M A I N * L I N K S

SUNY Fredonia
Division of Arts and Humanities
ENGL 500: Introduction to Graduate Studies in English
Fall 2008
Section 1: T 4:30-7, Fenton 154
Office: Fenton 265; MWF 1-2, Th 3-5, and by appointment; 673-3856
E-mail: simon@fredonia.edu, brucesimon18@yahoo.com
Web Page: www.fredonia.edu/department/english/simon/
ANGEL Space: https://angel.fredonia.edu/

On the Critical Essay/Structured Field Experience

This page takes on two important questions about the critical essay or structured field experience you will write in this course: what and what for; it also includes an assignment sheet. My goal is to make this page as useful to you as possible, so let me know if it can be improved. If anything is badly worded, unclear, or missing, please contact me with constructive criticisms and suggestions. Ditto for any questions you may have about any of the options listed below. Thanks.


This assignment provides you with the opportunity to consider how you might incorporate a specific reading from the course or relevant campus event you attended this semester into your practice as scholar/critic (the critical essay option) or teacher (the structured field experience option). Examples of relevant campus events include the SUNY Fredonia Professional Development Center's Teaching and Learning Conference (featuring Harry Boyte and focusing on civic organizing, public work, and higher education) and the Maytum Convocation Lecture (featuring Marian Wright Edelman and focusing on education and human rights). In the structured field experience, you develop a mini-lesson plan and rationale/justification, test it out in an actual classroom, and assess/reflect upon its results.

What For

The main purpose of this assignment is to give you some practice in reflecting upon and figuring out how to apply a key concept, method, or strategy that you have encountered in or out of the course this semester that matters to you and makes a difference to your future plans as a scholar/critic or teacher. In the course of doing this, of course, you will be developing your skills in core department goals, including reading, writing, and critical thinking/research. This is the most focused of the three formal assignments in the course; the literary presentation allows you more flexibility when connecting a text of your choice to your choice of issues in the course, while the final reflection gives you the most latitude when it comes to identifying significant patterns in the course, taking stock of what you've learned, and looking ahead to your future, here and after.

Assignment Sheet: Critical Essay or Structured Field Experience

Due: final critical essay and plan/rationale for structured field experience by 11:30 pm Monday, 20 October 2008, on the course ANGEL space's CE/SFE's drop box; completed structured field experience by 11:30 pm Friday, 19 December 2008 in the same drop box.

Format: 5 to 7 pages; double spaced, in MLA style and format, with reasonable fonts, font sizes, and margins; heading that includes your name, the course name or number, and the date.

Criteria for Evaluation: I will be grading your critical essay or structured field experience in terms of the thoughtfulness and creativity of your engagement with the reading or event, the skill with which you orchestrate your evidence and arguments in support of your core idea (in the critical essay) or orchestrate your activities and assessments in support of your core goals (in the structured field experience), and the quality of your writing and formatting (including diction, grammar, syntax, punctuation).

M A I N * L I N K S

ENGL 500: Introduction to Graduate Studies in English, Fall 2008
Created: 9/23/08 4:11 pm
Last modified: 10/13/08 10:24 pm
Webmaster: Bruce Simon, Associate Professor of English, SUNY Fredonia