Literature of the Future syllabus detail

Class participation: Your reading for the course is partly tested by your participation in class discussions of reading assignments led by the instructor and other students. If you do not participate in or follow these discussions, the instructor will assume you have not prepared for class, and your participation & overall grade will suffer.

  • At least occasionally each student should participate in discussion by specifically referring to contents or specific pages of the reading assignment.

  • Students should give visible evidence of reading by “tracking” the discussion. If students appear unusually bored or clueless, they’re typically willing to blame it on the content, but it’s often a fair sign that they haven’t done their reading and are incapable of following the discussion.

  • Participation is judged less on quantity than on appropriateness to the topic under discussion and the point being pursued. When you are called upon to speak, avoid telling a long story with lots of background. Make one point per turn. A list of remarks on several topics confuses your instructor’s or classmates’ response. Choose the most important thing to say at the given moment.

  • If I don’t always follow up your comments, this doesn’t indicate a negative reaction. Unless I have something potentially valuable to add, I let a student’s comment “speak for itself” rather than forcing further words when none may be necessary.