Syllabus, Spring 2018 English 105, Creative Writing for Non-Majors, Mon., 2-4:20, Taper

Syllabus, Spring 2018 English 105, Creative Writing for Non-Majors, Mon., 2-4:20, Taper


Course Description: This is an introductory level creative writing course, with reading and writing in fiction, nonfiction and poetry. We will be reading various texts for discussion, then as inspiration for writing assignments.

READING: Non Fiction: Joan Didion, (South and West), James Baldwin, Oliver Sacks, Martha Gellhorn, Nora Ephron, Gloria Steinem Fiction: Zadie Smith, Swing Time, Alice Munro, Lorrie Moore, Mark Twain, James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, Virginia Woolf Poetry: The Odyssey, (Emily Wilson, trans.), Rita Dove, Elizabeth Bishop, Frost,


FIRST WEEK - Introductions, Instant Bios. Copies, discussion procedure.

Besides reading our regular book/poem assignments, students

will assemble (over the course of the semester) a substantial portfolio

containing all writing assignments from initial attempts to ongoing

revisions to the final version (a “clean” copy).

SECOND WEEK - Nonfiction: Didion, South & West – Notes and Note-taking – Write Notes.

Portfolio – begin imitations, keep all revisions, final version

THIRD WEEK - Didion, James Baldwin - read & write “imitation”.

FOURTH WEEK - Baldwin, discuss imitations.

FIFTH WEEK – Baldwin, Oliver Sacks - discussion

SIXTH WEEK - Sacks, River of Consciousness - discuss, write

SEVENTH WEEK - Martha Gellhorn & Nora Ephron

EIGHTH WEEK – Fiction: Swing Time, Zadie Smith, discuss, write

NINTH WEEK - Zadie Smith

TENTH WEEK – Toni Morrison, read, discuss, write

ELEVENTH WEEK - Toni Morrison

TWELFTH WEEK - Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse

THIRTEENTH WEEK – Poetry: Odyssey (passages, Wilson), + Rita Dove

FOURTEENTH WEEK - Presentation. Emily Dickinson, “After Great Pain, a Formal

Feeling Comes”, Patricia Lockwood, “In Need of a Pen”

FIFTEENTH WEEK: Bishop & Plath


PORTFOLIOS DUE, semester’s end -- My office, Taper Hall, 409, 213 740 2808

Grades based on reading, revision, portfolio (40%), class participation.

January 8 / First day of classes
January 10-11 / Involvement Fair / Trousdale Parkway
January 15 / Martin Luther King's birthday – no classes
January 25 / Study Abroad Fair / Trousdale Parkway
January 26 (5p.m.) / Last day to add/drop classes for Spring 2018
February 8 / Spring 2018 Career Fair / Trousdale Parkway
February 19 / President's Day – no classes
March 5 / Registration begins for Summer 2018
March 10-18 / Spring break – no classes
March 19-April 13 / Advisement and registration for Fall 2018 / Department of English
March 26 / Registration begins for Fall 2018
April 16-20 / Narrative Studies Capstone Presentations / THH 420
April 27 / Last day of classes
April 28-May 1 / Study days
May 2-9 / Final exams

Statement on Academic Conduct and Support Systems

Academic Conduct:

Plagiarism – presenting someone else’s ideas as your own, either verbatim or recast in your own words – is a serious academic offense with serious consequences. Please familiarize yourself with the discussion of plagiarism in SCampus in Part B, Section 11, “Behavior Violating University Standards” Other forms of academic dishonesty are equally unacceptable. See additional information in SCampus and university policies on scientific misconduct,

Support Systems:

Student Counseling Services (SCS) - (213) 740-7711 – 24/7 on call

Free and confidential mental health treatment for students, including short-term psychotherapy, group counseling, stress fitness workshops, and crisis intervention.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline - 1-800-273-8255

Provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Relationship & Sexual Violence Prevention Services (RSVP) - (213) 740-4900 - 24/7 on call

Free and confidential therapy services, workshops, and training for situations related to gender-based harm.

Sexual Assault Resource Center

For more information about how to get help or help a survivor, rights, reporting options, and additional resources, visit the website:

Office of Equity and Diversity (OED)/Title IX compliance – (213) 740-5086

Works with faculty, staff, visitors, applicants, and students around issues of protected class.

Bias Assessment Response and Support

Incidents of bias, hate crimes and microaggressions need to be reported allowing for appropriate investigation and response.

Student Support & Advocacy – (213) 821-4710

Assists students and families in resolving complex issues adversely affecting their success as a student EX: personal, financial, and academic.

Diversity at USC –

Tabs for Events, Programs and Training, Task Force (including representatives for each school), Chronology, Participate, Resources for Students

Here’s to a great semester! CMD