Syllabus | Spring 2012

Course Information:
WRIT 1605
—Section 001, course #62187—meets from 1:00 p.m. - 1:50 in KPlz 385 on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. The course home page can be found at: <>

Professor Information
Dr. Craig Stroupe,, 218-726-6249, Humanities 425, Office Hours Mondays and Wednesdays, 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. or by appointment.

Resources Needed

  • Orality and Literacy by Walter Ong (Routledge) ISBN 9-780415-281294;
  • Narrative by Paul Cobley (Routledge New Critical Idiom) ISBN ISBN-10: 0415212634.
  • Bridget Jones's Diary (Penguin) by Helen Fielding, ISBN: 014028009X; ISBN-13: 978-0415212632
  • Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood, by Marjane Satrapi (Author); ISBN-10: 037571457X
    # ISBN-13: 978-0375714573
  • Picture of Dorian Gray (Dover Thift Edition); ISBN-10: 0486278077; ISBN-13: 978-0486278070
  • Dracula (Broadview Literary Texts) (Paperback) by Bram Stoker, ISBN-10: 1551111365
    # ISBN-13: 978-1551111360;
  • 1984 (Signet Classics) by George Orwell, # ISBN 978-0-451-52493-5
  • The Eyre Affair (Penguin Books) by Jasper Fforde, ISBN10: 0142001805; ISBN-13: 978-0142001806
  • A Number of Printouts of chapters or articles available via the course Moodle site.


  • Your work on the Preparation Sheets, Reading Guides, and Online Discussions: 30%
  • Performance on the final exam: 30%
  • Performance on the midterm exam: 25%
  • In-Class Participation: 15%
  • Note that unexcused absences in excess of 4 will deduct 2% each from your overall grade


In this course, you will gain a broad historical perspective on the effects of writing and reading on the material, cultural, and political structures of society.

This perspective will be achieved by reading both theory and literature, by applying that theory and analyzing that literature in formal writing, by preparing for quizzes and exams that provide incentive to complete and absorb the readings, and by participating in discussions in class and online.

In particular, we will learn how fundamental the various forms of literacy are not only to communication, but to our shared sense of "reality" and identity.

Reading and Writing

You will be expected to complete all the assigned readings by the beginning of class. You should mark the book or printout to help you locate key words, ideas, names, passages, and examples in the future, such as when you're studying for the exams. See the online handout on the practice of Active Reading.

Preparation Sheets and Online Discussions

As preparation for some reading assignments, I will give you prompts to respond to, either online or in print. Your responses should give evidence that you have read the assigned reading and that you understand it well enough to summarize key points from it in your own words and to reflect on their implications and consequences.

Print-based preparation sheets should be at least two pages, double-spaced, and have a header identifying the assigned reading and listing your name and the name of the course and the due date.

You will receive feedback on your writing via the Preparation Sheets. I will expect you to pay attention to that feedback, and use it in improving later writings. Your grades on later preparation sheets will reflect the degree to which you have responded to this feedback.

There will be a mid-term and final exam, which will be a combination of opened- and closed-book formats.


Since this class will function as a community of writer-designers, your regular attendance is absolutely necessary. The UMD policy states:

Students are expected to attend all scheduled class meetings. It is the responsibility of students to plan their schedules to avoid excessive conflict with course requirements. However, there are legitimate and verifiable circumstances that lead to excused student absence from the classroom. These are subpoenas, jury duty, military duty, religious observances, illness, bereavement for immediate family, and NCAA varsity intercollegiate athletics. For complete information, please see:

1. Allowed Absences
You are allowed a small number of absences which you can spent however you wish: 4 (in a MWF class) or 3 (in a TT class). Allowed absences do not excuse you from the work due or completed on the days you are absent, and some in-class activities and timely requirements cannot be replicated or made up. Save your "free" absences for a rainy (or snowy) day.

2. Unexcused Absences and Penalties:
Absences in excess of the budget of allowed instances deduct 2 percent each from your overall grade.

3. Excused Absences
In the case of serious, legitimate, and verifiable conflicts that result in absences in excess of the allowed number, the UMD attendance policy states that absences can be excused if

1. you contact me prior to, or as soon as possible after, the circumstance resulting in your absence(s)

2. you provide written documentation from an authoritative source (e.g., a doctor, the Athletic Department) which speaks specifically to the reason you were unavoidably unable to attend class that particular day.

Like the other types of absence, documented, excused absences do not excuse you from the work due or completed when you did not attend, and some in-class activities and timely requirements cannot be replicated or made up.

4. Tardiness and Leaving Early
In addition to your budget of allowed absences, you also have 3 or 4 instances (depending on the TT or MWF schedule) of arriving late or leaving early to use if necessary. Instances in excess of this allowance will decrease your overall grade by 2 percentage points each. If you need to leave class early, even if it's one of your allowed instances, please arrange it with me in advance


Class participation will include reading part of your preparation sheet aloud in class when you are called upon to do so. On those days when we are going over the items on the preparation sheets, I will try to call on a good number of people, and I do expect everybody to be prepared to speak (which is why the written assignments are called preparation sheets). I will collect your Preparation Sheets at the end of class.

Turning in all required work on time is critical; work turned in late will be assessed a 3% penalty per day.

Students with Disabilities Policy
It is the policy and practice of the University of Minnesota Duluth to create inclusive learning environments for all students, including students with disabilities. If there are aspects of this course that result in barriers to your inclusion or your ability to meet course requirements – such as time limited exams, inaccessible web content, or the use of non-captioned videos – please notify the instructor as soon as possible. You are also encouraged to contact the Office of Disability Resources to discuss and arrange reasonable accommodations. Please call 218-726-6130 or visit the DR website at for more information.

Incompletes for the semester will be given only in the following very limited circumstances:

  • you must contact me in advance of the semester's end to make a request for an incomplete;
  • no more than one or two weeks of class, or one or two assignments, can have been missed;
  • you must be in good standing in the class (not already behind, in other words);
  • you must have a documented family or medical emergency, as required by university policy;
  • you must arrange a time table with me for completing the missed work that is acceptable for both of us.

Academic Integrity and Student Conduct
Please see UMD's pages concerning these two issues: