freedom from faulty assumptions.

3. Write sophisticated, coherently structured, mechanically sound expository and persuasive essays related to literary works and current issues.


Course Overview/Workload:

            ~ 2 Drafted Essays                                           25% of total grade

            ~ 1 In Class Writing Assignment                      15%

            ~ 1 Research Paper                                          25%

            ~ Homework/Final Project                               15%

            ~ Quizzes                                                         10%

            ~ Participation                                                 10%

You must receive a grade of C or above to successfully complete this class and move out of English 102.

Please do not rely on for an accurate grade report!  Your grade is percentage-based, not point-based.

If you have any questions or concerns about your grade, please do not hesitate to discuss them with me.  Grades are confidential; I will not discuss them with roommates, parents, or friends.



         Class attendance is required and expected.  Because important course work is done during each class, presence on a daily basis is absolutely essential to passing this course.  If you are absent, you are responsible for obtaining handouts, assignments, etc.  There is no difference between an excused absence (illness, unavoidable conflict) or unexcused absence (lazy, hungover) from my class.  You are adults, and I respect your ability to make intelligent decisions about your attendance. 

         You are allowed four absences in this class, which will not impact your final grade (although missed assignments, quizzes, or activities may).  After four absences you will be dropped from the class or will receive an F if the drop date has passed. 

         Four tardies (you arrive after I have taken role) will equal one absence. 

         Two excessive tardies (15 minutes or more after role is taken) or two early exits (15 minutes or more before class’ scheduled end time) will equal one absence.

         If you miss more than two classes in a row you will be dropped from or will fail this class.  Don’t schedule doctor’s appointments, work, agree to take anyone to the airport, or any other commitments such as these to occur during class time.  If you arrive after attendance is taken, you are tardy, and it is your responsibility to inform me so that I don’t mark you absent.  It is also your responsibility to keep track of your absences; I will not give you a warning when your grade is being negatively impacted.

         Take a moment now to introduce yourself to someone from our class and get their contact information so you can contact them if you need to miss class.

         Quizzes and in-class work cannot be made up.  If you know you will be absent, make arrangements to turn in any homework or take any quizzes or exams early. 


Being Dropped From this Course or Not Passing This Course:

         You will be dropped from this course or will not pass this course for the following reasons:

1) You miss any day during the first two weeks of our course.

2) You have more than two absences in a row.

3) You miss more than four classes.

4) You do not complete and submit for a grade your Research Paper.



Attendance does not equal participation.  There is a huge difference between sitting in your seat for the class duration, and being part of the class discussion and activities.  Participation counts for 10% of your final grade.  Perfect attendance will, at best, get you a C.  If you are sleeping, talking out of turn, staring out the window, checking texts, or any other activity that is unrelated to or distracting from the class, your grade will be lowered.  If you ask or answer questions, take notes, and are generally involved in the class, your grade will improve.  You need to be prepared for class by having completed the readings and formulated your own opinions on the topics so that you can actively participate in discussions.  I need to hear your voice – not just my own!


Workshop Attendance:

            Your final grade is determined in part by your completion of two mandatory workshops – either at the GCC library or the Learning Center.  This is part of your Homework grade.  Workshops attended in past semesters do not count toward this requirement.  All workshops are free and a great resource to use as a GCC student.  Try to attend a workshop that focuses on a subject you know you could use some help with.  This way you will actually benefit from the experience!  Please make sure to sign up in advance for the workshop and arrive early, as space is limited.

            I give 10 points Extra Credit (applied to your Drafted Essays grade) for attendance at a third Library or Learning Center Workshop. 


Use of Computers or Tablets in the Classroom:

            Many of the reading assignments from this class are available online for purchase as ebooks.  If you choose to, you may use a tablet or eReader in class, but please be prepared to have it with you in class every day, and keep in mind that the GCC wifi signal isn’t always reliable.  You may not use your phone or a laptop as a reading device.  Keep in mind that you must have a copy of the reading with you on the day we discuss it in class.  Please be respectful of the trust I put in you by allowing these devices in my classroom; if I catch you checking your texts, e-mail, instagram, or other unrelated websites during class time you will receive an F for participation for the day and will be marked absent.


Cell Phones:

            Cell phones are absolutely prohibited in the classroom.  They may not be used to check homework, e-mail, texts, to answer calls, or to take pictures of information written on the board.  Cell phones must be turned off and secured out of sight for the duration of class.  This written policy serves as your only warning.  If I see your cell phone – whether you are using it or not – you will be marked absent and will receive an F for participation for the day.  After three offenses, I will ask you to leave the class and will call security if necessary.

            If you are expecting a phone call that cannot be ignored until after class, you must inform me prior to the start of class, and you must have my permission to answer it.  You may keep your phone on vibrate somewhere nearby and discretely exit the classroom when necessary.  This cannot be a recurring event.


E-mail or Facebook:

            Please feel free to get in contact with me if you have questions, comments, or if I can provide you with more information.  If you cannot come to my office hours, the best way to reach me is through        e-mail or facebook.  If you do contact me please keep the following issues in mind.

1.     If you email me, it is College policy that you must do so using your GCC student email address.  I will not respond to correspondence that comes from personal email addresses; additionally, if I need to contact you, I will do so using your GCC student email address, so please check it regularly.


3.     Spell check all e-mails that you send to me and avoid any text messaging type slang (u for you, etc.).

4.     Clearly identify yourself (name, class, etc.).

5.     Give me approximately 24 hours to respond to your e-mail.

6.     I stop checking e-mail and facebook at 7 pm.  If you contact me after that time, I will not respond until the next day.



            All written assignments must be submitted to  Homework assignments (i.e. Sparking Questions and Response Journals) must be submitted no later than one hour before our scheduled class meeting.  Late homework is not accepted. 

Essays must be submitted by a specific time designated on the assignment sheet.  Late essays will be marked down 5 points per day.  Essays more than a week late will not be accepted. 

Plagiarism will not be tolerated under any circumstances.  Plagiarism is the intentional or unintentional appropriation of another person’s words, ideas, or theories in place of your own.  If you are caught copying, stealing, cheating, or “borrowing” someone else’s ideas you may receive an “F” for the assignment, and in some cases an “F” in the class.  (In some cases you may even be expelled).  Each assignment submitted to will generate an originality report, which will allow you to see how much intentional or unintentional plagiarism is in your paper.  An originality report of more than 25% may be considered Plagiarism, and may result in an F on the assignment.  Glendale College’s Academic Dishonesty Policy can be found at


Revisions and Make Up Policies:

You may revise the In-class Essay and the two Drafted Essays you write for this class (on which you received a B or lower – essays that receive an A may not be revised), but you must follow a specific procedure to do so.

1.     You must meet with me during office hours within two weeks (10 school days) of receiving your grade.  During this meeting we will discuss how you can improve the assignment.  If you cannot make it to my scheduled office hours, then you must make an appointment to see me at another time within those two weeks. 

2.     You must be prepared for our meeting by having already read the comments I made on your essay and having filled out the Revision Plan Worksheet (posted on CampusGuide).  The first question I will ask you is “What do you think you need to work on to improve this essay?”  You need to be prepared with an answer.

3.     You must write a short paragraph (100-250 words) describing the changes that you have made to your essay and explaining why you think they have improved your work.  This must appear at the beginning of your revision submission.  If you do not submit this, your revision will not be graded.

4.     You must submit the revised assignment to within two weeks (14 days) of receiving your grade.

Submitting a revision does not guarantee you a higher grade.  Your grade will be based on a significant improvement in your writing.  Only essays that were submitted on time and met all of the assignment requirements (number of sources, length, etc.) may be revised.  If you do not submit an essay, then you will receive a score of zero.  If you submit an essay that is 100 words or more short of the assignment requirements, your essay grade will be penalized and you will not be allowed to submit a revision.  You may not revise your Research Paper.

Quizzes and in-class work cannot be made up.  If you know you will be absent, make arrangements to turn in any homework or take any quizzes or exams early.


Extra Credit:

            Extra Credit assignments are given at the discretion of the Instructor and not in response to a student’s need for grade enhancement.  I do not offer individual opportunities for extra credit; please do not come to me asking for favors that have not been offered to the rest of the class.


Students with Disabilities:

Students with disabilities and their helpers may use any necessary electronic accommodating devices.  All students with disabilities requiring accommodations are responsible for making arrangements in a timely manner through the Center for Students with Disabilities


NOTE: It is your responsibility to officially withdraw from the class.  If you fail to meet the attendance requirements or simply stop attending class, you must officially drop the class through the Admissions Office or MyGCC.  If you fail to officially drop the class, you will receive an “F” in the course.


Course Policies:

1.     Bring books and supplies every single day.  If you come to class unprepared you will receive an F for participation.  If you do not bring your materials to class three times, I will mark you as absent.

2.     Come to class with something to say.  Part of being prepared means spending time thinking about how you can contribute to classroom dialogue.  Come with a list of questions about the reading material.  Bring some observations about an event related to one of the essays you’re writing.  Take an active part in your education!

3.     If you don’t understand something, take the initiative and ask questions.  The best way to ensure that you do the work correctly and succeed in this class is to eliminate any confusion you may have about assignments or instructions.

4.     Getting up and leaving (except for emergency sickness) is disruptive behavior, so please wait until the end of class to take care of business (or take care of it ahead of time – get your money’s worth out of my teaching time!)

5.     Show civility and human concern for every other person in this classroom while presenting a positive attitude and professional demeanor.  Limit private conversations, listen when others are speaking, and respond thoughtfully and respectfully.  Please refrain from making bigoted, sexist, racist, homophobic, or other hurtful remarks and keep the use of profanity to a minimum.

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