Course Requirements

ATTENDANCE & PARTICIPATION: A seminar should be like cooking a barrel of odds and ends together -- according to Huck, when you cook that way "things get mixed up and the juice gets swapped around and things go better." The first requirement for a good seminar is that we always show up, and come prepared to talk with each other about the day's reading. One unexcused absence is allowed. Beyond that your grade will be affected.

LEADING A CLASS DISCUSSION: Each of you will lead a class discussion at some point during the term. I don't mean giving an oral report or preparing a lecture, but rather guiding the rest of us through a particular set of topics concerning the day's reading. One way to think of it is that you have to come up with good questions, but it's not your job to come up with good answers -- that's the job of the whole class. As part of leading a discussion, you'll be required to e-mail the class by the evening before, giving the rest of us some indication of what you want to focus the discussion on.

WRITTEN WORK: Two different kinds of assignments. First, a short (600-800 words) review of a book about Mark Twain, due Wednesday, February 25. You'll chose a text to review from this CRITICAL BIBLIOGRAPHY -- you have until Feb. 11 to pick the book you want to read and review, but as soon as you know you should let me know and I'll note your claim on the list. You audience for the review will be the whole class. On Feb. 25 you'll turn one copy in to me -- but I'll also post your review in this website, so everyone else can read it. To make that happen, on Feb. 25 you'll also e-mail me a copy of your review, marked up according to THIS MODEL.

The other assignment is a long (12-15 pages) essay, due Monday, April 27. We'll talk more about this as the semester goes on. You can write on any aspect of Mark Twain's career, work or image that interests you. I'll keep encouraging you to get started as soon as you know what that is -- but you must also e-mail the class your topic by Monday, April 23.

Some of you may prefer to create a web project instead of writing an essay. If you're interested in this alternative, let me know soon, and we can work together to define a good project and to make sure that you have or get the training in HTML markup language, &c., you'll need to produce the project.