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Azin Arefi - English

EWRT 1B: Reading, Writing, and Research

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This course is designed to help students develop analytical and comparative skills in reading and writing, develop skills in expository, analytical, interpretive and argumentative writing based on critical reading of written, visual, and other nonverbal texts. We will explore divergent viewpoints on current issues, using essays in order to get beyond the literal “surface” readings.

Course Objectives:

Students will develop analytical and comparative skills in reading of literary and other texts linked by the common theme or issue or adultery. They will interpret, analyze, and compare literature, apply knowledge of cultural context to interpretation and analysis, recognize, compare and evaluate alternative points of view, including outside sources in the form of research. Students will also develop their analytical, logical, organizational, verbal, and documentation skills in writing focuses on our central theme of adultery.


Course Requirements:

  • Regular attendance and active participation in class discussions.
  • Keeping up-to-date on the assignments and readings.
  • Four papers, one of which is a research paper
  • Presentations and group work
  • Keeping a Journal
  • Unannounced quizzes and in-class assignments

Required Texts:

  • Madam Bovary, Gustave Flaubert
  • The Age of Innocence, Edith Wharton
  • Gemma Bovary, Posy Simmonds
  • High Infidelity, 24 Great Short Stories about Adultery, John McNally (ed.)
  • A Course Reader, available from the instructor
  • The Pocket Handbook, 3rd Edition, Kirszner & Mandell, eds. (Optional)

Course Evaluation:

Assignment Percentage
Papers 30%
Final Research Paper 20%
Quizzes 10%
Journals 10%
Participation/Attendance 10%
Group Work/Presentations 10%
Total 100%

Grading Scale:

100-95% = A, 94-90 = A-, 89-85% = B, 84-80=B-, 79-75% = C, 74-70=C-, 69-60% = D, 59%-below = F

Course Assignments:

Journal/Discussion Questions. You will keep a course journal in which you write responses to particular discussion questions or ideas discussed in class or to specified readings. You will write some of your journal entries in class, but others will be given as homework. I will collect and evaluate them towards the end of the quarter.  

Quizzes. These quizzes measure your preparation for class and your understanding of class lecture and concepts covered. Quizzes will be given at the beginning of the class period so do not be late.  They are meant to reward you for your preparation and your on-time attendance.

Participation. You are expected to come to this class prepared with paper, pen, appropriate text, having completed the reading and all assignments due, and ready to participate in discussion.  Whether as a class or if you are in small groups, your contribution is required and necessary. 

Papers. You will be required to write four papers during the course. In each of these essays you should pay close attention to style and mechanics and implement the writing skills we discuss in class. You must demonstrate your critical thinking abilities. Your papers should be typed, double-spaced, 12-pt font, with one-inch margins all around. Each essay must be organized and written clearly. Careful proofreading and correct grammar and punctuation usage are crucial. Three to five pages is appropriate for each. Use MLA format (refer to the sheets in your course reader.)

Course Policies:

Plagiarism. Plagiarism is using someone else’s words or ideas in direct quote, paraphrase, or summary form and submitting them as your own. I expect no copying or cheating whatsoever, at any time, by any student. IF YOU EVER FEEL BOGGED DOWN BY WRITER’S BLOCK OR FRUSTRATED WITH AN ASSIGNMENT IN ANY WAY, COME TALK TO ME! IF YOU ARE WORRIED ABOUT YOUR WRITER’S VOICE AND WANT TO SOUND BETTER ON PAPER, COME TALK TO ME! Plagiarism is often committed on accident, by people who want to sound better or by those who do not know how to correctly incorporate and cite research into their papers. But these are not excuses for it. Plagiarism, whether intentional or not, is always wrong. Plagiarism may result in automatic failure of the course.

Attendance: Attendance every day is required. You should come to class on time and prepared. If you have to be absent, please call to excuse yourself.  If you have three unexcused absences, I will assume that you have withdrawn, and give you a W. Repeated tardiness will equal absences.

Respect: In class we will be discussing a lot of sensitive issues and each individual person's opinion must be respected. You are to listen to each other and be considerate of one another at all times. You can disagree with someone, but always in a respectful manner.

Disruptive behavior may result in being dropped from the class. As part of that, please remember to turn off cell phones and pagers, as they are disruptive to the class. If your cell phone does go off, you are to bring treats for the class the next day J.  

And finally…

Welcome to EWRT 1B! I am sure we are going to have a great and productive quarter!

Note: This greensheet is subject to change with advanced notice. 

Daily Assignments and Deadlines


Week 1: Introduction

Monday July 3rd:


Tuesday July 4th:

Independence Day. NO SCHOOL

Wednesday July 5th:

Definition of Adultery, from Widipedia

“Jesus and the Woman Taken in Adultery”, From the Bible, John 8

“Jesus Forgives a Woman Taken in Adultery”, from

Thursday July 6th:

“The Story of King Shahryar & Shahrzad, His Vizir’s Daughter,” Prologue from The Arabian Nights

In-class Movie: The Arabian Nights

Week 2: Madam Bovary

Monday July 10th:

Part I: Ch. 1-7

Tuesday July 11th:

Finish Part I; Part II: Ch. 1-3

Wednesday July 12th: (Last day to drop a course without record of a grade)

Part II: Ch. 4-8

Thursday July 13th:

Part II: Ch. 9-12 

Week 3: Madam Bovary

Monday July 17th:

Finish Part II

Tuesday July 18th:

Part III: Ch. 1-5

Wednesday July 19th:

Part III: Ch. 6-The End

Thursday July 20th:

In-class Movie: Unfaithful (2002)

Week 4: Short Stories from High Infidelity

Monday July 24th:

Paper #1 Due

Introduction, by John McNally

“Adultery”, by Russell Banks

“Ike and Nina”, T. Coraghessan Boyle

Tuesday July 25th:

“A Hole in the Language,” by Marly Swick

“The Wild”, by Sara Powers

Wednesday July 26th:

“Hairball”, by Margaret Atwood

“Cleaning House”, by Alyce Miller

“The Lovely Troubled Daughters of Our Old Crowd”, by John Updike

Thursday July 27th: (Last day to drop a course with a “W”)

“Middleman” by Bharati Mukherjee

“The Year of Getting to Know Us” by Ethan Canin  

Week 5: The Age of Innocence

Monday July 31st:

Paper #2 Due

Tuesday August 1st:

Wednesday August 2nd:

Thursday August 3rd

Week 6:  Gemma Bovary

Monday August 7th:

Paper #3 Due

In-class Movie: The Age of Innocence (1993)

Research Paper Topic Due

Tuesday August 8th:

Gemma Bovary, Pg. 1-35

Finish in-class Movie: The Age of Innocence

Research Paper Outline Due

Wednesday August 9th:

Gemma Bovary, Pg. 55-70

Thursday August 10th:

Gemma Bovary, Pg. 71- The End

Final Exam

Research Paper Final Draft Due.

Students will give a brief presentation about their research paper.


email icon Email: Azin Arefi
phone icon Phone: 408.864.8547


Last Updated: 4/25/16