Welcome to Karen Wisdom's Webpage!

English 1B

Composition and Literature

Fall 2006

English 1B – Composition & Literature

Fall 2006

CRN: 0278 & 0279



Karen Wisdom

Location & Times 


Contact information

Cell: 831/277-0706  (No calls before 9am or after 9pm)

Email (preferred): karen_wisdom@csumb.edu

If you’re willing to drive, you may also come to CSUMB during my office hours


California State University Monterey Bay

100 Campus Center Drive

Seaside, CA 93955

Building 18 room 180

Office Hours

M   9-11am

T    9-11am

Th  9-11am & 12-3pm (by appt only)

F    9-10am & 12-3pm  (by appt only)

Course Description

English 1B continues the work begun in 1A, but now the emphasis shifts to writing expository prose in conjunction with reading and analyzing imaginative literature. Students are to write as fledgling critics and use the text as a basis for other forms of reflection. The reading requirement includes short stories, poetry, drama, and at least two novels. Course work will also include fundamentals of research writing.

Required Text & Materials

  • The Compact Bedford Introduction to Literature
  • One novel of your own choosing (approval required)
  • Brave New World – Aldous Huxley


Students are expected to check into and participate to etudes at least two times a week, ideally four times to keep up with assignments and class lectures.


Students requiring special services or arrangements because of hearing, visual, or other disability should contact their instructor, counselor, or the Disabled Student Services office.

Academic Integrity

Students are expected to exercise academic honesty and integrity.  Violations such as cheating and plagiarism will result in disciplinary action, which may include recommendation for dismissal.


  • Timely communication – any questions, concerns, or problems should be communicated as early as possible so they can be resolved.
  • Patience – because this course requires a number of essays from students, it requires hours of grading on my part.  On average, each paper requires (at bare minimum) 15 minutes to grade, multiply that by 30.  Ultimately, I spend 8 hours each class just to grade one round of assignments. Consider, too, that I teach multiple classes.  What this means is that you should not expect your papers to be returned any earlier than two weeks after it was submitted.  I will always return them before the next assignment.  If I cannot, I will change the due date to insure you get feedback before the next assignment.
  • Responses – when students email me (my preferred mode of communication), expect a response within 48 hours.  This means that last minute questions are not likely to be responded to – plan accordingly.
  • Flexibility – As the class progress, I reserve the right to make changes on such things as due date

Grading Criteria

You will be responsible for three critical responses, two free-writes per week, ten short essays, a research paper, vocabulary packet, and journals.  In addition, your midterm and final exam will be in-class and will include short essays.


Point Value

Critical Response #1


Critical Response #2


Critical Response #3


Critical Response #4




Revised Essays


Reading Journal


Short Essays




Discussions & Quizzes





A = 900-1000

B = 800-899

C = 700-799

D = 600-699

F = 0-599


Reading Journal

Your reading journal will be submitted halfway through the semester and at the end of the semester (in its entirety as a part of your portfolio).  You will be required to submit 2 pages per week. This journal will be single-spaced.  The readings you are responding to must be clearly indicated.  A break or line between entries and a title is recommend. This journal will be comprised of your reactions to assigned readings.  The purpose of this journal is simply to give you a forum to put down any ideas and reactions you may have to the readings.  It is an informal writing exercise – you have creative license.  You may love or hate (or somewhere in between) any of the assigned readings, and this is the place to discuss why you feel as you do.  You may also want to use this to brainstorm ideas you want to consider for critical response assignments.   The only rules for this journal is 1) keep your language choices academic 2) spell check and edit your journal prior to submitting it.


Your portfolio will include the following:

  • 5 short essays
  • Reading Journal
  • 4 revised critical responses

Late Work

Late work will not be accepted unless prior permission is given.  A valid reason for late work may include medical illness or family emergency, but it is expected that I be informed of these situations as soon as possible.  Those unable to submit work on due dates for non-critical reasons (vacations, work schedules, etc.) should plan to turn work in early. For those experiencing technical difficulties, I will review each situation individually and determine how much, if any, credit will be given.

Extra Credit

Extra Credit for missed assignments will NOT be given.

Critical Response Format

The following guidelines must be adhered to for credit to be received for your work.   Do not deviate without approved consent from the instructor (which almost never happens).

  • Page Length (NO COVER PAGE)
  • Critical Response papers - If your work is less than the page minimum, it will not be given full credit.
  • Double-Spaced
  • Margin size the Standard ~1.25" or less.  Papers with margins that have been altered in order to make the page limit will not be graded.
  • Font Size—larger than size 12 will not be graded.  12, 14, 16, 18... As you can see the differences are easily detected.  Papers with fonts that have been altered in order to make the page limit will not be graded.
  • Font Type—Times New Roman, Courier, Verdana, or Arial are acceptable type fonts.   Artistic or unusual Fonts are inappropriate for college essays and often difficult to read. 
  • Heading—Name (yours), Class and school (ENG1B Gavilan College) Date, and Assignment (Critical Response #1-2-3-4) should be single-spaced in upper left-hand corner. 
  • Footer—All papers will include a footer indicating last name and page
  • Center Essay Title—and yes, you will need to include a title for all papers
  • Save a Tree—Recycle your drafts.