Honors Composition

English 103, Autumn 2000

Jack Lynch

Go directly to:

September -- October -- November -- December

Office: (973) 353-5279 x 516; 516 Hill Hall.

Hours: Monday, 2:00-4:00, and by appointment (appointments are best).

Home: (609) 882-4642 (before 10:30 p.m.!).

E-mail: jlynch@andromeda.rutgers.edu (the best way to reach me).

Listserv: lynch103@andromeda.rutgers.edu (for the whole class).

Course Requirements

English 103 involves the following responsibilities on your part:


Four books -- The Nature Reader (abbreviated NR), Steven Jay Gould, Leonardo's Mountain of Clams and the Diet of Worms (abbreviated LMC), King Lear, and The American Heritage Dictionary -- are available from New Jersey Books. The remainder of the required readings are available in a photocopy pack or on-line.


This class has a mailing list called lynch103@andromeda.rutgers.edu; all students are required to have an E-mail account by the send of the second week of classes and to participate in the discussions on the list. Although I have the greatest sympathy for those suffering from technological nightmares, don't expect to use computer problems as an excuse for not doing the reading or writing. If you have a computer problem, contact me.

Schedule of Class Meetings

Wed., 6 Sept.
Introduction. In-Class Writing Exercise.

Mon., 11 Sept.
From The Oxford English Dictionary, "Nature" (photocopy).
Wed., 13 Sept.
John Hay, "The Nature Writer's Dilemma" (NR, pp. 5-8); Joyce Carol Oates, "Against Nature" (NR, pp. 226-33); Steven Jay Gould, "Pieces of Eight: Confessions of a Humanistic Naturalist" (LMC, pp. 1-13); Grammar and Style Guide: "Audience," "Grammar," "Style," "Clarity," "Bugbears," "Thesis Statements."

Mon., 18 Sept.
Ann Zwinger, "A World of Infinite Variety" (NR, pp. 24-34); Edward Hoagland, "In Praise of John Muir" (NR, pp. 35-48). OED Exercise No. 1 Due: Report on five words from Hay, Oates, or Gould.
Wed., 20 Sept.
Leslie Marmon Silko, "Landscape, History, and the Pueblo Imagination" (NR, pp. 72-83); Keith H. Basso, "'Stalking with Stories': Names, Places, and Moral Narratives among the Western Apaches" (NR, pp. 84-105).

Mon., 25 Sept.
Bruce Chatwin, "The Drought" (NR, pp. 284-85); Paul Bowles, "The New Day" (NR, pp. 286-87); David Malouf, "An Imaginary Life" (NR, pp. 288-90); Cormac McCarthy, "The Mountain" (NR, pp. 291-92); Gabriel Garc¡a M rquez, "To the Sea" (NR, pp. 293-94); Richard Ford, "Hunters" (NR, pp. 295-97); John Berger, "Goats" (NR, pp. 298-300); Jim Crace, "The Prospect from the Silver Hill" (NR, pp. 301-8). Paper No. 1 Due: 500 words on your own experience of "nature," however defined.
Wed., 27 Sept.
John Fowles, "The Green Man" (NR, pp. 132-39); Annie Dillard, "Total Eclipse" (NR, pp. 148-59); Edward O. Wilson, "Storm over the Amazon" (NR, pp. 170-72). OED Exercise No. 2 Due: Report on five words from the fiction writers (readings from 25 September).

Mon., 2 Oct.
Seamus Heaney, "Death of a Naturalist" (NR, pp. 3-4); Derek Walcott, "The Sea Is History" (NR, pp. 11-13); Louise Glück, "All Hallows" (NR, p. 71); Robert Hass, "The Apple Trees at Olema" (NR, pp. 181-82); Ted Hughes, "Hawk Roosting" (NR, p. 237); Elizabeth Bishop, "The Map" (NR, p. 283); W. S. Merwin, "The Last One" (NR, pp. 311-13). Paper No. 2 Due: 1,000 words on fiction (readings from 25 September).
Wed., 4 Oct.
Gary Snyder, "The Rediscovery of Turtle Island" (NR, pp. 183-91); Jim Harrison, "Passacaglia on Getting Lost" (NR, pp. 214-19). OED Exercise No. 3 Due: Report on five words from the poetry writers (readings from 2 October).

Mon., 9 Oct.
Italo Calvino, "Man, the Sky, and the Elephant: On Pliny's Natural History" (NR, pp. 59-68); Steven Jay Gould, "Upwardly Mobile Fossils" (LMC, pp. 17-44). Paper No. 3 Due: 1,000 words on poetry (readings from 2 October).
Wed., 11 Oct.
Gould, "Seeing Eye to Eye" (LMC, pp. 57-73), "The Clam Stripped Bare by Her Naturalists, Even" (LMC, pp. 77-98); Grammar and Style Guide: "Diction," "Formal Writing," "Latinate versus Germanic Diction," "Revision," "E-Prime."

Mon., 16 Oct.
Gould, "Darwin's American Soulmate: A Bird's-Eye View" (LMC, pp. 99-118). Revision Exercise Due: Described in class.
Wed., 18 Oct.
Gould, "The Dodo in the Caucus Race" (LMC, pp. 231-49); Grammar and Style Guide: "Concrete Language," "Vocabulary," "Mixed Metaphor," "Dictionaries," "Spelling Checkers," "Grammar Checkers."

Mon., 23 Oct.
Gould, "Up against a Wall" (LMC, pp. 161-78); "A Lesson from the Old Masters" (LMC, pp. 179-95).
Wed., 25 Oct.
Gould, "Mr. Sophia's Pony" (LMC, pp. 141-58); Grammar and Style Guide: "Obfuscation," "Clichés," "Wasted Words," "Bluntness."

Mon., 30 Oct.
Gould, "A Seahorse for All Races" (LMC, pp. 119-40). Paper No. 4 Due: 1,000 words explaining a technical matter (of your choosing) to a nonspecialist.
Wed., 1 Nov.
Gould, "The Diet of Worms and the Defenestration of Prague" (LMC, pp. 251-65); Grammar and Style Guide: "Mechanics," "House Style," "Capitalization," "Titles," "Citation," "Punctuation and Quotation Marks," "Semicolon."

Mon., 6 Nov.
Gould, "Non-Overlapping Magisteria" (LMC, pp. 269-83).
Wed., 8 Nov.
In-Class Debate: "Resolved, publicly funded schools and colleges should not teach Creationism."

Mon., 13 Nov.
Gould, "War of the Worldviews" (LMC, pp. 339-54). Paper No. 5 Due: 1,500 words on the relation between science, religion, and government.
Wed., 15 Nov.
Gould, "Reversing Established Orders" (LMC, pp. 393-404); Grammar and Style Guide: "Sexist Language and the Indefinite Third Person," "Foreign Words and Phrases," "Hypercorrection," "Passive Voice."

Mon., 20 Nov.
King Lear, introductory material and Act I. OED Exercise No. 4 Due: Report on five words from Gould.
Wed., 22 Nov.
No class (Friday schedule).

Mon., 27 Nov.
King Lear, Act II.
Wed., 29 Nov.
King Lear, Act III.

Mon., 4 Dec.
King Lear, Act IV. OED Exercise No. 5 Due: Report on five words from King Lear, Acts I-III.
Wed., 6 Dec.
King Lear, Act V.

Mon., 11 Dec.
Samuel Johnson on Shakespeare; King Lear on film (in class). OED Exercise No. 6 Due: Report on five words from King Lear, Acts IV-V.
Wed., 13 Dec.
Conclusion. Paper No. 6 Due: 2,000 words on King Lear.