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Alan Simes - English

Contemporary Literature


Course Syllabus : the class syllabus and other class material will be located at This website will be active on the first day of class and not before.

Office: F41h

Office hours: 10:00 am to 11:00 am Mondays and Wednesdays, 1230 pm to 130pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays


I would like to extend a warm hello and welcome to every student in this class. My name is Alan Simes and I look forward to getting to know each one of you as we all spend twelve weeks writing and reading interesting things--as well as each other.


We will be reading short stories and two novels--all published within the last twenty-five years.


Egan, A Visit From the Goon Squad, Anchor Books

Nguyen, The Sympathizer, Grove Press

All additional reading will be distributed in class or available for download at


CATALYST is De Anza College's own online course management system that provides the online interface for this course. Be aware that this site is only functional starting on the first day of classes.

I will post the course syllabus or reading list on our Catalyst course website and you will be able to take quizzes and turn in assignments here.


Maintain only ONE email account for use in this course. This should be the same email account that De Anza as in its records as your official email address.

Complete all assignments on time--if you turn in more than two or more late assignment you may be dropped from the class and/or greatly lower your overall course grade. All required assignments must be completed in order to receive a grade of "C" or higher in the course. 

Participate actively in class on a weekly basis.

Maintain all writing assignments throughout the quarter in a separate folder on the hard drive of your computer (or wherever you store your virtual files).


Nearly all of our time will be spent on activities that must be performed in a timely manner. Falling behind isn't an option. Careful reading and preparation is crucial. If you are not actively participating in class or if you fall significantly behind you may be dropped from the course or given a failing final grade.

IMPORTANT: if you have any kind of emergency affecting your involvement in this course you must contact me about it, before if possible. You are responsible for all class activities so act accordingly. Keep me informed of emergencies and problems that affect your performance and ask for my help if you need it.


There will be twice-weekly quizzes on every assigned reading. These quizzes will about for approximately one quarter of your overall grade (100+ points).

There will be a midterm worth fifty points and a final exam and/or essay worth one hundred points.

Course participation will be worth fifty points.


Because I respect the opinions and ideas of others, I am strongly against cheating and stealing and will uphold a strict plagiarism policy. PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT VERY CAREFULLY:

  1. Students who submit the work of others in whole or in part will receive a zero for that assignment and their overall Participation grade will be greatly affected.

  2. Incidents of cheating will be reported to the Dean of Language Arts.

  3. Plagiarized assignments may not be revised or resubmitted.

It is the student's responsibility to cite sources and avoid sloppy research. Be sure that any phrases, sentences, or paragraphs that you did not create get placed in quotation marks and be sure to attribute them to their author. Plagiarism is easy to spot so ask for help before you throw your grade away.

If you feel you need to do some research but are not sure how to quote an author or document your sources, ASK FOR HELP. If you have any concern with possible plagiarism, whether you are the potential victim or perpetrator, please contact me immediately.

Technical Difficulties  

If technical difficulties arise due to problems with De Anza computer facilities (servers going down, power failing, the world ending, etc.) that prevent access to this web site and associated sites or that prevent email from being sent or received, then extensions for work that is due shall be granted, and due dates relaxed. If there are technical difficulties on your end then you are responsible for keeping up with the class. Keep in mind that I do not send confirmation email for every email I receive.    

Contacting the Instructor

The best way to reach me is to email me at I will get back to everyone's email within 24 hours and usually much sooner.

email icon Email: Alan Simes
phone icon Phone: 408.864.8375


Last Updated: 9/24/16