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Life Lessons
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Into The Wild

Film Style & Literature/Online Version
ENG 124/Spring 2014 McBride



WARNING: The content of the books and films in this class
are designed for mature audiences only. If issues of race, sex, violence,
class, drugs, profanity or politics cause you discomfort or upset, please
consider enrolling in a different class.

I reserve the right to amend this syllabus. Continue to consult this site
and "Announcements" in ReggieNet throughout the semester.

Log into click on ReggieNet's ENG 124
Spring Session to view "How To Get Started" video, find announcements,
assignments and due dates, films, submit essays/postings, etc.

Course Title:   Film Style & Literature Professor:
Bill McBride
Course Number: ENG 124     Office:    Stevenson 336
Credit Hours:       3      Office Hours:  W 2-4p (by appointment)

Telephone:    438-7998

Professor Bill McBride 

Think of this course as an intensive English Department literature course in which
you write essays in a "foreign" language--the language of film. The theory of Film
& Literature argues that style can be described, analyzed, and turned into
meaning via metaphor. Your goal is to acquire adequate film vocabulary and skill to
convert your observations of camera placement and movement, lighting, spatial
relationships, soundtrack, etc. into an analysis of the meaning of a "stylized moment"
and, from that, of the film as a whole. Do not be misled by the fact that this is a
100 level General Education course--it is nonetheless challenging.

It is essential to distinguish between style and significance: all stylized moments carry
meaning, not all significant moments are stylized--
see Guide to Writing Papers and eTextbook.

Guide to Writing Essays
All Students must read this document closely and completely before writing papers.

Students may not choose those assignments (regardless of the point
value) they wish to complete.
All Responses to Films/eTextbook sections and the
the 2 assigned essays must be completed on time.
Be sure to post well before the due time/date/

Grading Equation


11 Weekly Chapter & Film Responses (250 word minimum) via Discussion Forums in ReggieNet




35 points



via Assignments in ReggieNet

1st essay/Psycho

=30 points
(900 word minimum)
final Lit & film style essay/ Into the Wild  
=35 points

(stylized moments & literary component-1250 word minimum)


You must read carefully the
Guide to Writing Essays before each paper is due.
-All work is to be composed and typed by the student directly into the message box
provided in ReggieNet--do not attach word files.

- A minimum of Eleven Chapter/Film Responses throughout the semster under the "Discussion Forums" link in ReggieNet. Informal blog style acceptable.

-Two Essays posted under the "Assignments" link in ReggieNet composed of clear, coherent, well written and logically argued, evidence-based theses. I must grade each student's ability to accurately describe specific moments using technical language from the eTextbook and argue convincingly using consistent logic and precise prose.

-All films are digitized within ReggieNet in "Learning Modules".

Required Texts

Stylized Moments: Turning Film Style Into Meaning  [2013] eTextbook

Available @ Bookstores, Smashwords & Milner

Available ebook reading formats:

Full book Online Reading (HTML, good for sampling in web browser)
Epub (Apple iPad/iBooks, Nook, Sony Reader, Kobo, and most e-reading apps
including Stanza, Aldiko, Adobe Digital Editions, others)
Kindle (.mobi for Kindle devices and Kindle apps)
PDF (good for reading on PC, or for home printing)
RTF (readable on most word processors)
LRF (Use only for older model Sony Readers that don't support .epub)
Palm Doc (PDB) (for Palm reading devices)
Plain Text (download) (flexible, but lacks much formatting)
Plain Text (viewable as web page)

Images for each Chapter are in "Resources & Materials" via ReggieNet

Into The Wild (1996) by Jon Krakauer
(@ bookstore) Save $--Read Online [free]

Recommended Texts @ Bookstores

The Maltese Falcon [1930] 
Dashiell Hammett


Psycho [1959] Robert Bloch

Death of a Salesman [1949]

 Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? [1962] click for full text





Dutchman & "The Revolutionary Theater" in Course Content/ReggieNet

        Taxi Driver Script not required
The following texts are digitized in Course Content/ReggieNet

"Stage to Lordsburg" by Ernest Haycox (Colliers Magazine, 1937) (Stagecoach)

Recommended Texts

"Dragon" for "The Song of the Dragon" by John Taintor Foote Serialized in Saturday Evening Post (November 1921) (Notorious)

"Notorious" for "The Woman Who Was Known Too Much" from
Tania Modleski's The Women Who Knew Too Much

"Vertigo" for "Femininity By Design" from Tania Modleski's The Women Who Knew Too Much

"Quantrill & Siouxie" for "Master of the Unesolved" by Jay Alan Quantrill & Siouxie lyrics

"The Living & the Dead parts 1 &2" (Vertigo)

Hamlet [1601] William Shakespeare on-line HAMLET (Blue Velvet)

All Students must read the following:

Cheating and/or plagiarism will not be tolerated.  Please read closely Guide to Writing Papers for explanations of rules. You may be prosecuted to the full extent of University administrative procedures if you are caught engaging in these activities. You cannot turn in someone elseís work, the same paper for two classes, nor a previously composed paper of your own. You must acknowledge all sources in your papers. Any time you use direct quotations or paraphrases, or borrow ideas or structures, including lectures, you must cite your source. Failure to do so will result in an F for the entire course. I will pursue any evidence of plagiarism and report academic dishonesty to the dean of the college of the student in question. Charges of plagiarism become part of the student's permanent file and can be grounds for dismissal from the university.

The following material is from Illinois State Uninversity's UNDERGRADUATE CATALOG

p. 65 Academic Policies and Practices


Students are expected to be honest in all academic work. A studentís name on any academic exercise (theme, report, notebook, paper, examination) shall be regarded as assurance that the work is the result of the studentís own thought and study. Offenses involving academic dishonesty include, but are not limited to the following:

                   a. Cheating on quizzes or examinations occurs when any student is found using or attempting to use any book, paper, or other article, or assistance from any individual intending to deceive the person in charge of the quiz or examination with reference to his or her work. No books, notes, papers or related articles shall be used at any quiz or examination unless specifically authorized by the person in charge. Conversation or other communication between individuals in examinations and quizzes is forbidden except as authorized by the instructor.

                   b. Computer dishonesty is the unacknowledged or unauthorized appropriation of anotherís program, or the results of that program, in whole or in part, for a computer-related exercise or assignment.

                   c. Plagiarism is the unacknowledged appropriation of anotherís work, words, or ideas in any themes, outlines, papers, reports, or computer programs. Students must ascertain from the instructor in each course the appropriate means of documentation. Submitting the same paper for more than one course is considered a breach of academic integrity unless prior approval is given by the instructors.

                   d. Grade falsification is any attempt to falsify an assigned grade in an examination, quiz, report, program, grade book, or any other record or document.

                   e. Collusion occurs when students willfully give or receive unauthorized or unacknowledged assistance on any assignment. This may include the reproduction and/or dissemination of test materials. Both parties to the collusion are considered responsible. No individual may substitute for another in any quiz or examination.  

For more information consult the Community Rights and Responsibilities (formerly Student Dispute Resolution) Web site at:

I reserve the right to amend this syllabus

The course ENG 124 is in the Middle Core -
Language in the Humanities category of the
General Education Program

The learning outcomes and corresponding goals of this course are:
Learning Outcome: Critical Inquiry and Problem Solving
Students will develop and communicate a range of interests and curiosities,
engaging those through critical thinking, reasoning, and problem solving.
General Education Goals
Provide for the systematic development of critical thinking, quantitative
reasoning, and communication skills. As a result, students will be able to:
Critically evaluate a wide variety of ideas and express that analysis in both
writing and speaking.
Learning Outcome: Public Opportunity
Students will identify the resources and articulate the subsequent value
of civic and community engagement.
General Education Goals
Develop the ability to function as a responsible participant in the social,
economic, technological, and political dimensions of life within local,
national, and global communities. As a result students will be able to:
Analyze the meaning and purpose of individual and social life, focusing on
such concepts or institutions s family, religion, business, and the state.
Learning Outcome: Diverse and Global Perspectives
Students will be exposed to diverse and global perspectives by developing
and communicating an appreciation for their impact in personal and
professional lives.
General Education Goals
Develop a critical appreciation of a wide range of aesthetic experiences.
As a result, students will be able to:
Formulate interpretations of diverse forms of creative expression.
Understand the role of the individual as creator in diverse depth of human
Learning Outcome: Life-Long Learning
Students will utilize the skills indicative of an effective life-long learner,
actively pursuing knowledge, and learning how to use their knowledge in
interdisciplinary approaches.
General Education Goals
Focus on the acquisition and application of a common core of knowledge,
drawn from the humanities, sciences, and social sciences. As a result,
students will be able to:
Recognize the significant events, ideas, individuals, artifacts, and institutions
that have shaped our knowledge of the world.
Assess the relative value of literacy and artistic works for themselves and for
contemporary society.
Integrate general education with the major through the identification,
exploration, and development of common dimensions.


Guide to Writing Papers

Merriam-Webster Dictionary/Thesaurus

IMDB Glossary

Internet Movie DataBase

Project Gutenberg

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