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Like a greater Canadian Goose, I am currently migrating. I am transferring my WordPress page to this new and improved self-hosted website. For the most part, all of the files and pages presented here provide background information you will need to analyze my work experience or learn more about me. Unfortunately, some of the links are broken.I will have all links fixed by Monday, February 18, 2013.

Thanks for your patience while this migration is underway. If you have further questions, please contact me at brandon.shuler (@) ttu.edu
Warmest,
Brandon D. Shuler

 

English 2307 Extra Credit

Extra Credit Opportunity I
Due: Tuesday, February 21, 2013
This extra credit assignment’s aim serves two purposes. The first and most important is to help facilitate a self-editing habit in your writing process. One of the most crucial aspects in the writing process is peer review. In this case, I am the peer and made editorial suggestions and comments. Secondly, this extra credit is to help you earn back some of the points you may have lost on the first draft. You are eligible to get back half of the points you lost. For example: if you earned an 80, you have the opportunity to earn ten additional points by revising and rewriting the paper, bringing your maximum grade up to a 90.

To regain the most points available, the student will significantly revise the paper answering all of the editor’s comments and correcting any significant structural or grammatical errors. The revised paper will be graded per its success as a revised edition. The student’s grade will never be lower than the original, but in most cases, the new grade will be significantly higher than the first. The revised paper will be turned in to me with a copy of the originally graded text.

2307 Writing Assignment II

Aristotle and Sophocles: 2307 Introduction to Writing Fiction Assignment II


DUE FEBRUARY 19, 2013
The student will write an 800-word essay discussing Sophocles’ Oedipus the King through an Aristotlean reading. The student will examine and explain, using Aristotle’s Poetics, why and how Oedipus the King is considered the perfect tragedy. The student will examine plot structure, characterization, and elements of tragedy defined in Poetics and apply them to general and particular elements of Oedipus the King. The essay will be printed in 12 point Times New Roman font; double spaced; MLA format, with parenthetical citations and a properly formatted works cited page. This paper is due in the student’s Dropbox folder by 9:30am, February 19, 2013.

Spring 2307 Writing Assignment I

Horace’s Ars Poetica: 2307 Introduction to Fiction Writing Assignment I

Due January 29, 2013, 9:30 a.m.

The student will write an 800-word essay discussing the concepts of Horace’s Ars Poetica. The student will write a clear and concise, well-stated thesis and provide, from Horace’s essay, at the least, two supporting statements that supplement the student’s thesis’ claims. The student will also use one outside scholarly source to support their claims. (Please use ProjectMuse or JSTOR from the TTU Library’s website.) Possible themes are, but are not limited to, discussing Horace’s ideas on mimesis, verisimilitude in characterization, the importance of characterization in dramatic writing, and the writer’s responsibility in the preparation and presentation of written works. The essay will be written in 12 point Times New Roman font; double spaced; MLA format, with parenthetical citations and a properly formatted works cited page; and turned in via the student’s individual Dropbox folder.

2307 Semester Portfolio

2307 Semester Portfolio
Due December 7, 2012 Finals
20% of Final Grade

The student will turn in a collection of all their work produced for this class in a 1-inch three-ring binder. Each essay will be revised answering the instructor’s original grading comments. The student’s new version will be printed and placed behind the original graded essay. The student will include an 150-250 word Revision Statement proceeding each original essay which their revision strategies, and an explanation of how these revisions helped the structure of the essay, the essay’s argument, and responds to the instructor’s grading comments.

The student will place behind their collected essays their graded mid-terms with revisions. ALL STUDENTS ARE REQUIRED TO PROVIDE MIDTERM REVISIONS! A written revision statement is not required.

Portfolio grades reflect the conscientiousness with which students revised their essays and the essays’ new effectivenesses. This assignment allows the student and the instructor an illustration of the student’s progress over the course of the semester. Semester Portfolio grades will be e-mailed to the student’s TTU e-mail address no later than December 17, 2012. Portfolios may be picked up beginning the first day of the spring semester, unless the student makes a special request and arrangements to retrieve the portfolio over Christmas break.

2307 Intro to Fiction Mid-Term

Fall 2307 Introduction to Fiction Mid-Term
Due via e-mail Thursday, October 25th, @ 11:00 a.m.
brandon.shuler@ttu.edu

The student chooses one question from each section. The questions are weighted by difficulty, 45 points, 35 points, and 20 points. Students choose any questions they prefer, but the student must pay attention to the questions’ weights. Students have the opportunity to score from a total of 135 points down to 60 points. The instructor expects well-thought out, well-reasoned, thesis-driven arguments supported by the course’s primary sources. The primary sources begin with Horace’s Ars Poetica and concludes with Hesse’s Siddhartha. The instructor does not want secondary sources included, unless those secondary sources are archetypes of common literary knowledge: Genesis Eden story and the such. Each question requires a 500-word response, typed, double-spaced, Times New Roman 12 point, with a works cited following the answer the work belongs to. Students may not contact the instructor with specific questions; however, Twitter discussion is allowed between instructor and classmates, even encouraged.

GENERAL THEMES

  1.  (45 points) Discuss the changing roles of fate versus freewill across the texts we have read thus far. How is fate versus freewill generally portrayed as a literary value, and what does this suggest about the human experience?
  2.  (35 points) As discussed in class, a general connecting theme across the texts—excluding Horace and Aristotle—is the theme of water. In each text water plays a significant, yet dramatically different role. What are these connecting or divergent themes and what claim does this hold on the human imagination arise from?
  3. (20 points) The search for ‘truth’ dominates our authors’ imaginations, but we witness their characters’ searches for it driven by different needs. Each character ultimately finds a truth, but is the truth they find the truth they expected to find when their journeys began? What does this suggest about the human condition and experience, and what is the driving force that compels the individual to search for the truth?

CHARACTER ANALYSIS

  1. (45 points) Death plays a significant role in a number of our texts. In our texts, death is portrayed in favorable and unfavorable contexts. These deaths often occur along engendered constructions, changing or privileging a character’s agency: Jocasta kills herself, Oedipus blinds himself; Ophelia kills herself, Hamlet is killed by another; Kamala is killed by a snake, Siddhartha lives. What are the roles of death, and how does death promote or demote the respective character’s agency? Compare or contrast any characters or focus on the specific role of death across texts.
  2. (35 points) In our texts, Nature (the environmental world) plays an important part, even finding itself personified in many places. Nature transcends its role of setting and becomes a character that shapes and melds our human characters. Discuss how Nature becomes a character, and how Nature’s character becomes a driver of plot or a shaping element of the texts’ human characterizations.
  3. (20 points) Choose any two characters and analyze them through the lens of Horace’s and/or Aristotle’s ideals of characterization. Are these characters believable, probable, and tangible? Can the reader relate to the characters, and do the characters evoke empathy from the reader?

LITERARY AWARENESS

  1.  (45 points) Horace and Aristotle privilege different literary elements—plot, setting, characterization, thought, diction—when determining the story’s critical success. The student will choose two of these elements to discuss in relation with Horace and Aristotle. How do Horace’s and Aristotle’s privileged literary elements complement each other, and how do they disagree? The student will use specific examples from our reading list by comparing works we have read in addition to Horace and Aristotle to support Horace’s and Aristotle’s claims and complement the student’s assertions.
  2.  (35 points) Define mimesis and verisimilitude from Ars Poetica and Poetics. Once the student defines these concepts, discuss how the two work to complement each other. As the student answers this, the instructor expects specific examples from the primary fictional texts. Use examples from the other books we have read to support your claims and clarify the definitions’ literary purposes and importances.
  3.  (20 points) Discuss the role and structure of plot, as defined by Aristotle’s Poetics. After providing a plot definition and structure, the student will choose one of the texts, excluding Oedipus Rex, and discuss Aristotle’s plot structure in relation to their chosen text.

 

2307 Writing Assignment III

2307 Writing Assignment III
DUE OCTOBER 9, 2012

The student is allowed to write on any subject discussing the readings up to and including Siddhartha. This is the student’s opportunity to flex their minds a bit. The student will refer to at least three secondary sources to the text discussed in their essay. This essay must be 1000 words, typed, double-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman font. Theses will be e-mailed to and approved by me no later than Tuesday, 2 October 2012.