“Global science fiction”

First Year Program

St. Lawrence University

“Plenary”:        MWF 9:40-10:40         Valentine 107

“Seminar”        Tuesday 2:20 - 3:50    Bewkes 232

 

Instructor: Dr. Daniel W. Koon
Office: Bewkes 221
Phone: x5494
Email: dkoon@stlawu.edu
Office Hours: MWF 8:00-9:00, Th 1:00-2:00

Mentor: Joseph Kurowski

Office/Home:

Phone: x6625

Email: jpkuro03@stlawu.edu

Office Hours:

 

This electronic document (http://it.stlawu.edu/~koon/classes/FYS/GlobalSF2005.html) is the official syllabus of this course. It will be updated as the course proceeds. Please bookmark this page and check back frequently.

Last Revised: April 29, 2005.

 

COURSE DESCRIPTION:

Science fiction is as American a genre as the Western, right? Wrong. From Jules Verne to Cuban cyberpunk to Japanese anime, the world of SF is as international as, well, the crew of the Starship Enterprise. In this course we will sample the non-English-language science fiction literature and explore the extent to which science fiction, that literature which strives “to boldly go” beyond the limits of its earth-bound, human writer, is still tied to the planet, the species, the culture and the era of that writer. Or perhaps we will decide that it is not. Each student will write both a short science fiction story and a full-length research paper for this course, as well as leading discussion of at least one literary work, author, or country.

 


 

MAJOR ASSSIGNMENTS

RESEARCH PAPER
The major focus of this course is a final paper, 10-12 pages double-spaced, due at the end of the semester. It will be the result of your research into a specific research question based on one of the sub-topics in this course. We will spend time throughout the semester investigating the issues involved with writing a major research paper, and the various stages of the paper will be collected and graded by the instructor at specific dates in the semester. (See Major Deadlines below.) The theme of this paper will be either a piece of science fiction (novel, short story, film, etc.) or an author, country, or movement within global SF.

FICTION STORY
You will also write a short story related to the same theme that you will be researching for your research paper. Throughout the course of the semester, I will assign intermediate steps, including development of the science, the plot, and one or more characters in your story. Unless you prefer not to, your story may be published online in the SLU SF e-zine, The Android Times.


FICTION PRESENTATION
You will also be expected to lead classroom discussion of some piece or pieces of fiction. If your research paper theme is a work of fiction, this will be the subject of this presentation.

How should you structure class? There are many possibilities. What I don't recommend is that you simply stand in front of class and lecture us for a half hour. (particularly reading straight from notes) A combination of lecture, directed discussion, and other activities is probably the best approach, but feel free to explore your own ideas of presentation. Since this is an important part of this course and because I'm asking you to do a good share of the teaching, it is important that we discuss your intentions for class well in advance - - two weeks before class and then again one week before. Handouts are recommended, but I don't want you to hand out a page of notes with "all the answers" to the students without trying to get them to work through the issues and come up with their own answers first.

SECOND PRESENTATION

You will also give a classroom presentation of some author, country, region, or other topic in global SF. If your research paper theme is not a work of fiction, that will be the theme of this talk.


PORTFOLIO
Your portfolio is a record of your progress in this course. As such, it needs to include all drafts of every bit of written work you do during the course, including the various stages of your research paper including notes, all the materials associated with the topical projects just mentioned, and in-class free writes. Part of that portfolio should be the self-assessment, in which you reflect critically on the work assembled in the portfolio. Your self-assessment should be a frank, honest analysis of your work. It should neither be filled with platitudes nor excuses for why your grades were what they were. In fact, grades are completely irrelevant. What is your assessment of your own work? How did it improve during the semester?
A three-ring binder, or its equivalent, is recommended for assembling your portfolio through the course of the semester.

 


 

OTHER ASSIGNMENTS


Reading journal: One element of your participation grade will be your notes from the individual readings. I will ask you to keep a notebook with extensive notes on all of the readings for this course, including films. I will occasionally ask you to hand it in, so that I can check that you are indeed keeping up. I will grade on completeness, not on neatness. You will be allowed to use these notes, but not the original stories, in the in-class exams.

Personal writing mechanics journal: One element of your portfolio grade will be a running inventory of areas of your own writing that need work. After each assignment, you need to look through the instructor's, mentor's, or tutor's marks to see what you ought to add to this list. You should consult this list when proofreading all subsequent formal assignments. As a writer, it is important to practice the mechanics of writing, and to be aware of those areas in which you most need work. If one of these areas is 'homophones', for example, you may find it useful to compile a list of words that you have difficulty with ("to", "too", "two", or "its" and "it's", for example) but which the spell-checker refuses to help you with.

Miscellaneous writing assignments: Finally, there will be occasional free-writes and quizzes throughout the semester, as the need arises. I do not know in advance how many there may be, so I will simply include the results of these assignments in your 'classroom participation' grade.


 

ATTENDANCE

Your active participation in class is important. Of course you need to attend class. I reserve the right to dock you a half-point final letter grade for each absence beyond the third, in addition to lowering your class participation grade. But you also need to arrive in class prepared to contribute to it. Bring any materials that we are planning to discuss that day -- texts, handouts, and notes from texts or films. Occasionally I will throw an unannounced quiz to ensure that you’ve come to class prepared. Such quizzes will usually be open notes, but not open text. Thus, it really pays to take good notes. Late arrival in class is also distracting, especially when one of your colleagues is giving his/her oral presentation. I will count every two instances of five minutes or more of lateness as equaling an absence. Please speak to me beforehand if you anticipate having to miss or be late for or leave early from any class.

 

PLAGIARISM

The SLU Student Handbook defines plagiarism as "presenting as one's own work of another person -- words, ideas, data, evidence, thoughts, information, organizing principles, or style of presentation -- without proper attribution." While we will talk about the dangers of plagiarism in class, it is your responsibility to be aware of what is -- and what is not -- plagiarism, whether intentional or not. Your instructor has a variety of tools at his disposal for testing written work for plagiarism, ample experience at detecting it, and a low tolerance for it. If you have questions about whether you are adequately citing or attributing work, please ask your mentor or instructor. Please see the material below. You are responsible for this material.

 

ACADEMIC RESOURCES, SPECIAL NEEDS

If you need accommodation for special needs, please contact your instructor by the end of the first full week of classes. Please also contact the Office for Academic Services for Students with Special Needs (homepage, e-mail) as soon as possible. Another useful office for all students is the Academic Achievement Office, which can set you up with tutoring for this and other courses.

 



 

GRADING OF ASSIGNMENTS

Research project

25%

 

     Bibliography & annotated bibliography

 

 

     Notecards & functional outline

 

 

     First draft

 

 

     Final draft

 

 

SF story

15%

 

     Outline & assorted assignments

 

 

     First draft

 

 

     Final draft

 

 

Fiction presentation

15%

 

    Preparation

 

 

    Presentation

 

 

Non-fiction presentation

15%

 

     Preparation

 

 

     Presentation

 

 

Quizzes, exams, classroom participation

15%

 

Reading journal

5%

 

Personal writing mechanics journal

5%

 

Portfolio

5%

 

 

 

 


 

MAJOR DEADLINES:

Week

Date

SF story

Research paper

1

Fri. Jan 21        

 

‘Grant proposal’ for 3 research topics

2

Fri. Jan 28

 

Preliminary research question

3

Fri. Feb   4

 

Bibliography: first draft

4

Fri. Feb 11

 

 

5

Fri. Feb 18

First draft of plot summary       

 

6

Fri. Feb 25

 

Annotated bibliography

7

Fri. Mar 4

First draft of character sketch

 

8

Fri. Mar 11

 

Functional outline: first draft

9

Fri. Mar 25

Scientific exposition, akaInfodump

 

10

Fri. Apr  1

 

Functional outline: second draft

11

Fri. Apr 8

First draft of fiction

 

12

Fri. Apr 15

 

Research paper: first draft

13

Fri. Apr 22

Final draft of fiction

 

14

Fri. Apr 29

 

Research paper: final draft, Portfolio & self-assessment

FINAL EXAM, Tuesday, May 3, 1:30-4:30

PLUS.....
  One week and two weeks before each classroom presentation: Outline of presentation, list of prior readings for the classmates, meet with instructor
  One class before each classroom presentation: Class handouts for distribution



 

REQUIRED (BOOKSTORE) TEXTS: (Any links to amazon.com are for illustrative purposes only and do not represent an endorsement of any sort)

Russom’s Universal Robots -- Karel Čapek (Czechoslavakia: 1920)

Solaris -- Stanislaw Lem (Poland:1961)

Cosmos Latinos -- Andrea L. Bell & Yolanda Molina-Gavilán -- WARNING: This book is NOT available at the bookstore. Please order on-line.

The Best Japanese Science Fiction Stories -- John L. Apostolou & Martin H. Greenberg

 

OTHER CORE READINGS COMMON TO THE CLASS: (Subject to change without notice):

Arkadi & Boris Strugatskii (USSR) -- Hard to be a god (alternate link) (USSR: 1964)

Yoss (Cuba) -- Social worker, A performance of death, Chimneys

Other stories TBA

Histories and Introductions to various international anthologies and novels, many of them out of print

      The snail on the slope (Sturgeon’s intro)

      Martians in Bartolo’s banana field

      Historias futuras

      Cosmos Latinos, The best Japanese science fiction stories (See above)

      Science fiction from China

      New worlds from the Lowlands

 

CORE SF FILMS:

La Jetée         

France

1962

30 min

Fri/Sat/Sun, Jan. 21-23

4/7/10pm

Ch. 98

Metropolis

Germany

1927

139

Fri/Sat/Sun, Feb 4-6

4/7/10pm

Ch. 98

Aelita

USSR

1924

111

Fri/Sat/Sun, Feb 11-13

4/7/10pm

Ch. 98

Solaris

USSR

1972

169

Fri/Sat/Sun, Feb 18-20

12/4/8pm

Ch. 98

Abre los ojos

Spain

1997

117

Fri/Sat/Sun, Feb 25-27

4/7/10pm

Ch. 98

Gojira

Japan

1954

98

Fri/Sat/Sun, Mar 25-27

4/7/10pm

Ch. 98

Akira

Japan

1988

125

Fri/Sat/Sun, Apr 1-3

4/7/10pm

Ch. 98

Ghost in the shell

Japan

1997

82

Fri/Sat/Sun, Apr 8-10

4/7/10pm

Ch. 98

Natural City

Korea

2003

113

Fri/Sat/Sun, Apr 15-17

4/7/10pm

Ch. 98

Wonderful Days

Korea

2003

90

Tues/Wed, Apr 19-20

4/7/10pm

Ch. 98

Koi...mil gaya

India

2003

170

Fri/Sat/Sun, Apr 22- 24

4/7/10pm

Ch. 98

 

OTHER POSSIBLE TEXTS FOR POSSIBLE RESEARCH PAPER TOPIC:

The roadside picnic: Strugatskiis

The snail on the slope: Strugatskiis

Futurological Conference, Lem (fragment)

War of the newts, Capek

Jules Verne stories

The dead city of Korad (to be available electronically), Oscar Hurtado

other films

Stalker (USSR: 1979)

Planet of storms (USSR: 1962)

The amphibian man (USSR: 1962)

Voyage to the end of the universe (Czech. 1963)

Witch hunter Robin (Japan)

 

OTHER RESOURCES:

Science Fiction Studies, particularly #79 & 80 (July 1999, March 2000) Theme: On Global Science Fiction, Part I, II

Ultimate science fiction guide: countries

Online Russian / Soviet fiction (Russica)

The instructor’s Cuban SF page


 

SCHEDULE:

(Films are displayed in red.)

 

INTRODUCTION TO MATERIAL, FINDING SOURCES

 

M Jan 17

Introduction to the course & field. First assignment: “Grant proposal”

Georges Méliès: A trip to the Moon (France, 1902)

 

T Jan 18

SEMINAR: Library orientation in ODY

 

W Jan 19

Exploring fields for research topic in ODY: Assignment 0.5

 

F Jan 21

Early SF

 A Voyage To The Moon, Cyrano de Bergerac (1657) [Printable version]

...Baron von Munchausen, Ch. 6, 18. Raspé (1785) [Printable version]

Cyrano de Bergerac: Act 3, Scene 11, Rostand (1898). [Printable version]

a little background on Kepler’s Somnium [1634]

Grant proposal” due for each of 3 topics you might want to research

M Jan 24

La Jetée [The Jetty] Fri/Sat/Sun 4/7/10pm on Ch. 98.

 

T Jan 25

SEMINAR: Workshop on oral presentations -- Come in with 3 sources for your first Oral Presentation. J. Orlin Grabbe’s homepage.

 

W Jan 26

Introductions to anthologies & translations: Read Sturgeon on Soviets, Argentina, Borges on Bioy Casares, Asimov on Dutch/Flemish, Pohl on China, Japan. Take good notes on each, focusing on thesis (if there is one) and organizational structure.

 

F Jan 28

Introductions and anthologies: Cosmos Latinos, Strugatskiis. Outline each.

(Start reading Solaris) No weekend film. Sorry.

Preliminary thesis question due

 

EARLY GLOBAL SF

 

M Jan 31

Introductions, The early SF film industry & Europe between the Wars.

(Some early clips)

T Feb 1

SEMINAR: Evaluating sources The Weekly World News

APA citation style (Look at the section in A writer’s reference)

See Purdue OWL on APA Style

W Feb 2

Čapek: Rossum’s Universal Robots [R.U.R.]

Austria-Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Čapek, Kafka, Golem

In class: Laura and Paula -- Michel Encinosa

 

USSR / EASTERN BLOC

 

F Feb 4

Stanislaw Lem: Solaris (1961)

Captions for Metropolis (restored version)

Science Fiction Studies

Why not go to Ottawa for Winterlude? (Two more weekends left)

First draft of Bibliography due

M Feb 7

Metropolis and The Weimar Republic. Fri/Sat/Sun 4/7/10pm on Ch. 98.-- Joerg [ppt]

 

T Feb 8

Čapek, War with the newts -- Russell [ppt]

SEMINAR: TBA

 

W Feb 9

Lem’s Solaris  -- Wolfe [ppt] (Start Hard to be a god: Print-friendly version)

 

F Feb 11

USSR: politics and art [ppt]

Read Soviet art, Socialist realism, Countries: Russia and skim Soviet History before class.

No assignments due

M Feb 14

Aelita and the early Soviet Union. Fri/Sat/Sun 4/7/10pm on Ch. 98. (Keep reading Hard to be a god). Pulp Era of SF [ppt]

 

T Feb 15

Discuss La Jetée -- Munt [ppt] (Read Questions to consider handout)

The Block Universe: All you zombies (Heinlein) (Zombies timeline)

Friday’s assignment

 

W Feb 16

French New Wave film -- Perzanoski [ppt]

Arkady & Boris Strugatsky: Hard to be a god -- Golley [ppt]

 

F Feb 18

Hard to be a god, Selections from: Roadside picnic, Snail on the slope

First draft of SF story plot summary due

M Feb 21

Tarkovsky’s Solaris Fri/Sat/Sun 12/48pm, Ch. 11. (Note different channel.)

Future SF alert: Hitchhiker’s Guide trailer

 

T Feb 22

SEMINAR: canceled

 

W Feb 23

The Annotated bibliography. Bring 3 references (physically), plus thesis statement. Be prepared to work on both A.B. & outline

(Solaris subtitles)

 

F Feb 25

Solaris and Hard to be a god -- Continuation

The Prime Directive” debate: featuring characters from Solaris, H2BAG

 

Annotated Bibliography due

 

CUBA / LATIN AMERICA

 

M Feb 28

Abre los ojos [Open your eyes]. Fri/Sat/Sun 4/7/10pm on Ch. 98. -- Goodman [ppt]

Jules Verne (Yes, I know he wasn’t from Eastern Europe or Latin America)

From the Earth to the Moon, Ch.1  -- Legnard [ppt]

 

T Mar 1

SEMINAR: Character in fiction: Today’s exercise [doc] (page one only), some food for thought [doc]

Oral presentations: Top ten ways to ruin a presentation [pdf]

For your amusement: Atlas of the Universe [html]

 

W Mar 2

Cuba I: Martians in Bartolo’s banana field [html]

Koon’s in-class overview of Cuban SF [ppt]

From Cosmos Latinos: Arango: Cosmonaut, Chaviano: Annunciation,

 

F Mar 4

Cuba I: Yoss -- Thouin [ppt]

Yoss: Social worker [html], A performance of death [html], Chimneys [html]

First draft of SF story character sketch [doc] due

M Mar 7

Cuba and Latin America: From Cosmos Latinos: Encinosa: Like the roses had to die; Adolph: The falsifier

Hernández: Empress [doc]

Latin American SF -- Frank [ppt]

 

T Mar 8

SEMINAR:

The Outline: Bring in your arguments on Cuban SF

Feedback on Oral Presentations

Cuban SF -- tying it up

 

W Mar 9

Argentine SF -- Wolfe [ppt]

From Cosmos Latinos: The Last Refuge, Post-Boomboom, Gu Ta Gutarrak, Violet’s Embryos

 

F Mar 11

Argentina SF

Jorge Borges: Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius [html], Library of Babel [html], Book of Sand [html]

In class materials: The second encyclopedia of Tlön, Digital Library of Babel

The infinite monkey problem.

First draft of Outline [doc] due

 

SPRING BREAK

 

M Mar 21

No class

 

T Mar 22

SEMINAR: Watch the film Vampires in Havana

 

W Mar 23

EXAM I

 

F Mar 25

In-class essay TBA. Pass in “Infodump” assignment

Exposition, akaInfodump” [doc] due

 

EAST ASIA

 

M Mar 28

Gojira. Fri/Sat/Sun 4/7/10pm on Ch. 98. -- Russell [ppt]

 

T Mar 29

SEMINAR: Argumentation [doc], Discussion of Gojira

 

W Mar 30

Japan: Read wikipedia.org on... Japanese History [html], Culture [html] (skim only), Atomic bombings [html], Castle Bravo Test [html]

Japanese History & culture [ppt]

 

F Apr 1

Anime -- Goodman [ppt]

Read Napier on Anime [doc]

Functional outline [doc] due

M Apr 4

Akira.  Fri/Sat/Sun 4/7/10pm on Ch. 98. -- Frank [ppt]

 

T Apr 5

SEMINAR: Peer review [doc] of first SF draft. Put what you’ve got so far on T: drive (‘Fiction Stories’ folder), bring hardcopy to class.

 

W Apr 6

Japanese fiction in print I -- Munt [ppt]

Read Cardboard box, Bokko-chan, Hey come out, The road to the sea, Take your choice, all from The Best Japanese Science Fiction Stories

 

F Apr 8

Japanese fiction in print II.

Interview [html] with Katsuhiro Otomo. Review [html], trailers [html] of Steamboy.

First draft of fiction [doc] due

M Apr 11

Ghost in the shell. Fri/Sat/Sun 4/7/10pm on Ch. 98. -- Perzanoski [ppt]

Characters [html]

 

T Apr 12

SEMINAR: Peer review of first Term Paper drafts. Put what you’ve got so far on T: drive (‘Research papers’ folder), bring hardcopy to class.

pearls from Eats shoots and leaves [doc], 6 Comma rules [html], mechanical issues [doc]

 

W Apr 13

TBA

 

F Apr 15

Korea [ppt]

Research paper: first draft due

M Apr 18

Natural City. Fri/Sat/Sun 4/7/10pm on Ch. 98. -- Joerg [ppt]

 

T Apr 19

SEMINAR: Writing Introductions and Conclusions

Strategies for:

  Introductions: See Hacker.

  Introductions & Conclusions: Occidental College [html]

  Strategies for Conclusions: St. Cloud State [html], UNC [html]

 

W Apr 20

Wonderful Days. Tues/Wed 4/7/10pm on Ch. 98. -- Legnard [ppt]

 

F Apr 22

Chinese fiction: Conjugal bliss in the arms of Morpheus [doc] -- Golley [ppt]

Final draft of fiction [doc] due

 

OTHER GLOBAL SF

 

M Apr 25

Koi…mil gaya. Fri/Sat/Sun 4/7/10pm on Ch. 98. --Thouin [ppt]

India & Bollywood [ppt]

 

T Apr 26

SEMINAR: Polishing prose

Apostrophes [html], Homophones: 1 & 2 [both html]

Peer review of term paper

 

W Apr 27

Review Asian SF

 

F Apr 29

Global SF or national/regional SF? -- Open discussion of the semester’s works [doc]

Research paper: final draft, Portfolio & self-assessment due MONDAY.

 

FINAL EXAM: Tuesday, May 3: 1:30-4:30

 


ACADEMIC HONESTY:

SELECTIONS FROM THE SLU STUDENT HANDBOOK

 

All students at St. Lawrence University are bound by honor to maintain the highest level of academic integrity. By virtue of membership in the St. Lawrence community, every student accepts the responsibility to know the rules of academic honesty, to abide by them at all times, and to encourage all others to do the same.

Responsibility for avoiding behavior or situations from which academic dishonesty may be inferred rests entirely with the students. Claims of ignorance, unintentional error, and academic or personal pressure are not excuses for academic dishonesty. Students should be sure to learn from faculty what is expected as their own work and how the work of other people should be acknowledged. Instructors are expected to maintain conditions which promote academic honesty.

Instructors have the duty to investigate any instance involving possible academic dishonesty and must present evidence of academic dishonesty to the Academic Honor Council rather than make private arrangements with the student involved. Violations of the St. Lawrence University Code of Academic Honor are administered under the constitution of the Academic Honor Council [See Student Handbook for the Constitution].

 

Academic Honesty

The primary objective of the University is the promotion of knowledge. This objective can be furthered only if there is strict adherence to scrupulous standards of honesty. At St. Lawrence, all members of the University community have a responsibility to see that standards of honesty and integrity are maintained.

Students who respect academic honesty and who are orderly and meticulous in their treatment of both their own work and the work of others should anticipate no difficulty with cheating, plagiarism, or other forms of academic dishonesty. Borrowing ideas or language from others is acceptable scholarly practice and in many instances actively to be encouraged.

Academic dishonesty generally arises from one of two sources: either a student has knowingly cheated or plagiarized or he/she has been careless or slipshod in discriminating between his/her own work and that of others or in acknowledging sources accurately. These latter difficulties are easily circumvented. Any standard handbook on English usage or term paper writing manual will furnish a methodology as well as appropriate internal reference, endnote, or bibliographical forms (cf., for example, the Harbrace Handbook, A Guide to MLA Documentation, or Writers Inc.).

 

Academic Honesty

A major objective of the University is the pursuit of knowledge which can be achieved only by strict adherence to standards of honesty. At St. Lawrence, all members of the community have a responsibility to see that these standards are maintained.

 

Academic Dishonest*

1. It is assumed that all work submitted for credit is done by the student unless the instructor gives specific permission for collaboration.

2. Cheating on examinations and tests consists of knowingly giving or using or attempting to use unauthorized assistance during examinations or tests.

3. Dishonesty in work outside of examinations and tests consists of handing in for credit as original work that which is not original, where originality is required.

 

The following constitute examples of academic dishonesty:

a)      Plagiarism: Presenting as one's own work the work of another person - words, ideas, data, evidence, thoughts, information, organizing principles, or style of presentation-without proper attribution. Plagiarism includes paraphrasing or summarizing without acknowledgment by quotation marks, footnotes, endnotes, or other indices of reference (cf. Joseph F. Trimmer, A Guide to MLA Documentation).

b)      Handing in false reports on any experiment.

c)       Handing in a book report on a book one has not read.

d)      Falsification of attendance records of a laboratory or other class meeting.

e)      Supplying information to another student knowing that such information will be used in a dishonest way.

f)        Submission of work (papers, journal abstracts, etc.) which has received credit in a previous course to satisfy the requirement(s) of a second course without the knowledge and permission of the instructor of the second course.

 

Claims of ignorance and academic or personal pressure are unacceptable as excuses for academic dishonesty. Students must learn what constitutes one's own work and how the work of others must be acknowledged.

 

St. Lawrence students are required to sign the following statement prior to registration for classes:

"I hereby acknowledge that I have read the above document and I understand my responsibility in maintaining the standards of academic honesty at St. Lawrence University."

 


STATEMENT OF PHILOSOPHY AND GOALS

FYP Communication Skills Component

2002-03

Statement of Philosophy

First-Year colleges provide ideal environments for fostering the complex intellectual and social skills that are at the heart of a liberal education. The First-Year Program (FYP)/ First-Year Seminars (FYS) play a significant part in the development of students' abilities to communicate effectively and to use writing and speaking to help them to become critical readers of a variety of texts.

Improving student abilities in reading, writing, speaking and research requires serious, sustained practice and overt, in-class reflection upon that practice.  A critical feature of this sustained practice is that students receive detailed, constructive response to their work from instructors, from peers, and from mentors and/or Writing Center tutors.

Underlying the teaching of communication skills in the FYP and the FYS is the assumption that these courses are components of a university-wide, four-year commitment to teaching communication skills across the undergraduate curriculum.
 

Goals

Though the goals for speaking, writing, and research are discussed in separate sections below, they are related activities. Instruction in these skills is most effective when grounded in a holistic view of communication.  Students should be made aware of the differences and similarities between oral and written modes of discourse.

 

1. Oral Communication

By the end of the FYP/FYS students should demonstrate an increased ability:

a)   to develop an oral presentation through a series of drafts, demonstrating substantial conceptual and performative revision.

b)   to produce a speech with a clearly defined rhetorical purpose that is appropriately and adequately fulfilled given the audience being addressed.

c)     to use informal conversation, in class or out, to facilitate close reading and promote critical thinking.

d)    to speak from notes or outline, rather than from a manuscript or in an impromptu fashion.
 

2. Written Communication

By the end of the FYP/FYS, students should demonstrate an increased ability:

a)    to develop a piece of writing through a series of drafts, demonstrating substantial revision at both the conceptual and the sentence level.

b)    to produce an essay with a clearly defined rhetorical purpose that is appropriately and adequately fulfilled given the audience being addressed.

c)     to use informal writing, done in class or out, in journals, reader-response papers, or exploratory essays, to facilitate close reading and promote critical thinking.

d)    to produce writing that is characterized by a mature prose style and that conforms to the conventions of standard written English.

 

3. Research

By the end of the FYP/FYS, students should be better able to conduct productive, imaginative research.  Specifically, they should demonstrate an increased ability:

a)  to assess the research requirements of a particular assignment and to meet those requirements by using library collections, electronic databases, and Web-based sources.

b)  to be able to choose amongst the sources to determine which are most appropriate for a particular assignment.

c)  to assess and represent the complexity of a particular line of inquiry and to enter responsibly into the conversation about the issues it raises.
   

Policies

I.  FYP courses

An FYP course will be approved if students:

a)    are given diverse and repeated opportunities to write and speak, including the opportunity to write and speak in response to readings, discussions, lectures, films, etc.  These responses may occur in class or out, and they may take many forms: freewriting, open or directed journals, graded or ungraded exploratory essays, essay exams, small group discussion, impromptu discussion, oral exams

b)    are required to engage in at least three formal, graded writing projects.  A "project" requires that students develop a piece of writing over time on the basis of appropriate feedback at a number of stages in the process

c)     are required to engage in at least two oral communication projects, one of which undergoes a process of revision.  A "project" requires that students develop a speech over time on the basis of appropriate feedback at a number of stages in the process.  At least one speech must be extemporaneous, by which we mean that students should deliver a prepared speech from an outline or minimal notes

d)    are required to conduct library research and use the sources as an integral part of at least one written and/or oral project

e)    are instructed in and held responsible for the ethical use of sources

f)      are required to keep all of their written work in a course portfolio, to reflect in writing upon their work, and to submit the completed portfolio to their faculty for review

 

II.   First-Year Seminars

A First-Year Seminar will be approved if students:

a)    are given diverse and repeated opportunities to write and speak, including opportunities to benefit from detailed formative feedback from instructors and peers

b)    are asked to assess adequately the research requirements of a particular assignment and to seek out efficiently the means of meeting those requirements

c)     are given diverse opportunities to incorporate  appropriate illustrative or persuasive detail in oral and written communication

d)    are required to complete at least one and no more than two projects comprising some combination of formal and informal oral, written, and research activities that demonstrate a satisfactory grasp of the program's communication goals

e)    are instructed in and held responsible for the ethical use of sources

f)      are required to assemble all their work in a portfolio that includes a written assessment of that work, and to submit the completed portfolio to their faculty for review

 

Recommendations

In addition, it is strongly recommended:

1.     that students engage in oral and written assignments that address a variety of audiences, ranging from instructors and peers to other imagined or real audiences.

2.     that students write and speak for a variety of purposes: to explore, to express, to inform, and to persuade

3.     that students be encouraged to respond to texts via creative projects

4.     that students engage in a variety of research tasks that encourage critical use of sources

5.     that colleges include assignments that require the production and analysis of visual images, so as to improve visual literacy