S210 Second-Year Spanish Composition F. Jehle

Assignments for the period April 8 - 29

Preliminary remarks. During this period we will be working on several types of writing skills:

  1. Creative writing: you will write a short story or play.
  2. Editing: you will be required to rewrite your story at least once; you are encouraged to rewrite it again —when you compose a critique of it— if you feel such a revision would improve it.
  3. Summary and narration: you will summarize your life (in the third person).
  4. Critical writing/analysis: you will critique your own story.
  5. Note taking: you will listen to other students' compositions and take notes in Spanish on them.

These exercises in writing are designed to help prepare you for advanced courses in Spanish as offered in most colleges and universities in this country. In those courses you will be expected to take notes on what the instructor says in class (for your own benefit, when exam time comes around) and write critiques and term papers. In the exercises given below you will be writing something roughly similar to a term paper; here, the emphasis will be on writing in Spanish; you will not be required to do research in the library.  There are other important differences between our project and a real term paper such as: 1) the various parts of the “paper” will not be as connected as they should be, and 2) we will be inventing data, for example parts of your life story and some quotations, which you will not do in subsequent courses; however, in this particular case we will have some fun.

NOTE: For all of the following assignments except the last one, write out the assignment, then make a photocopy of it or an electronic copy (e.g., on diskette or on your hard drive); keep one copy for yourself and hand in one copy (the photocopy is acceptable) to the instructor.
     The professor will try to read your work, indicate areas where corrections might be made, and put it in an envelope on his office door (CM252) as soon as possible. You should be able to pick it up the morning after the class in which the assignment was handed in.

April 8      Start writing an original story, a (literary-type) essay, or a play in Spanish. You do not have to finish it by this class, but you would be expected to have approximately the first third (at least 200 words) or a sketchy version of the whole story in written form. MAKE A COPY OF IT for yourself. In class we will discuss these works and perhaps offer suggestions for improvement.

Suggestion: In this composition try being as creative as you can. Let yourself go! Try incorporating as much as possible; for example, you might be able to add symbolism, philosophy, psychology, the supernatural, color, or whatever might interest you. Keep in mind that for a later class you will have to serve as a type of literary critic and analyze this story. The more you include in the your story the more material you'll have to work with for your analysis. Note that on this sheet three different days are given as due dates for parts of the story, for a total length of at least 600 words; instead of parceling it out over three classes, you can do the whole story for this first class, and then spend the next sessions polishing it up.

April 10      Make a second draft of your original story, (literary-type) essay, or play in Spanish (total length at this point should be at least 400 words; note that the final version should be at least 600 words). MAKE A COPY OF IT for yourself. In class we will discuss them and offer suggestions for improvement.

April 15     Question: Should we interrupt the story-writing, switching this class with following one?

Finish your story polishing it, adding more if necessary to make it at least 600 words long, incorporating other ideas if so desired, correcting errors pointed out by the instructor in the versions handed back to you, etc. MAKE A COPY OF IT for yourself.

April 17     Write a biography of the author of the story (yourself), in the third person. It should be at least 200 words. Feel free to invent the rest of your life story if you so wish (what you did after college, what career[s] you had, what other literary works you published, how your literary / political / religious / social convictions that are reflected in your life and works, etc.). MAKE A COPY OF IT for yourself.

In class, the instructor will give you a quote in case you need one to incorporate in your upcoming critique.

April 22     Start writing a critique of your literary work (at least 200 words), analyzing it as a piece of literature and incorporating at least one quote, either one written specifically for you or an authentic quote as for example about literary works/analysis. See also the comments under “analysis” (the assignment given with the section on “linked verbs”). MAKE A COPY OF YOUR CRITIQUE for yourself.

April 24     Expand substantially the critique of your literary work (bringing it to at least 400 words) or improve/polish it if your first version was already long enough. MAKE A COPY OF THIS for yourself.

You may also assemble the “term paper” together with your literary work and hand it in. This will consist of the following elements (you of course may add more):

  1. A title page for the paper.
  2. The story itself (in its latest form).
  3. A biography of the author.
  4. Your expanded critique of the story (with at least one —preferably more— footnotes or endnotes).

April 29     Write your bibliography, following the format given in the information sheet. If you did not hand in your assembled “term paper” last Friday, hand it in today. It will consist of the following elements (you of course may add more):
  1. A title page for the paper.
  2. The story itself (in its latest form).
  3. A biography of the author.
  4. A critique of the story (with at least one —preferably more— footnotes or endnotes).
  5. Bibliography (with at least two —preferably more— entries).

You will not be required to word-process all this material but it would be far better to do so. Think how easy it would be if all this were on a computer diskette or hard drive and could be simply edited and printed out again!!! In a few cases it may not necessary to recopy everything; however, you should rewrite any parts which the instructor has handed back to you with significant corrections.

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Fred F. Jehle
URL: http://users.ipfw.edu/jehle/courses/s210/storys03.htm