Course Assignments

Paper Sequence (60%)

  • One Text (5%): This should be the text you intend to work on for the final project. It should come from the list of recommended texts on the course syllabus. You may propose a text outside this list, but please be sure to have a backup text from the recommended texts.
  • One Word (5%): This word should be thematically or rhetorically linked to a particular text and/or genre conventions of mystery, crime, and detective fiction. It must come with a brief (one sentence MAX) explanation of what this word means and/or how you intend to investigate its significance to the mystery genre. Word Rubric: A words are unique, compelling, and offer a new perspective on mysteries. B words may not be unique but they offer an interesting or compelling take on the subject of mysteries. C words are not unique or compelling but they demonstrate a clear understanding of a particular convention in mysteries. D words are neither unique, compelling, nor will the offer a clear understanding, though they may gesture towards one. F words are neither unique, compelling, nor do they make sense.
  • One Sentence (10%): This sentence can be a thesis argument or simply a clear, and compelling statement of a particular phenomenon in the mystery genre that you’re interesting in investigating. You may offer up to (but no more than) one additional sentence to explain or explore statement/argument more clearly. Sentence Rubric: A sentences offer a clear, insightful, and nuanced understanding (argument or statement about) of the mystery convention under scrutiny. B sentences offer a clear, potentially insightful understanding of the mystery convention under scrutiny. C sentences offer a mostly clear understanding. D sentences demonstrates some understanding but it may be muddled. F sentences offer little to no understanding.
  • One Page (15%): This page (2-3 paragraphs) can be from any part of your essay – introduction, conclusion, something betwixt the two, but it should provide a clear roadmap for your approach to analyzing the conventions of the mystery series that you’re investigating.
  • One Essay (25%): This essay can be either a traditional thesis-driven analysis or a exploratory or investigative essay of a particular mystery series (selected from the list provided).  It can incorporate both criticism or historical research but must include some kind of formal analysis of the series as a specimen of the mystery genre and/or a cultural artifact. It may ask questions about how well or poorly the series in question adheres to mystery fiction tenets or subverts them. It may also ask questions about the social function of the series or how gender, race, class, sexuality, or other social, economic, and aesthetic politics come into play in the series.

Exams (15%)

  • Final (15%) – identification & essay examination

Activities (15%)

  • Quizzes, Drafting Workshops, Forum Posts  (15%) – self-explanatory

Participation (10%)

  • Attendance (5%) – Attending doesn’t just mean showing up to zoom lectures and discussions; it means showing up, camera on, having read the materials, listening attentively to class lectures and eagerly engaging with class discussions, forum discussions, and workshops. If you are shy about breaking in to zoom conversation, send your questions or comments into the chat (either privately to me so I can bring them up or to everyone).
  • OVERALL Participation (5%) – holistic assessment of your overall participation in class