2007 Ė Poetry Writing
Instructor: Chris Tusa
Office: 219 D Allen Hall
workshop-style course which emphasizes the writing and analysis of
poetry. Students will focus on the writing of their own original
works and on critically analyzing contemporary literature. At the
end of the term, we will also engage in a brief study of current
publishing trends in literary journals.
STRUCTURE OF THE COURSE
Poets achieve success by writing and rewriting; therefore, in this
course, I will give you the opportunity to revise your poems
throughout the semester. Because I feel that sharing your poems
with others promotes good writing, mainly by allowing you to
receive some feedback concerning your work, I will often ask you
to share your work with other members of the class. I also feel
that analytical skills are critical to all poets. Because of this,
I will ask each of you to do two explications. Also, since I
firmly believe that students benefit when they respond to poems in
writing, I will ask you to submit a response paper after
completing each reading. Because these four approaches operate
effectively in the classroom, they form the basis of the course
schedule outlined below.
ask you to complete one explication during the semester.
ask you to write a total of seven poems this semester. All of
your poems will be kept in your portfolio (all writing assignments
contained in the portfolio must be typed). At the end of the
semester, you will submit your portfolio, which will contain
revised versions of all the poems (each portfolio must contain
work that I have seen in progress). I favor the portfolio method
of grading because it allows you to suspend my final evaluation of
your progress until the end of the semester which, in turn, allows
you to have your best work evaluated.
the class periods will be devoted to peer evaluation (workshop).
This will give you the chance to see how other students have
handled writing assignments, to practice editing skills by helping
other students edit their work, and to draft poems. During these
periods, you will be asked to respond to another studentís poem in
writing. It is my feeling that this will allow you to not only
identify problems in someone elseís poetry but in your own poetry
I will ask you to complete four response papers throughout the
term. These papers will detail your reactions to the readings.
Each response paper should only be about a page in length (typed)
but should, nevertheless, be an honest, formal reaction to the
poem. These response papers will be used to generate class
discussions concerning the reading.
website will function as your text. You will need one two-pocket
folder. Your folder should be labeled with your name, course and
this class is a workshop writing experience, attendance is
crucial; therefore, excessive absences will have a considerable
impact upon your final grade. Chronically late students will be
warned once; after that, each late appearance will be counted as
an absence. If you miss a class, please come and see me so that
you can make up any work that you missed. Please keep me informed
if you must miss class for any length of time. Also, please do not
assume that I have dropped you from the roll simply because you
have missed class repeatedly. Remember that it is your
responsibility to drop this course, and failure to do so could
result in an F instead of a W as a final grade.
because this class is a workshop writing experience, participation
is critical; therefore, a large portion of your grade will be
based upon your participation in class, your response to the
readings, and your evaluation of work done by peers. You are
expected to show respect for diverse opinions during class
discussion and in your essays, and you are expected to participate
in class discussions in a responsible manner, presenting your
opinions, while also permitting others to present their
final grade will be calculated in the following manner:
Response Papers (4 @ 5pts.
Poetry Portfolio (7
poems) (100 pts)
essays will be dropped one letter grade, and essays which are more
than one week late will receive a zero. All other late work will
be given a zero. Please see me if you have extenuating
work must be individual. Evidence of plagiarism (use of anotherís
ideas, data, and statements without acknowledgment and/or
extensive use of anotherís ideaís, data and statements with only
minimal acknowledgment), or multiple submissions (submitting the
same work for more than one class), will lead to the procedures
set up by the university for academic dishonesty. All students are
expected to honor their commitment to the universityís Honor
Code. Be aware that academic dishonesty, including plagiarism,
has serious consequences, even dismissal from the university.
Please, submit your own work.
myself on being a teacher who is always available for his
students, and I strongly encourage you to come and see me if you
have any problems. I will be more than willing to schedule an
appointment with you if you are unable to meet with me during my
regular office hours. If you are unable to contact me at school,
feel free to contact me any time via email (CMTUSA@LSU.EDU).
You can access information regarding the course (syllabi, course
assignments, etc.) as well as other writing-based resources at
the following address: