Dr. Catherine E. Ross, PhD
Associate Professor of English - English 2310
Dr. Catherine Ross
Office: BUS 242
Office Hours: Tues. 2-4 PM, 5-6 PM, Thurs. 2-4, and by appointment
Office Telephone: 903-566-7275
Literary Appreciation: Science and Literature
Otis, Laura, ed. Literature and Science in the Nineteenth Century. Oxford World’s Classics. (Oxford: Oxford UP, 2002) ISBN: 0-19-283979-9
Selzer, Richard. Letters to a Young Doctor. (San Diego: Harcourt Brace & Company, 1982) ISBN: 0-15-600399-6
Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein; or, the Modern Prometheus. 2nd edn. Ed. Susan Wolfson. (New York: Longman, 2007) ISBN: 0-321-39953-6
Snow, C. P. The Two Cultures (Cambridge: CUP, 1998)
A standard collegiate dictionary
Goals, Outcomes, Expectations: Welcome to English 2310. The purpose of this course is to prepare you for the various kinds of reading assignments you will encounter in college, ranging from belles lettres, to prose nonfiction, biography, and scientific writing. We shall focus on adapting your reading methods to the form and purposes of each text. You will be asked to consider these basic questions with each new reading assignment:
1. What is the literary form of this text?
2. What can I assume are the motivations or purposes of this text’s author?
3. What information is being conveyed?
4. How is that information being conveyed?
5. What opinions and impressions of the text am I forming as I read?
6. How is the text guiding me towards these opinions and impressions?
This is not a lecture class. It is a course in critical thinking and reading that requires cognitive focus. Expect work that stretches you beyond your existing expertise or abilities and that requires active personal engagement. For the class to be productive, you must attend without fail, have carefully read and considered your homework assignments, and take part in our discussions. To this end, I give daily reading quizzes and require everyone to speak up at least once during each class period. If you do not understand something, please do not hesitate to ask questions as soon as possible—in class, on blackboard, or in emails to me or your classmates. Please be respectful of other students and encourage their learning and efforts. In all of my classes, I aim to shape a social system appropriate to learning. The more you join in and give to the community, the more you will enjoy and gain from it.
While I have high expectations for you, you may expect a lot from me. Above all is my commitment to help you learn; I want everyone in this class to earn an A. This does not mean that I am an easy instructor or that this course will be an easy A. It means I will do my best to help you do the kind of work that is deserving of an A. I will explain what to expect or how to prepare for an assignment; I will model the kind of reading and thinking expected of you. I will give you opportunities to demonstrate and practice your growing cognitive skills. I will send you reports of your scores on quizzes and tests through email as soon as those documents are marked, and go over your errors in class shortly thereafter. I will always be available during my office hours or via email. If you cannot come by during office hours, I will arrange an alternative time, a telephone conversation, or an email conference with you.
By the end of this semester, students who apply and practice the reading and thinking methods taught in this course should be able to read with a clearly defined purpose, with close attention to language and genre. In class discussions and on quizzes and tests, students should be able to express their own ideas and integrate them with the ideas of others. By the end of the semester, students should also be able to:
- Use the terms related to textual study and theory appropriately in discussion and in writing
- Articulate the themes and ideas represented in the texts studied
- Produce persuasive explications of passages assigned
- Recognize how historical, political, and social events shape our analysis of texts and how texts, in turn, shape cultural meanings and knowledge
Class participation: This course requires regular attendance, thorough preparation, and active, daily participation in class and/or Blackboard discussions. Without this participation, do not expect to earn an A. I will explain my expectations for class participation and methods of tracking it specifically on the first day of class.
Communication: You must have daily access to e-mail and Blackboard because it is very common for questions or new ideas to come up after class has already met, and I frequently send e-mail messages to my students (including hints about up-coming quiz questions). Be sure you check your UT Tyler Patriots email address every day. It is your responsibility to make sure your Patriots email account is up and running by the second class day. If you do not have your own computer and access at home to the internet, go to the Academic Computing Center on the first floor of the BUS building for assistance.
Absence: I expect all students to attend every class. Any student who misses four classes without an approved excuse or who has regular, disruptive, and/or unexplained tardiness, will have his/her course grade lowered by one letter. Additional unexcused absences or tardiness will have further consequences. An absence is excused if a student brings a note from a physician, is participating in an away game or some other sanctioned university event, or is attending a family wedding, funeral, or other religious occasion. Except in very unusual circumstances, students who miss daily quizzes may not make them up. If a make-up is allowed, it must take place at the beginning of class on the first day the student returns. It is your responsibility to make these arrangements; I do not have time to do this for every member of such a large class. Test make-ups will only be allowed for special circumstances or excused absences.
Conferences offer us a chance to get to know each other more quickly, and this will help me help you do well in this class. They are a chance to ask questions, to talk about your reading, and to receive individual attention regarding any concerns you might have about the texts we are studying, about your progress, about the course goals and procedures. All English 2310 students should schedule at least two individual conferences with me. These will be counted as quiz grades. Please schedule the first appointment as close to the beginning of term a possible. If you cannot meet with me during office hours, set up an appointment. We can also hold conferences over the phone.
Grading: Your grade will be based upon your engagement with assigned texts as demonstrated in your participation in discussions in class and on blackboard, upon the quality of your work on your quizzes and tests, and your improvement over the course of the semester. I want everyone to make A’s in this class and will do my best to instruct, encourage, and guide you to this outcome. Do your best at all times to show me your intellectual interest, involvement, and willingness to work. You do not always have to know the “right” answer to succeed in class; but you must do the work, show up, and keep your head in the game. Research shows that students who keep in touch with their professors and who work in study groups always learn and retain more. The following formula will be used to calculate your grade:
15% Participation ( class and/or BB discussion, conferences, email correspondence as required, other)
25% Daily Work (regular daily reading quizzes, these include reading one response piece to the class; two quizzes will be dropped at the end of the semester)
15% Reading Responses (six short, unannounced, in-class writing assignments; three will be turned in for a grade, two will be workshopped in the UTT Writing Center)
20% Midterm Exam
25% Final Exam Extra Credit: Reading Labs up to 5%
To avoid problems with borderline grades, I enforce a generous “no nines rule,” which I will explain in class. I use a grading program called MicroGrade, which allows me to send students a detailed accounting of their performance at any time through their UT Tyler Patriots email account. I will not post grades on Blackboard.
Class Honor System, Academic Dishonesty, Plagiarism:
The pleasures of working in a community in which members respect each other and conduct themselves honorably are many. It is my wish for this class to be a community that embraces these values readily. You should understand that in a very real way, scholars live and die by their knowledge and writing. For this reason, professors consider any kind of academic dishonesty “conduct unbecoming”. It is not dishonest to study together and to help each other learn. It is dishonest to try to cover your failure to do your work by looking at or copying others’ answers on tests or quizzes and by plagiarizing on writing assignments. Not only are these actions a violation of academic integrity, they belittle a person’s character and are ruinous to the class community. Please understand this. Anyone who cheats, plagiarizes, or allows others to do so will be asked to leave the class and will be given an F for the semester.
The Writing Center:
Located in BUS 202, the UT-Tyler Writing Center provides professional writing tutoring for all students in all disciplines. While you will not be writing any long papers for this class, you will have short writing assignments from time to time, and your midterm and final exams tests require short essays. Writing Center tutors can help you prepare for these kinds of writing assignments; or, after the fact, they can help you better understand what was strong and/or weak in your writing.
Laptops, Beepers and Cell Phones:
I would prefer that students not use laptop computers in my classroom. If you must use one, it should be placed in such a way that it does not interfere with my view of your work and does not screen you off from your classmates. Please turn off the audible ringers for all beepers or cell phones when you are in the classroom. Text-messaging during class is rude and disruptive. Anyone found doing so will be immediately asked to leave the classroom and work done during that class period will be given a zero.
If you have a disability, including a learning disability, for which you request an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services office so that the appropriate arrangements may be made. In accordance with federal law, a student requesting accommodation must provide documentation of his or her disability to the Disability Support Services counselor. For more information, call or visit the Student Services Center located in the University Center, Room 282. The telephone number is 903-566-7079 (TDD 903-565-5579).
Social Security Statement:
It is the policy of The University of Texas at Tyler to protect the confidential nature of social security numbers. The University has changed its computer programming so that all students have an identification number.
Texas Six-Drop Rule:
In 2007, the Texas Legislature passed Senate Bill 1231, which prohibits a student who began college
for the first time as a freshman in Fall 2007 or thereafter from dropping more than six courses during
his or her entire undergraduate career. This policy includes courses dropped at another two-year or four-year Texas public college or university. For purposes of this rule, a dropped course is any course that is dropped after the published census date. Exceptions to the six-drop rule include, but are not limited to, the following:
1. totally withdrawing from the university;
2. being administratively dropped from a course by an instructor or the university;
3. dropping a course for a provable illness or disability, for care for a sick or injured person, or for a death in the immediate family;
4. dropping a course for documented change of work schedule, or
5. dropping a course for active duty service with the U.S. armed forces or Texas National Guard.
Petitions for exemptions must be submitted to the Registrar's Office and must be accompanied by documentation of the extenuating circumstance. Please contact the Registrar's Office if you have any
questions (2008-2010 UTT catalog).
A student may repeat any undergraduate course previously taken at UT Tyler if the last grade received in the course was a D or F. Repeated courses may not be taken on a CR/NC or P/F basis. Students repeating a single course more than two times may be billed at a higher tuition rate. All grades will appear on the student’s official transcript. Once the baccalaureate degree has been awarded by UT Tyler, a student may repeat a course taken prior to graduation, but the repeated course will not be used to recalculate the grade point average. A student will receive grade forgiveness (grade replacement) only for three course repeats during his/her undergraduate career at UT Tyler. Grade forgiveness means that only the last grade earned is used to compute the grade point average. However, all grades will appear on the student’s official transcript. A student must file an intent to receive grade forgiveness with the registrar by the 12th day of class of the semester in which the course will be repeated. Failure to file an intent to use grade forgiveness will result in both the original and repeated grade being used to calculate overall grade point average. If a student attempts to repeat a course but withdraws and receives an automatic “W,” the attempt counts against the grade forgiveness limit and the original grade remains. A student may not exercise grade forgiveness for courses taken at UT Tyler and repeated at another college or university, nor may grade forgiveness be used when a course taken elsewhere is repeated at UT Tyler. The grade forgiveness option may not be exercised to remove a grade awarded in a case of academic dishonesty. Once the baccalaureate degree has been awarded by UT Tyler, grade forgiveness may not be used to replace a grade taken before graduation. (2008-2010 UT Tyler catalog)