English 102: Composition II     


Professor Abby Bardi                                                               English Department

Email:                                                 Office: Marlboro 3061

                                                                                                (301) 322-0602



Course Description: In this course, we will use the three literary genres, fiction, poetry, and drama, as a focus for writing and discussion.  Prerequisite: EGL 101.


Required texts:

·        Literature and the Writing Process, Seventh Edition, ed. Elizabeth McMahan, Susan X. Day, and Robert Funk.  (Note: be sure you get the seventh edition.)

·        Either The Bedford Handbook or The Prentice-Hall Handbook. 

·        William Shakespeare, The Tempest (Shakespeare Made Easy), ed. Alan Durband (Barrons)



This course will explore the three major genres of literature--fiction, poetry, and drama—and will use these as a basis for writing your essays.  English 102 stresses analytical skills in reading and writing, skills that are essential in any profession and in everyday life.  The aim of this course is to help you develop your critical and writing skills, and equally important, to help you learn to better appreciate great literature.


Please read the enclosed information carefully.  As you can see, there is a considerable amount of work that must be completed before the first class: our first assignments are due the first night of class, so please get started right away.  It is also very important that you complete all reading before each class, as we will be discussing the assigned materials, and your participation is very important.  You must also complete the first writing assignment by the first class meeting; if you are unable to turn in this writing assignment on the first weekend, it is recommended that you withdraw from the course.


A note about writing skills: this course presupposes that you have successfully completed English 101.  This is not a review course: you should not attempt this course in the Weekender format, which is highly accelerated, unless you are very confident about your writing skills, and you have mastered the art of research and documentation.  If you feel that you need a great deal of review, if you are unfamiliar with methods of research and documentation, or if your writing skills are not sufficient to produce passable work at a fast pace, this is not the right format for you.


If you have any questions or problems, please email me at, or leave a message on my voicemail: (301) 322-0602.  I will get back to you as soon as I can.


Requirements: You have five basic requirements:

(1)   to keep up with all assigned reading

(2)   to write five papers, including one written in class

(3)   to take three in-class quizzes

(4)   to complete five homework assignments

(5)   to attend all class sessions

(6)   to turn in all work in a portfolio


Papers:  All papers must be word-processed, except for Paper #4, which will be written in class.  Hand-written papers will not be accepted.  All work must be submitted on time, including drafts.  Late papers, including drafts, will not be accepted.  Any plagiarism (i.e., submission of work that is not original or failure to cite sources correctly using MLA documentation) will result in a zero on the assignment (whether the plagiarized work is a draft or final version) and will be reported to the Vice President for Student Services.  There will be no exceptions to this policy.


Attendance:  Since this class meets only six times, attendance is extremely important.  Attendance/participation is worth ten percent of your grade (see Grading).  If you miss more than five hours of total class time, you must withdraw from the course.  One point will be deducted for every hour of class missed (1/4 point for every fifteen minutes).


Reading:  You must bring your textbook to each class.  Since we will be doing a lot of class discussion, it is crucial that you complete all assigned reading before each class.  Evidence of lack of preparedness will result in the loss of one attendance/participation point per instance.  You must have the correct textbook.


Grading:  Your grade will be based on a portfolio of your work, to be turned in by Tuesday, March 7.  The portfolio will contain all rough drafts of papers, five final papers, and five homework assignments, and it is worth 80 percent of your grade.  The remaining 20 percent will be based on quizzes on the reading, and on attendance/participation.  (See Grading Scale.)  Late portfolios will not be accepted without documented proof of emergency.  I will explain more about the portfolio at our first class meeting. 


Grading Scale:

Paper One (Character Analysis):                                                           10 points

Paper Two (Poem Explication)                                                 10 points

Paper Three (Biographical Analysis)                                                      20 points

Paper Four (Research Paper)                                                               20 points

Paper Five (Comparison/Contrast—in class)                                         15 points

Quizzes                                                                                                10 points (5 each)

Homework                                                                                           5 points

Attendance and Participation                                                                 10 points


                                                                                                            100 points possible


(These points may be computed as percentages.)


90+ = A

80-89 = B

70-79 = C

60-69 = D


Lateness policies:  All assignments must be turned in on time.  Late work, including rough drafts and quizzes, will not be accepted.


Attendance policy: For every fifteen minutes of class that is missed (due to lateness or early departure), ¼ of a point will be deducted from the Attendance/Participation grade.


Classroom Policies:  Remember that attendance is extremely important (see above), so try not to arrive late or leave early; if you must do so, please do not disrupt class activity.  Do not leave the classroom while class is in session.  Please turn off all cellphones while in class.  Discreet eating and drinking are permissible.


College Information:


Students requesting academic accommodations are required to contact the Disability Support Services Office (M-1042) or call (301) 322-0838 (voice) or (301) 322-0122 (TTY) to establish eligibility for services and accommodations.  Students with documented disabilities should discuss the matter privately with their instructors at the beginning of the semester and provide a copy of their Student/Faculty Accommodation Form.




The Prince George's Community College Code of Conduct defines the rights and responsibilities of students and establishes a system of procedures for dealing with students charged with violations of the code and other rules and regulations of the college. A student enrolling in the college assumes an obligation to conduct himself/herself in a manner compatible with the college's function as an educational institution. Refer to the 2005-2006 Student Handbook, beginning on page 41, for a complete explanation of the code of conduct, including the Code of Academic Integrity and the procedure for dealing with disruptive student behavior.



The college is an institution of higher learning that holds academic integrity as its highest principle.  In the pursuit of knowledge, the college community expects that all students, faculty, and staff will share responsibility for adhering to the values of honesty and unquestionable integrity.  To support a community committed to academic achievement and scholarship, the Code of Academic Integrity advances the principle of honest representation in the work that is produced by students seeking to engage fully in the learning process.  The complete text of the Code of Academic Integrity is in the 2005-2006 Student Handbook (pages 42-45) and posted on the college's website.



Tutoring and Writing Centers  (

     Bladen Hall, Room 107 

     Stop by or call 301-322-0748 to make an appointment.

     The Tutoring Center can help you in many courses with free one-on-one or group tutoring.

The Writing Center offers one-on-one tutoring for all students who are working on a writing assignment in any course.  


Student Assessment Services Center (Testing Center)   

     Bladen Hall, Room 100                                                                                          301-322-0090

     (file:///C:/CLARKSR/Local Settings/Temp/

     Check the web site for hours and policies and procedures.


Student Development Services                                                                                    301-322-0886

     (file:///C:/CLARKSR/Local Settings/Temp/

Student Development Services has various programs that provide students with mentoring, advising and individual counseling.  Call or check the website for more information.


Library (

     Accokeek Hall                                                                        General information: 301-322-0105

                                                                                                   Circulation services: 301-322-0475

                                                                                                  Reference services:   301-322-0476

     The Library provides a range of library and media services.

     Refer to the web site for hours and more information about the services.


    Campus Bookstore ( 

     Largo Student Center, Room 116                                                                           301-322-0912



Required reading: (all numbers refer to pages in Literature and the Writing Process)


Weekend I: (Be sure to complete all reading before each Friday’s class.)


Chapters 1 (includes “Eveline”), 2, 3, and 4 (pp. 3-62)

“A Good Man is Hard to Find,” Flannery O’Connor (308)

“A Rose for Emily,” William Faulkner (245)

“Everyday Use,” Alice Walker (106)

“I Stand Here Ironing,” Tillie Olsen (294)

 “A&P,” John Updike (333)


“I’m Nobody!  Who Are You?” (492), “Because I Could Not Stop for Death,”(493) Emily Dickinson

 “My Last Duchess” Robert Browning (559)

“My Ex-Husband,” Gabriel Spera (560)

 “My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun” William Shakespeare (482)

“Hanging Fire,” Audre Lord (543)

“My Papa’s Waltz,” Theodore Roethke (401)

“Ozymandias,” Percy Bysshe Shelley (487)

“The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner” Randall Jarrell (525)

 “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” (461), Langston Hughes

“We Real Cool,” Gwendolyn Brooks (445)

“The Emperor of Ice Cream,” Wallace Stevens (505)

“Eleanor Rigby,” John Lennon and Paul McCartney (546)

“The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” T.S. Eliot (509)


Hamlet (film)


Note: There will be a quiz on these readings at our first meeting.



Weekend II:


Chapter 7

“Hills Like White Elephants” Ernest Hemingway (251)

“The Lesson” Toni Cade Bambara (345)


Chapters 10, 12, and 13

“The Eagle,” Alfred, Lord Tennyson (489)

“Metaphors” Sylvia Plath (photocopy will be provided)

“That time of year thou mayst in me behold” William Shakespeare (481)

“Sonnet,” Billy Collins (448)

“Leda and the Swan,” W.B. Yeats (color insert iv)

“The Sick Rose” William Blake (485)

“The Red Wheelbarrow” William Carlos Williams (506)

“The World Is Too Much with Us” William Wordsworth (486)

“Musée des Beaux Arts,” W.H. Auden (color insert iii)

“Much Madness is Divinest Sense,” Emily Dickinson (493)

“Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night” Dylan Thomas (527)

“When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer” Walt Whitman (490)

“Pied Beauty,” Gerard Manley Hopkins (495)

 “in Just-“ e.e. cummings (514)

 Harlem” Langston Hughes (465)

 “The Second Coming” W.B. Yeats (497)

Note: There will be a quiz on these readings.


Much Ado about Nothing (film) (This will not be on the quiz.)


Weekend III:

The Tempest, William Shakespeare

A Doll’s House, Henrik Ibsen (904)

The Color Purple (film) (We will watch this in class.)




Writing Assignment #1--Character Analysis

DUE: The Friday of our first class meeting

LENGTH: 2-3 pages typed, double-spaced, in 12-pitch font


Assignment:  Choose a character from any one of the short stories on the reading list from Weekend One and explain three things that we know about his or her personality.  Describe each of the three things in a full-length paragraph, citing examples from the text.  Your paper will consist of five paragraphs: an introduction, three body paragraphs (each of which explains one personality trait), and a conclusion.


Thesis statement: Your thesis statement will contain three adjectives about the character.  For example, “The Grandmother in Flannery O’Connor’s ‘A Good Man is Hard to Find’ is selfish, talkative, and manipulative.”



Choose a character to focus on. (Be sure that you choose a character who is well developed so that you will have something to say about him or her.)  Reread the story carefully, paying close attention to that character.  As you read, jot down adjectives that describe the character.  Choose the three adjectives that you think are the most important.  Place them in climactic order, i.e., the most important one last.  This will give you a rough outline.  Now read the story again.  Each time you find an example of one of the three adjectives you have chosen, summarize it on an index card and label which attribute it is.  Be sure to keep track of the page numbers.  You will use these examples to support each of your three adjectives.



Introduction: As noted above, your thesis statement consists of a full sentence containing the title of the story, the name of the author, and the three adjectives you have chosen, in order of their importance.  The thesis statement should be the last sentence of your introduction.  In the rest of the introduction, give an overview of the story, leading up to your thesis statement.


Body: The body (i.e., the middle) of your essay will consist of three paragraphs, one per personality trait.  Examine each of the three traits in detail and use examples from the story to back up what you say.  Your examples may be direct quotations or paraphrases of the text.  Include the relevant page numbers in parentheses.


Conclusion:  First, return to your thesis statement and restate it.  (Don’t just repeat your previous thesis statement verbatim; rephrase it.)  Then, examine how your analysis of the character contributes to our understanding of the story as a whole.


Rewriting:  Put your essay away for twenty-four hours.  Then read it again carefully to make sure that you have supported each adjective well.  Make sure that if you have used direct quotations, you have integrated them into your sentences, and check to make sure you have quoted directly.  Check paragraphs for unity, coherence, and development.  Check sentences for variety and correctness.  Check grammar and spelling.  If you have any questions about any of these terms or issues, consult your handbook.


Assignment sheets for other papers will be handed out in class.


Homework assignments: You will need to do FIVE of the following for your portfolio, basing your answers on the readings on our list.  Please hand in at least TWO on the first night of class.  Length: minimum 1½ pages typed, double-spaced, 12-pitch Times Roman font.  (Do not leave white space or use elaborate headings.)  Anything shorter will not be accepted.  Be sure to indicate which question you are answering.  (Remember, you don’t have to answer them all!  Write only one answer per question.)


1.      Write the history of your experiences with reading.  What texts have meant the most to you, and why?  (Please don’t include religious texts, since these don’t require explanation.)

2.      Pick a character that you identify with in one of the stories or poems we’ve read and explain why you relate to him or her.

3.      Did any of the stories or poems we read elicit a strong emotional response from you?  Explain how and why.

4.      Borrowing the ideas of our first writing assignment, write a character analysis of someone you know.

Choose a story or poem that reminds you of something that happened to you or someone you know, and tell the story of what it reminds you of.

The following assignments should not be completed until after Weekend One.

5.      Tell the story of something that caused you to learn a lesson and relate it to “The Lesson.”

6.      Explain why you chose the author you are researching.  What does he or she mean to you?

7.      Is there any poem that made you feel something really positive or negative?  Write a letter to the author explaining your feelings.

8.      Have any of our readings caused you to learn something important about life, or see things in a different way?  Explain.

9.      Choose a character in a short story, poem, or play we read who made a decision.  Did you agree or disagree with it?  What would you have done if you were that character, and why?

10.  (Everyone should do this one after the last weekend)  What have you learned in this course?