English 165LB: Literature & Biotechnology (W11)

–> our course blog


Midterm paper (40%)
Questions and topics to be assigned. Papers should be 6-8 pages in length (no shorter). Papers due in class on February 3; hard copies only.

Participation (20%)
Since this is a mid-size lecture, full class discussions are not entirely realistic, but there will be opportunities for participation. Because of the class size, then, we will carry over our discussions to our blog site. As part of your participation grade, a small number of blog posts will be required throughout the term. At the minimum, you will be asked to do the following:

(1) Contribute one post of substance about the course reading or lectures. “Of substance” means that you will be writing more than one-two sentences. You might also find an article or cultural object (art, film, novel) that would be of interest to the class and post about that, including external links. Again, you would need to do more than provide a link; your blog post should contextualize your find and relate it to the class.

(2) Respond to another blog post; that is, participate in a dialogue with other members of the class.

(3) Contribute one post about one aspect of the novel, VAS: An Opera in Flatland, which we will be discussing in Week 3. This is the only blog post that has a deadline; ideally you would post before the discussion begins but you should finish this assignment by January 23 at the latest. The genre of this post is that of the close reading. Length should be about 500 words.

–!> There will be a grader for the midterms and final exams but I will be responsible for class participation and assigning final grades for the course.

Take-home final exam (40%)
The final will be cumulative and count for 40% of your final grade. Prompts for the two take-home essays will be distributed in the last lecture of the quarter. The essays will then be due in hard copy only in my box in the English dept on Thursday, March 17 by the end of the day (no extensions, no exceptions).

Administrative notes

(1) As you work on the assignments for this course, you should be particularly mindful of plagiarism and copyright violation. Every external source that you use must be appropriately cited in your work. For online sources, a link is the bare minimum for citation. If you are in doubt about whether or not you need citations, you might consult a CLAS tutor or this basic online guide. Note that UCSB has explicit policies about academic integrity.

(2) All assignments for this course must be completed in order to receive a passing grade. Please note that the blog posts are NOT optional; they, too, must be completed in order to receive a passing grade. There will be no incompletes.


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