Writing about Literature: Texts and Textuality
ENGL T125:051
SPRING 2013              
Tuesdays 6:20-9:00 p.m.

Dr. Barbara C. Ewell

             loyola university
             new orleans

All information here is subject to change: posted  October 2012


  • Scholes, Robert, Nancy Comley, and Gregory Ulmer, eds. Text Book: Writing  through Literature. 3rd ed. New York: St. Martin's, 2002.
  • Chopin, Kate. The Awakening and Selected Stories. New York, Penguin, 1984.
  • Shakespeare, William. Othello.New York: Signet, 2005.


  • Instant Access: The Pocket Reference for Writers. Eds. Michael L. Keene and Katherine H. Adams. NewYork: McGraw-Hill, 2003.

You will also be asked to view the films Casablanca and Play It Again, Sam  outside class. We may also attend a play.

These books may also be available for purchase at Maple Street Books (support your local bookstores!).  If you're trying to cut costs, many texts are also available secondhand through other commercial booksellers--or they may be available for rent at the Loyola bookstore.

"Writing about Literature" is required for all Loyola students. This section is designed for non-traditional, adult students, and for students in the Distance Learning Program, although it is open to any Loyola student. Consult your advisor if you are in doubt. You should have completed a composition course or its equivalent, for example: COMP 119/ENGL T122, ENGL-A205 or an equivalent composition course.

The purpose of this course is not only to learn how to analyze and interpret conventional literary texts (poems, plays, short stories and novels) but also to appreciate how literary language functions in everyday texts and contexts. Our goal will be to develop some tools for understanding how literary forms and language shape our experience as well as how they give meaning and pleasure to our lives.

--Four essays, varying in length (500-1200 words) (40-50%). At least one essay may require participation in the WAC Lab's Advise/Revise program. Essays should be typed and double-spaced and include a title page.

--Writing Exercises submitted on the Discussion Board of Blackboard.com;  these assignments will be graded contractually. Your grade for this portion of the course will then be based on the number and quality of the exercises you submit on time: 9 (A); 8 (B); 7 (C); 6 (D); 5 or fewer (F). Pluses and minuses will be included. Entries should typically range from 75 to 200 words--about 1-1 1/2 pages long (one or two screenfuls) . (25-30%)

--Optional Assignments: Some assignments are strictly optional; the completion of special assignments can be applied to the WRITING EXERCISE grade at a "two-for-one" rate; that is, two special assignments will be equivalent to one regular assignment.

--Class Participation. You are responsible for the work covered in classes you have missed and for submitting assignments on time. Please try to advise me of anticipated absences whenever possible, and call or see me about missed assignments. The penalty for each absence after the second will be one-half letter reduction in the final grade; more than four absences may result in failure of the course. (10-15%)

--Final Examination
A final, comprehensive examination, both essays and objective answers. (15-20%)

*Note on Loyola Email and Blackboard:
Announcements and any changes, as well as occasional writing or special assignments, will be posted on Blackboard.  Apart from announcements in class, Blackboard will be the default for any changes, so be sure you check the site regularly. If your email address is not listed correctly in LORA or on Blackboard, you may not receive important information about this course; please check.

College Policies on Intellectual Honesty
Intellectual honesty is simply acknowledging, through documentation, all those sources that the writer has used in preparing any written work. Any material that neither originates with the student nor is common knowledge among educated persons must be formally acknowledged.

The penalties for plagiarism are severe: a student who is found to have plagiarized or to have assisted another student in plagiarizing may be given a failing grade for the course on the first violation; a second offense may result in exclusion or dismissal from the university. For the complete details on standards and penalties, see "Integrity of Scholarship and Grades," Undergraduate Bulletin.

Check here for first class assignment--
  • Blackboard.com