English 203: Critical Thinking and Composition through Literature

Welcome to English 203 with Professor Rolens! The theme of this course is crime and detective fiction. Below, you will find all the materials you need; you’ll also find the same materials on our Canvas site.

Syllabus:

Updated Syllabus English 203

Final Essay:

Final In-Class Essay Prompt

Extra Credit:

Extra Credit Opportunities

Homework and Quizzes:

Homework for Dec. 6th: Bring your (polished, as completed as possible) draft of Paper #3 to class. If you don’t want to print it out, you can access it from the computer lab.

Reading for Dec. 6th: Please read to the end of Chapter 15 of All Shot Up, and choose one passage that you think is especially important from Chapter 13-15 (you don’t need to write about the passage you choose!)

Reading Guide, All Shot UpChapters 1-12

Reading for Dec. 4th: You do not have to read Chapter 10 of All Shot Up, as it includes some sexual content that I won’t require you to read. However, it isn’t too explicit, so if you feel comfortable reading it, of course that’s fine. Instead you should read Chapter 11 and Chapter 12.

Homework for Dec. 4th: Finish the Revision Assignment (bring it to class), and work on Paper #3. We will work on Paper #3 in class, so please have a passage you are analyzing ready to share.

Revision Assignment Dec. 4th

Revision Assignment Essay: Sample Compare Contrast Essay

 

Previous Weeks’ Homework and Quizzes:

Homework due Thursday, Aug. 23rd: Reading Questions, “The Man of the Crowd”

Homework due Tuesday, Aug. 28th: Read pages 3-44 of The Maltese Falcon and answer the reading questions: Homework and Reading for August 28th

Homework due Thursday, Aug. 30th: Reading Questions, Mr. Flitcraft, pp. 45-72

Quiz Questions for Tuesday, September 4thQuestions for In-Class Quiz, pp. 73-111

Homework due Tuesday, September 4th: Bring a half-page summary of one source on the history of Black Mask magazine

For class on Sept. 6th, please read to the end of Chapter 14 of The Maltese Falcon. In your book, mark a passage that you think is especially important or interesting. On a separate piece of paper that you will turn in, explain why you chose this passage, and what you think it means.

For Sept. 11: Read up to page 186 (chapter 18) of The Maltese Falcon. In your book, mark a passage (particularly a passage that relates to gender- masculinity, femininity, etc.) that you think is especially interesting or important. On a separate piece of paper that you will turn in, explain why you chose this passage, and what you think it means.

Thurs. Sept. 13th: Your homework is to expand your historical context of Black Mask. You should expand your history of the magazine to about 2/3 to one full page in length, and you must draw from at least two sources (see the sources listed on the websites).

Please bring a summary of at least one scholarly source on The Maltese Falcon, printed out, or on a laptop (you can email it to me, and I will print it out for you). This summary should follow the prompt for the Literature Review section of Paper #1 (see prompt).

For Oct. 2nd: Read the short story“Louisa Please Come Home” by Shirley Jackson, and in about half a page, discuss connections you see between this story and an aspect of one other text we have read/watched so far.

For Oct. 4th: Select two texts we’ve read/watched so far this semester that you’d like to compare/contrast. Choose two quotations from each text (four quotations total) that you think make an interesting contrast/comparison. You should choose quotes that are focused on a specific theme.

Homework for Oct. 9th: Bring a detailed outline, or a written draft, of your compare/contrast in-class essay. Make sure that at the very least you have a thesis, topic sentences for body paragraphs, and the quotations you will use. It’s a good idea to bring the texts you are working with, too, so you can refer to them in class.

If you don’t have the book yet, here are scans of Chapters 1-6:

“A” is for Alibi, by Sue Grafton, Chapters 1-3

“A” is for Alibi, by Sue Grafton, Chapter 4-6

Due Oct. 16th: Read to the end of Chapter 4 of Sue Grafton’s novel “A” is for Alibi, and answer the following questions: Reading Questions, “A” is for Alibi, due Oct. 16th

Reading due Tuesday, Nov. 27th: Please read to the end of chapter 7 of the novel All Shot Up by Chester Himes. The last take-home paper will be based on this novel, so it’s important to keep up with the reading. Make sure that you write down any questions you have, since we’ll discuss chapters 3-7 in class on Nov. 27th!

Reading and Homework for Nov. 29th: Please read to the end of Chapter 9 of All Shot Up. You should choose one short passage, and do a close reading of that passage. You don’t need to re-write the passage you do your close reading on if you don’t want to, but you should mark it in your book. You’ll turn in the close reading (which should be at least a paragraph in length).

Readings:

Edgar Allan Poe, “The Man of the Crowd”

Edgar Allan Poe, “Man of the Crowd”: with extensive footnotes to explain references

The Maltese Falcon, pages 3-44

Raymond Chandler, “The Simple Art of Murder”

Raymond Chandler, The Big Sleep, pages 3-22

Raymond Chandler, The Big Sleep, pages 22-62

“The Heroine” by Patricia Highsmith

“Louisa Please Come Home” by Shirley Jackson

Chester Himes, All Shot Up, pages 5-61

“A” is for Alibi, by Sue Grafton, Chapters 1-3

“A” is for Alibi, by Sue Grafton, Chapter 4-6

Materials for 19th Century Detective Fiction:

Edgar Allan Poe, “The Man of the Crowd”

Edgar Allan Poe, “Man of the Crowd”: with extensive footnotes to explain references

Materials for The Maltese Falcon:

The Maltese Falcon, up to page 31

A Glossary for Hardboiled Slang: https://www.miskatonic.org/slang.html

Lecture on Hard-Boiled Detective Fiction

Scans of Black Mask Magazine

Prompts:

Paper 3 Prompt

Paper #1 Prompt

Sample Rough Draft, Paper #1

In-Class Midterm Essay, Prompt and Rubric

Compare and Contrast Essay Guide, University of North Carolina Writing Center: https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/comparing-and-contrasting/

 

Sources for Paper #1:

History of Black Mask, from The Oxford Companion to Crime and Mystery Writing

“A History of Black Mask Magazine,” from blackmasmagazine.com

https://blackmaskmagazine.com/blog/the-black-mask-a-history-of-black-mask-magazine/

A brief history of Black Mask by Prof. William Marling:

https://web.archive.org/web/20110709015311/http://www.detnovel.com/Black%20Mask.html

Erin A. Smith, “How the Other Half Reads”: an essay about the history of Black Mask readers, class, and advertisements

History of Dashiell Hammett and Black Mask by author and Prof. J.K. Van Dover from his book Making the Detective Story American

William Brandon, “Back in the Old Black Mask”: Author William Brandon recalls his impressions of Black Mask editor Joseph Shaw from 1930s New York

Brief Biography of Dashiell Hammett from The Oxford Companion to Crime and Mystery Writing

An overview of hard-boiled fiction: Lee Horsley, “American Hard-Boiled Crime Writing, 1920s-1940s”

An overview of the relationship between hard-boiled fiction and film noir: Lee Horsley, “Hard-Boiled and Noir in 20th Century American Crime Fiction”

Introduction to The Maltese Falcon written by Dashiell Hammett in 1934: http://www.thrillingdetective.com/trivia/triv244.html

Warning- this (scholarly) article contains spoilers: Unless the Threat of Death is Behind Them by John Irwin

Warning- this (scholarly) article contains spoilers: “The Image of the Maltese Falcon- Reconsidering an American Icon”by Douglas Torgerson

Warning- this (scholarly) article contains spoilers: “Hammett’s Physical Falcon” by R.H. Miller

Warning- this (scholarly) article contains spoilers: “The Three Sam Spades: The Shifting Models of American Masculinity in the Three Films of ‘The Maltese Falcon'” by Phillipa Gates

Warning- this (scholarly) article contains spoilers: “Dashiell Hammett and the Challenge of New Individualism” by Christopher Metress, re-printed in the edited collection The Critical Response to Dashiell Hammett

Warning- this (scholarly) article contains spoilers: Jameson, Genre, and Gumshoes by Jasmine Yong Hall, re-printed in the edited collection The Critical Response to Dashiell Hammett

Warning- this (scholarly) article contains spoilers: Focus on The Maltese Falcon- The Metaphysical Falcon by Irving Malin, re-printed in the edited collection The Critical Response to Dashiell Hammett

Online guides/introductions to the Literature Review: 

https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/literature-reviews/

https://miamioh.edu/hcwe/handouts/literature-reviews/index.html

https://www.lib.ncsu.edu/tutorials/litreview/

Whiteboard Notes:

Whiteboard Notes Aug. 23rd

Whiteboard Notes, Aug. 28th

Whiteboard Notes, Aug. 30th, Scholarly Sources

Whiteboard Notes, Aug. 30th, Mr. Flitcraft

Whiteboard Notes, Sept. 4th

Whiteboard Notes, Sept. 6th

Whiteboard Notes Sept. 27th

Whiteboard Notes Oct. 2nd

Required Readings:

Two of the required novels are at the Palomar College Bookstore: The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett, and “A” is for Alibi by Sue Grafton.

One of the required novels, All Shot Up by Chester Himes, is no longer in print, and so cannot be purchased through the Palomar Bookstore. You should order a copy of All Shot Up as soon as possible so that you have a copy by mid-October at the very latest. You can borrow a copy from me, order your own copy, make a photocopy from someone else’s book, have a kindle edition, etc., as long as you can come to class with your own copy. The first 60 pages are posted above in the “Readings” section of this website. Here are links to buy the book:

Alibris:

http://www.alibris.com/All-Shot-Up-Chester-Himes/book/238540?matches=59

Amazon:

 

 

 

 

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