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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

SP 2011 HO

Faculty

Shawver, Brian

Title

Associate Professor

Degrees/Certificates

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

Office Location

319 Copley

Office Hours

MW 11-12 and 3-4; T/Th 10-12

Daytime Phone

816 584-6474

E-Mail

brian.shawver@park.edu

Class Days

-M-W-F-

Class Time

10:00 - 10:50 AM

Credit Hours

3


Textbook:
Imaginative Writing: The Elements of Craft, by Janet Burroway

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 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 all we're doing is looking 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 the following seven components:

Participation: 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, write and share in-class exercises, and in general exhibit a respect for classmates, the instructor, and the material.

Short Story Draft: 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/Presentation: You will write a dramatic scene that will eventually be performed and discussed in class.

Poetry DraftsYou will write and revise a small portfolio of five poems that will be discussed in class.

Evaluations: You will write a critical evaluation of every story, poetry portfolio, and dramatic presentation that are presented to class.

Critical Essay: You will turn in one critical essay that examines a particular element of the craft of writing. The assignment will be discussed extensively in class.

Final Portfolio: 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. 

Grading:

Here are the point totals for each of the seven components:
 
Participation:                               100 points
Short Story Draft:                       100 points
Dramatic Scene/Presentation:      100 points
Poetry Drafts:                             100 points   
Evaluations:                                150 points
Critical Essay:                             150 points 
Portfolio:                                     300 points

Late Submission of Course Materials:
The policy for late work is pretty straightforward: if you don’t turn in an assignment at the exact deadline, you may turn it in late for half credit (an assignment graded as a 94, for example, would get a 47). After one week has passed from the moment of the deadline, however, you may no longer turn in the work.

The late work policy does NOT apply to work that is completed in class. If you are absent from a class period in which we do an in-class exercise, dramatic presentation, etc., you can't make up that work. If you miss a class in which the work you turned in was scheduled to be discussed in a workshop, you will lose half the points for the 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 before class begins. 

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.

1/10:    Introduction to the subject, Burroway reading

1/12:    Opening discussions and readings

1/14:    Begin poetry section—overview

1/17:    NO CLASS—Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

1/19:    Poetry—forms and prosody

1/21:   Poetry—forms and prosody continued

1/24:    Poetry—metaphor

1/26:    Poetry—metaphor continued

1/28:    Poetry—free verse and technique

1/31:    Poetry—free verse and technique continued

2/2:      Poetry—development and cohesion  

2/4:      Poetry—workshops

2/7:      Poetry—workshops

2/9:      Poetry—workshops

2/11:    Poetry—workshops

2/14:    Poetry—workshops

2/16:    Poetry—workshops

2/18:   Make-Up Day

2/21:    NO CLASS—Presidents’ Day

2/23:    Begin fiction Section--overview

2/25:    Fiction—point of view

2/28:    Fiction—character

3/2:      Fiction—dialogue

3/4:      Fiction—plot and story

3/7-3/11: NO CLASS—Spring Break

3/14:    Fiction—the three cardinal sins

3/16:    Fiction—language and revision

3/18:    Fiction—theme and meaning

3/21:    Fiction—workshops

3/23:    Fiction--workshops

3/25:    Fiction—workshops

3/28:    Fiction—workshops

3/30:    Fiction—workshops

4/1:      Fiction—workshops

4/4:      Begin drama section—overview

4/6:      Drama—possibilities and limitations

4/8:      Drama—conventions and techniques

4/11:    Drama—conventions and techniques continued

4/13:    Drama—revision and staging

4/15:    Drama—revision and staging

4/18:    Dramatic presentations

4/20:    Dramatic presentations

4/22:    NO CLASS—Good Friday

4/25:    Dramatic presentations

4/27:    Portfolio discussion

4/29:    Final things, 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 and tardiness:

You can miss three 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 tenth absence, you are no longer eligible to pass, regardless of your point totals in other areas. Students who are chronically late to class will also lose participation points.

You are marked absent if you are not in class when I take attendance, which usually happens about a minute or two after the hour begins. If you arrive after attendance has been taken, it is your responsibility to come up to me after class and ask me to mark you as tardy, rather than absent. If you do not do this, you will be counted as absent.

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). Ideally, you'll be able to contact a class member who can fill you in. If you need to contact me to ask, please make your questions very specific (“Could you tell me what book to bring, and what story I should read for Wednesday's class?” rather than “So what did I miss?”). Also, keep in mind that I may not answer right away—I generally will respond to e-mails within 18 hours.

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 .

Additional Information:



A note about e-mail and e-companion:




Some of our materials will be posted on e-companion, as will your assignment grades. I also will occasionally e-mail the class with updates. You certainly may e-mail me whenever you like at my park.edu account. I just ask that you follow these guidelines about e-mail:

-There are certain matters that I feel are better handled in person. These include matters pertaining to absence, personal troubles, issues with another student, grade disputes, etc.


-Please do not e-mail me to ask what we did in class. If you ask me specifically what materials or homework you should bring for the next class, I can tell you. However, I simply don’t have time to give you a run-down on what originally took fifty minutes to explain to everyone else.


-Please do not e-mail me assignments unless you’ve received permission to do it ahead of time. Everyone already has permission to e-mail me their stories, poems, and dramatic presentations, and to e-mail me assignments that you will not be able to turn in because of absence (assuming you’re e-mailing them to me BEFORE the due date). No other work should be e-mailed to me unless you’ve discussed it with me already.


-Please keep the tone and style of your e-mails appropriate for an academic environment. This means beginning with a proper salutation (not “Hey there Prof,” but “Hello Professor,”), using grammatical English, and avoiding the abbreviations and emoticons of text-messaging.



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:12/10/2010 9:42:29 AM