My expectations:

Above all, what you are expected to do in this class is to engage with (that is to think critically and creatively about, and be prepared to discuss) the texts. The main aim of all the various forms of assessment is to test the extent of your engagement, and to encourage you to articulate the results of that engagement in a variety of formats.

The more effort you put in to reading the texts closely and critically, and formulating your individual responses and arguments in a manner that can be presented persuasively, the better your final grade is likely to be.

All I want you to do is read the set texts carefully, think about your reading, and take your own position as a result.

Here, therefore, are my golden rules:

  1. To engage, you must be present. So attend, attend, attend. And turn up on time.
  2. You must also have covered the material. So read the texts.
  3. You must also be prepared to articulate your thoughts, questions, uncertainties, opinions, likes, dislikes etc. So write your weekly blog entries. These should be between 300 and 500 words. Spend no more than half an hour on each response: but be sure to spend that half an hour. Forcing yourself to reflect on your reading will prepare you for class and kick-start revision.
  4. Finally, you must keep at it. But do not expect to grasp everything immediately. (If you did, there would be no point to the class.) So communicate any questions or problems you may have, either in class discussion, or via email, or in my office hours.

The golden rules again: 1) attend, 2) read, 3) write, and 4) communicate.

The timetable for each week will ordinarily be as follows:

Tuesdays: general discussion of the week’s reading

Thursdays: close examination of specific passages and preparation for the following week

You must have completed the week’s reading and written your blog post by midnight on Monday.

Good luck. And just do it.

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