Instructor's Guidelines for Monday/Wednesday/Friday Letters

300-Level Understanding Poetry (Writing-Intensive)

Value: 20% of your course grade
Due Dates: See the syllabus

Here are the ground rules for your Monday/Wednesday/Friday (M/W/F) letters.

  1. Type the date at the top and address the letter to the class (use "Dear" plus something appropriate). Each letter should be one full, single-spaced, typewritten page.
  2. Sign your name at the bottom. If you want to, use a pseudonym. If you use a pseudonym, be sure to tell me what pseudonym you are using.
  3. Make enough copies so that everyone in the class (including me) can have a copy. I will let you know how many students are enrolled. (Note: See me if you need help getting your M/W/F letters duplicated.)
  4. You have two audiences for these letters: your fellow students and your instructor. Try, then, to write something that you think will interest both audiences. Actually, the best advice I can give you is to write on something that you find interesting, for if you find it interesting, so will your audiences, most of the time.
  5. Do not worry too much about producing a polished piece of writing (reserve that kind of care for your essays and the project). Nonetheless, your letters should be clear, grammatical, and focused.
  6. Try also not to worry about grades. (I usually count only your five best grades.) Instead, concentrate on writing something that your classmates and instructor will want to read and remember.
  7. The content of your M/W/F letters is entirely up to you--as long as you deal analytically with the relevant poem(s).
  8. You must write at least four M/W/F letters. Your grade for this course requirement will depend first on how many M/W/F letters you write (eleven = A+, ten = A, nine = A-, eight = B+, seven = B, six = C, five = D, four = F) and second on how well you write them (I will give you a letter grade for each M/W/F letter you write).
  9. The first Monday/Wednesday/Friday letter is due next Friday (September 6) and should concern the medieval lyrics assigned (pp. 3-6 and 49-52 in the Norton anthology).

Go (back) to Professor Sammon's "Understanding Poetry" class.