to the schedule of readings and assignments
prerequisites: ENGL 1301
required texts: Lowry, The Giver (Yearling); Pinker, The Blank Slate (Penguin); Boulle, Planet of the Apes (Del Rey). You must also purchase, somewhere, a packet of 4x6 notecards.
syllabus: This syllabus may be updated as the semester goes on. I may post updated versions that indicate readings, discussion plans, and reference materials. However, every component of your grade is shown here at the beginning. Please refer to the date and time of printing (at the bottom of each page) to see when the version you are holding was printed. For continuous updates look on line at http://www.uta.edu/english/tim/courses/1302s05/1302index.html
course description: This course is an introduction to academic argument. We will study human nature and read academic and literary texts that argue about human nature and human evolutionary psychology.
course objectives: Students who successfully complete this course will have been introduced to academic arguments over human nature, an interdisciplinary field that can serve as a model for future study. They will have studied how arguments are waged in literary texts. They will have practiced analysis of academic argument, and they will have done some initial secondary research on academic topics in the humanities and social sciences.
drop policy: UTA instructors may not drop students for any reason. You may choose to drop with a W until 15 April.
assignments: daily notecards, four Essays, three short papers. No quizzes, no midterms, no final exam. All work may be handwritten.
grading: Grading is on a point basis, with 200 total points possible for the semester. If you make 180-200 points for the semester, you will make an A for the course; 160-179 is a B; 140-59 is a C; 139 or lower but with all assignments completed is a Z; 139 or lower with assignments missing is an F.
academic dishonesty policy: It is the philosophy of The University of Texas at Arlington that academic dishonesty is a completely unacceptable mode of conduct and will not be tolerated in any form. All persons involved in academic dishonesty will be disciplined in accordance with University regulations and procedures. Discipline may include suspension or expulsion from the University. "Scholastic dishonesty includes but is not limited to cheating, plagiarism, collusion, the submission for credit of any work or materials that are attributable in whole or in part to another person, any act designed to give unfair advantage to a student or the attempt to commit such acts." [Regents' Rules and Regulations, Part One, Chapter Vi, Section 3, Subsection 3.2, Subdivision 3.22]
disability policy: The University of Texas at Arlington is on record as being committed to both the spirit and letter of federal equal opportunity legislation; reference Public Law 93112--The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as amended. With the passage of new federal legislation entitled Americans with Disabilities Act - (ADA), pursuant to section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, there is renewed focus on providing this population with the same opportunities enjoyed by all citizens. As a faculty member, I am required by law to provide "reasonable accommodation" to students with disabilities, so as not to discriminate on the basis of that disability. Student responsibility primarily rests with informing faculty at the beginning of the semester and in providing authorized documentation through designated administrative channels.
student success: The University of Texas at Arlington supports a variety of student success programs to help you connect with the University and achieve academic success. They include learning assistance, developmental education, advising and mentoring, admission and transition, and federally funded programs. Students requiring assistance academically, personally, or socially should contact the Office of Student Success Programs at 817-272-6107 for more information and appropriate referrals.
library: Noel Anderson is the Librarian for the English Department. He can be reached at 817 272 3000, ext. 7428, and by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
schedule of assignments and readings:
Tues 18 Jan: introductions, syllabus
Thurs 20 Jan: natural selection and its implications for humans: an overview
Tues 25 Jan: short paper A due (12 points): discuss, in about three pages, your views on human nature: why we are the way we are, what factors make us different from animals or from one another and what factors make us similar to animals or to one another. In today's class discussion we will compare notes.
Thurs 27 Jan: The Giver 1-49; notecard
Tues 1 Feb: The Giver 50-117; notecard
Thurs 3 Feb: The Giver 118-180; notecard
Tues 8 Feb: Essay #1 due (30 points).
Thurs 10 Feb: Pinker ch 1; notecard
Tues 15 Feb: Pinker ch 2; notecard
Thurs 17 Feb: Pinker ch 3; short paper B due (24 points): write a 3-page maximum summary of the first three chapters of The Blank Slate. Be sure to show the arguments Pinker himself summarizes and to say how he agrees or disagrees with them. Key principle: although the book is called The Blank Slate, Pinker's main argument is that Blank Slate ideas are incorrect.
Tues 22 Feb: We meet today in Room B20 Library for an orientation session.
Thurs 24 Feb: Library work day (no regular class meeting)
Tues 1 March: Pinker ch 4; notecard
Thurs 3 March: Essay #2 due (30 points)
Tues 8 March: Pinker ch 5; notecard
Thurs 10 March: Pinker ch 13; notecard
T 15, Th 17 March: SPRING BREAK
Tues 22 March: Pinker ch 14; notecard
Thurs 24 March: Pinker ch 16; notecard
Tues 29 March: Pinker ch 17; notecard
Thurs 31 March: Pinker ch 18; notecard
Tues 5 Apr: Pinker ch 19; notecard
Thurs 7 Apr: Essay #3 due (30 points)
Tues 12 Apr: "slack"
Thurs 14 Apr: short paper C due (12 points): in three pages, discuss a recent news item on which the ideas in Pinker's chapters 13-19 have direct bearing. In today's class discussion we'll talk about human nature in the news, and how arguments get formed in the media as opposed to academic settings.
Fri 15 Apr: last date to drop
Tues 19 Apr: Planet of the Apes 3-51; notecard
Thurs 21 Apr: Planet of the Apes 53-161; notecard
Tues 26 Apr: Planet of the Apes 163-268; notecard
Thurs 28 Apr: Essay #4 due (30 points)
Tues 3 May: last class meeting; course evaluations
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