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EN 311 Creative Writing
Shawver, Brian


Mission Statement: The mission of Park University, an entrepreneurial institution of learning, is to provide access to academic excellence, which will prepare learners to think critically, communicate effectively and engage in lifelong learning while serving a global community.

Vision Statement: Park University will be a renowned international leader in providing innovative educational opportunities for learners within the global society.

Course

EN 311 Creative Writing

Semester

FA 2010 HO

Faculty

Shawver, Brian

Title

Associate Professor of English

Degrees/Certificates

M.F.A., Creative Writing-Fiction, University of Iowa
B.A., English, University of Kansas

Office Location

Copley 319

Office Hours

MWF 10-12; TR 1-2

Daytime Phone

816 584-6474

E-Mail

brian.shawver@park.edu

Semester Dates

8/16 to 12/10

Class Days

-M-W---

Class Time

3:00 - 4:15 PM

Credit Hours

3


Textbook:
Thiel, Diane. Crossroads: Creative Writing Exercises in Four Genres. New York: Pearson/Longman, 2005. 

Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources:

McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.
Career Counseling - The Career Development Center (CDC) provides services for all stages of career development.  The mission of the CDC is to provide the career planning tools to ensure a lifetime of career success.
Park Helpdesk - If you have forgotten your OPEN ID or Password, or need assistance with your PirateMail account, please email helpdesk@park.edu or call 800-927-3024
Resources for Current Students - A great place to look for all kinds of information http://www.park.edu/Current/.


Course Description:
EN311 Creative Writing: Practice in various forms of imaginative writing,particularly prose fiction and drama, and lyric and narrative poetry. May be repeated with permission of instructor. Recommended prerequisite: one or more literature courses. 3:0:3

Educational Philosophy:

“Creative Writing” is a not a very specific name for a course; after all, most classes in the English department can be said to deal with writing that is creative. Essays you write in a composition or technical writing class can involve just as much imagination and creativity as a novel or poem, and when we study works in a literature class we’re looking, naturally, at someone else’s creative writing.

But in an academic sense, the phrase “creative writing” has come to mean the study of how to create imaginative works of literature such as poems, short stories, and plays, and that’s certainly the project we’ll engage in throughout the semester. To do this, we’ll have to reject the insidious myth of the writer as a romantic genius, inspired only by the muse, and instead look at all the hard work that separates true artists from dilettantes. We’ll spend some time in peer-review workshops, but we’ll also write a lot of exercises, analyze a number of published works, and have complex discussions about the nature of art. It’s a truly engaging subject that offers a multitude of rewards, and to fully exploit its potential, everyone in the class will have to work very hard.  

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. Compose and manipulate elements of creative writing: characterizations, setting, plot, conflict, time structure and dialogue.
  2. Develop and employ a lively, descriptive style that makes use of some metaphor and symbolism.
  3. Follow the writing process, including pre-writing, drafting, revising, editing, proof-reading and formatting.


Core Assessment:

  • Final creative draft that is a short story, or the start of a novel, or a collection of poems or a screenplay*

  • Informal and in-class writing

  • Journal of writing and/or reading assignments.

Link to Class Rubric

Class Assessment:

Your work will be evaluated based on six components: participation, journal work, one short story draft, one scene draft, five poetry drafts, and the final portfolio, which includes the revised versions of all the drafts plus an essay analyzing your progress and end results.

Grading:

Participation                                                                         100 points

Every student will be expected to attend class regularly, participate in discussion, offer concrete and constructive advice during workshops, bring the required books and materials to class, and in general exhibit a respect for classmates, instructor, and the material.

Journal Work                                                                      100 points 

Many different assignments will be included in your journal: responses to readings, evaluations of classmates' work, in-class exercises, pre-writing assignments, etc. We won’t have a set number of them, but at least once a week you'll do something in your journal that will contribute points to this element of your grade.

Short Story Draft                                                                100 points

You will turn in a draft of a short story that is no longer than ten pages and no shorter than four. This is not a rough draft, but one that you believe is ready to be shared with the class (because it will be).

Dramatic Scene Draft                                                           100 points

You will turn in a draft of a dramatic scene that seeks to accomplish a specific set of goals that you have previously identified in a scene proposal (which will be a part of the grade). The scene will be acted out and discussed in class.

Poetry Drafts                                                                         100 points

You will turn in five poems that will be discussed in small workshops.

Final Portfolio:                                                              500 points

Throughout the semester you will be receiving feedback from your peers and your classmates about the work you present. Your portfolio will include the final versions of these creative works, versions that will presumably incorporate some of the critiques and suggestions you’ve heard. The portfolio will also include all previous drafts of the work for comparative purposes, although the final version is the one that will be graded more specifically. You will also include in the portfolio an essay that explains your composition and revision processes, and that evaluates your progress as a writer throughout the semester. This should be an ongoing process throughout the semester—you should be working on the revision of your work as soon as you get feedback on it, and perhaps even earlier. 

Late Submission of Course Materials:

The policy for late work is pretty straightforward: if you don’t turn in an assignment on the day of the deadline, you may turn it in at the beginning of the following class period for half credit (an assignment that was graded as a 94, for example, would get a 47). No assignments can be turned in later than that. This is NOT true, however, for work that is entirely completed in class. If you are absent from a class period in which we take a quiz, do an in-class exercise, etc., you can't make up that work. 

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

Creative writing classes require students to exhibit a good deal of respect and open-mindedness. Every student will be expected to offer serious, considered opinions, and to do so in a way that is constructive and generous.

Any electronic device that is brought into the classroom must be turned off before class begins (class begins when I walk into the room, not when I ask you to turn off your phones). If you need to have a device on for the reasons of disability or health, or if you need to have your phone available because you’re expecting an urgent call, please discuss it with me outside of class. 

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

This is a rough outline of what we’ll be doing throughout the semester. It is very likely to change, depending on the pace we establish, so don’t refer to it as the ultimately authority regarding what to read or bring to class.

8/16: Introduction to the subject

8/18: Opening discussions and readings

8/23: Begin fiction section, overview

8/25: Fiction—character and detail

8/30: Fiction—plot and story

9/1:   Fiction—theme and meaning

9/6: LABOR DAY

9/8: Fiction—workshops

9/13: Fiction—workshops

9/15: Fiction--workshops

9/20-9/22: Mid-semester meetings 

9/27: Begin Drama

9/29: Drama—conventions and foundations

10/4: Drama—dialogue and verisimilitude

10/6: Drama—tensions and propulsion

10/11-10/13: FALL BREAK

10/18: Drama—scene presentations

10/20: Drama—scene presentations

10/25: Drama—scene presentations

10/27: Drama—scene presentations

11/1: Begin Poetry

11/3: Poetry—language and metaphor

11/8: Poetry—development and cohesion

11/10: Poetry—examples and exercises

11/15: Poetry—workshops

11/17: Poetry—workshops

11/22: Portfolio meetings

11/24: Portfolio preparation, in-class meetings

11/29: Review, make-up day

12/1: Final discussion, portfolios due

Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life. Park University students and faculty members are encouraged to take advantage of the University resources available for learning about academic honesty (www.park.edu/current or http://www.park.edu/faculty/).from Park University 2010-2011 Undergraduate Catalog Page 92

Plagiarism:
Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. from Park University 2010-2011 Undergraduate Catalog Page 92-93

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  3. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "F".
  4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  5. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  6. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

Park University 2010-2011 Undergraduate Catalog Page 95-96
Some additional points about absences:

You can miss two class periods without having your participation grade affected. After that, each absence will take ten points off your total participation grade (out of a possible one hundred points). After your seventh absence, you are no longer eligible to pass, regardless of your point totals in other areas.

Excused absences will be determined on a case-by-case basis. They are rare, however, and usually involve things like hospital stays, funerals, et cetera, and they require documentation and advanced notice when possible.

When you miss a class, you have to find out how you should prepare for the next class (don't rely on the course outline--it will probably change). This can mean e-mailing me with questions. If you do this, you should keep the tone respectful; remember, you're asking for a favor, not receiving a birthright. You should also not ask for much--I don't have the time to give you a run-down of what we discussed in your absence; for that, you'll need to borrow notes from a classmate. Finally, you need to give me at least 24 hours to respond to your message.

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: http://www.park.edu/disability .



Rubric

CompetencyExceeds Expectation (3)Meets Expectation (2)Does Not Meet Expectation (1)No Evidence (0)
Evaluation                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
Outcomes
3,4,5                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
Revise the document 4 times over the semester (or as needed), showing definite improvements in development, focus and organization of characterization, setting and plot. Revise the document 3 times over the semester (or as needed), showing definite improvements in the development, focus and organization of characterization, setting and plot. Revise the document 1 time over the semester (or as needed), showing definite improvements in the development, focus and organization of characterization, setting and plot. Revise the draft 0 times over the semester, showing a lack of definite improvements in the development, focus and organization of characterization, setting and plot. 
Synthesis                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
Outcomes
1,3,4,5                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              
Demonstrates use of a dominant, controlling theme/idea/focus that is clearly articulated and maintained in the voice of an invented persona/narrator throughout the paper. Demonstrates the use of a dominant/controlling theme that is adequately articulated and maintained in the voice of an invented persona/narrator throughout the paper. Demonstrates a lack of a dominant/controlling theme/idea/focus that is not articulated and maintained in the voice of an invented persona/narrator throughout the paper. Demonstrates no ability to use a dominant/controlling idea/theme/focus in a creatively written draft. 
Analysis                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
Outcomes
1,2,3,4,5                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
Composes a fictional or creative non-fictional draft for a specific audience and purpose that contains well-delineated characterization, setting and plot development. Composes a fictional or creative non-fictional draft for a specific audience and purpose that contains adequate characterization, setting and plot development. Composes a fictional or creative non-fictional draft for a specific audience and purpose that lacks characterization, setting and plot development Composes no fictional or creative non-fictional draft to be evaluated and scored. 
Application                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
Outcomes
1,5                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
Use of transitional words and phrases imaginatively and appropriately throughout the paper. Use of transitional words and phrases adequately and appropriately throughout the paper. Use of transitional words and phrases sporadically and inappropriately throughout the paper. Use of no transitional words and phrases. 
Content of Communication                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
Outcomes
1,3,4,5                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              
Demonstrates a high degree of skill in using the writing process and a variety of creative writing strategies appropriate to audience and theme of the paper. Demonstrates adequate skill in using the writing process and a variety of creative writing strategies appropriate to audience and theme of the paper. Demonstrates a lack of skill in using the writing process and a variety of creative writing strategies appropriate to audience and theme of the paper. Demonstrates no skill in using the writing process and a variety of creative writing strategies appropriate to audience and theme of the paper. 
Technical Skill in Communicating                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
Outcomes
1,4                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
Demonstrates a high degree of skill in correctly using Standard Written English. Demonstrates adequate skill in correctly using Standard Written English. Demonstrates little skill in correctly using Standard Written English. Demonstrates no skill in correctly using Standard Written English. 

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Last Updated:8/11/2010 8:26:15 PM