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教學大綱


本頁翻譯進度

燈號說明

審定:無
翻譯:計宇(簡介並寄信)
編輯:朱學(簡介並寄信)


「人類所擁有的最重要的東西就是內心的熱情。」
- Edith Södergran,斯堪的那維亞詩人

「與大眾迷思相反,原創的想法不局限在孤立的個人之中。它是獨一無二的人類計畫,需要批評與支援,需要發出者和接收者,需要實在的基礎和想像力的自由飛翔。
- 傑瑞•海爾斯伯格,驅動系統的設計者

導言

創造力—「掌握資訊與技能,投入於夢想的能力」(海爾斯伯格)—在藝術、科學、商業和課堂教學中最為人所重視。但創造的過程是怎樣的呢?是什麼讓它旺盛並最終燃起創造之火?為了嘗試回答這些問題,我們即將在這門課程探究西方文化理解創造的方式:在創造力本身和它的來源上我們得到什麼和敬畏什麼;作家、藝術家、科學家怎樣描述他們自身的創造過程;心理學家和哲學家怎樣使之理論化;尤其是在二十世紀的電影中,創造力被展示的方式;日常生活包括我們自己生活中的創造力。閱讀資料包括心理學家Rollo May的《創造的勇氣》的一部分,和Joan Didion,John Updike,Alice Walker,Oliver Sacks及其他人的文章。另外,我們也將觀看舞蹈指導Paul Taylor、建築師Maya Lin和爵士音樂家Dave Brubeck的錄影片段。我們將以日誌的方式記錄下我們對創造過程的觀察和思考。我們全班也將在學期初的一個晚上觀看一部電影。

成功地完成這門課程將讓你得到人文、藝術、社會與科學科目強化溝通課程的寫作學分。

目標與作業

這門課程的主要任務是發展你寫作和說話的技能,使其清晰、有效,幫助你明白身為作者的意圖,同時也讓你認識你的讀者。你將完成三篇主題與創造過程相關的文章,總共最少要有20—22頁,而且要對修改給予相當的重視。在家庭作業和課堂討論中,你會看到那些成功的作者得到讀者認同的方式和他們如何使他們的文章成為一個令人滿意的整體;你也會寫一些有關作者的評論。為了幫助你成為一個更好的讀者—不只是其他學生作品的讀者,也是你自己作品的讀者—你將在研討會上評論同輩的作品。

  • 日誌由10個有關創造過程的短篇寫作組成:你的觀察,對於閱讀資料和討論、記憶、問題、信念的回應。(日誌寫作不用修改。)
  • 作文1是一篇5頁的個人探究性文章,通過第一組閱讀資料和紀錄片《編舞者》找到靈感。讓你練習在個人經驗的基礎上展開構想,進行實踐,並且深化你對讀者的認識。
  • 作文2,是一篇10-12頁的研究性文章,我將給你們一個電影列表,你要從中選一部進行分析。這將為你提供一個在實踐中運用資源,發展你的調查和評論技能的機會。
  • 作文3是一篇5-6頁的分析性文章,探究我們讀過和討論過一個或多個有關創造力的理論。讓你帶著其他作者想法進行更多的實踐。
  • 你也要做兩次簡短的口頭報告:一次是五分鐘的演講,談談寫作的一個元素,我會個別指定;一次10分鐘的陳述報告,選擇有關創造力的一個方面來談。

主要的課堂作業和家庭作業會在班級網頁上詳細說明。上課和家庭作業(我們的教學大綱)的時間表也能在那兒看到。

閱讀材料

  • 這門課程沒有教科書。一些閱讀材料將會分發給你們或通過網路鏈結得到。
  • 你需要一本關於引用、整合引文及其他有關研究的寫作實踐的指南。我推薦《文體風格袖珍指南》,由Diana Hacker和Bedford Books編輯。它簡單明瞭,包含了有關美國現代語言協會(MLA)文體的大部分重要元素,我們在課堂將會講到。如果你不買這本書,你仍要遵守我們使用的研究協議和文體準則。
  • 如果你還沒有一本好的大學詞典,我強烈要求你買一本。我的意思不是要一本袖珍詞典。也不要以為線上詞典是適合的替代品:它絕不是!如果英語不是你的第一語言,你至少需要兩本好詞典。

課程規則

出勤

在這門課程的結構像研討會多於像講授課。因此,出勤是很重要的。在課堂堙A你不僅是作者,也要閱讀同學的作品並給予回應,參與討論。無論任何理由,只要缺課兩次以上,你就有可能得到較低的等級。如有五次未經允許的缺席,你將被取消修讀這門課程的資格。你有責任讓我知道缺席的緣故,在缺課的情況下要跟上作業進度。對教授和同學來說,遲到是不禮貌的。三次遲到十分鐘將被視為一次缺席。

最後期限

為了參與課堂討論,你必須準時完成閱讀作業。在研討會當天必須帶草稿來上課,準時向研討會的同伴展示草稿,並為口頭報告做好準備。如果你沒為上課準備好一切,也會降低你的成績等級。所有草稿的交稿日期都可以在教學時程中看到。檔夾(參看下文)的上交日期不得晚於第25節課。

評價

我會在所有文章的草稿上給評價性的意見,家庭作業、日誌和口頭報告將會得到+ 或者 -。在學期末,所有作業將得到一個等級。這就意味著我不會單獨為一篇文章打分,而是引導你更有效地修改你的作品。每篇文章至少要修改兩次。你的寫作質量將是你這學期最終等級的首要標準。我也會參考你的努力與進步,尤其是修改後的展示;家庭作業,包括日誌和課室的參與,也包括在研討會中的參與情況。從2001年夏季起被錄取的學生要得到C級或以上的等級才能滿足強化溝通課程的要求。在學期中之前我們會商討你的進展。

注意:在課程中要得到一個及格的等級,你必須令人滿意地完成所有要求的作業。

剽竊

在沒有標明出處的情況下,借用他人的語言和(或)想法是學術和專業上的不誠信,這也是欺騙自己和讀者的行為。這對你的學術事業也將有重大的影響。麻省理工學院將剽竊看得非常嚴重:在這個課程中如果你剽竊會自動得到F等級,而且會記錄進你的檔案中;再犯會被開除。我們將在課堂上討論適當地標明出處。文體手冊如:《文體風格袖珍指南》中也有對抄襲的討論,也提供許多例子來說明怎樣引用資料,在《Mayfield專業寫作手冊》所做的那樣。

注意:在這個課程和大部分課程中,我們都不接受你把為另一門課程所寫的作業當作本課程的作業交上來,即使是你自己寫的作業也不行。在這一點上你有任何疑問,請詢問你的導師。

討論

你要與我進行兩次或更多的討論。帶上關於你文章的具體問題,比如:如何將使導言寫得生動活潑,如何在文章中整合思路等等。歡迎利用討論時間繼續我們在課堂上的討論,或者提出你在閱讀中得到的奇思妙想。如果你不能在預定時間參與討論,請通過電子郵件或打電話到我辦公室通知我。

關於檔夾與等級契約

這份檔改編自于麻省理工學院的寫作導師Lucy Marx的同名文章。它是我見過最能體現我的等級哲學的描述,所以我在此向你們提供她的意見,其中有少量的修改,來表示她的課程與我們課程的不同。

下面我們談談等級。因為我們都知道在結束時——那就是說在12周後,你們每一個人都會得到一個等級,我將必須好好想想並決定要怎麼做。

好消息(至少對我是)是我們不必在此以前為等級考慮得太多。那是因為,儘管我將會一直對你的努力給予全面的回應,但我不會給你的作文任何的等級——直到你最後上交檔夾為止。我採取這樣的自由等級規則不僅是因為我不喜歡給作業評等級(我確實不喜歡這樣),也是因為我確信:在我們的頭腦中有關要得何種等級的思想越向後推,我們就越能成為一群作者,我就能給予更好更多地幫助和引導你們迎接新的寫作挑戰,你就更大可能地發展成為一個作家。

Peter Elbow—自由寫作教師—每年都會給他的學生一封信,在信中他請他們:

「假設這不是一個修讀學分的正式課程,只是一個在論文中看到我的告示,自由地來我的家居工作室來上畫畫、烹飪或電腦課(直接付錢給我)。我們會有課程、研討會或者教學,但不會有正式的評分。當然我也會給你們評價性的反饋……指出你做得好的地方和哪里我覺得有問題。我也會在改進作品方面給你們一些建議。但我不會為你個人的畫作或煎蛋捲評級,也不會為給你一個正式的課程等級。」

他接著指出,「注意在我們在這門課程中的所進行評價的情況是多麼不同—你們中許多人並不是自己選擇來到這堙A而我也是被迫要給你們一個正式的大學等級評價。」因此他推斷出:「但是我相信家庭工作室的形式對學習更有利。」

檔夾方法

確實,我同意,在我為每一篇作品評級的時候,我正讓你們進行寫作,同時從你所處的位置看你和他人一起正做得如何。我知道我正在鼓勵你們創造一種靜態「產品」,其目的是為了讓我判斷、確認是否通過考試。最後,讓我覺得最麻煩的是----我知道我在讓你多想我讓你寫什麼,而少想你想說什麼。

在另一方面,當我不再為單一的作品評級,而是等到你提交最後的檔夾後再給你評級的時候,我知道我正在鼓勵你們暢所欲言。我在要讓你們把我的回應放在我們這個課程安排給你們的多個回應之中。我知道一個應該是顯而易見的事實(但恐怕在課堂環境下一般不明顯)——沒有人能在別人的語言價值上保持最終的權威。

對我來說,檔夾的方法讓我帶著作為寫作同伴的尊敬和熱情來投入地閱讀你們的作品,也讓我盡力向你們提供我會為同輩所提供的東西——我希望,在深思熟慮和殷勤回應基礎上,在你想盡力達到的感受性上,有時甚至是一種能為修改提供靈感的見解。

但是真正最重要的是:當你不再把你寫作只看作一種產品、一種獲得分數的工具的時候,你就會覺得被鼓勵承擔更高的風險,並首先考慮你想說什麼,而不是考慮別人想讓你說什麼。你會發現你正用不同的方式進行表達——把你的寫作看作一種持續性的計畫,你可以自由回看、用從中得到的新技巧與新觀點來進行修正。天知道,也許你開始發現你想修改你自己的作品,重新去想像、去改造,根據其他人的回應和你自己的新視角使你的故事和文章更加清楚。這就是我們的成功。所以也許這種檔夾的方法中最有價值、最自由的是:它鼓勵你們去冒險,讓你忘記猜度教師心理模式,而去思考你想說什麼。

評分契約

當然,我們必須要面對這個「真實的世界」---在這種情況下,在精英學術機構高度競爭的真實世界堙A我們必須各司職責。所以,我確實想在一開始就讓你們盡可能地清楚最終等級評定所依據的標準。在這點上,我已採用了Peter Elbow首先提出的規則,他叫它「評分契約」。這就是我想向你們保證的:如果你達到了一系列的基本要求,你將保證得到B或更好的等級。我相信,這使你在完成這個學期的課程後將大大提高寫作水平。這些要求大部分都已在大綱堜確列出,但為了避免有人有任何的疑惑,我還是要在下面再把它們列出來:

  1. 不要缺課(或任何的討論)兩次以上。
  2. 不要習慣性缺席。記住三次遲到等於一次缺席。
  3. 準時帶上你的作品,需要有足夠的指定版本。它們應該是完整版而非草稿。
  4. 詳讀作業,帶上閱讀資料來上課,我們將討論它們。
  5. 利用書面作業和日誌來認真地督促自己的閱讀,並按時完成它們。
  6. 對同學的作品給予充分的、深思熟慮的回應。
  7. 經常地在課堂討論中有所貢獻。
  8. 充分利用文章的修改。用這個機會擴展你的想法或澄清你的思路,給你的作品以新的形式。

得到A級

在一個不是太量化的水平上說,你要儘量在你自己的作品強調的是:對於每一篇文章,嘗試去找尋不為你所知的內容,深入挖掘你的想法,探索你的經驗,以找到新的觀點為目標,為了表達你想說的內容,還應該擴展你的語言運用。不要使用閃爍其辭、泛泛而談或陳詞濫調。而應該讓你的作品有所感觸。為了讓你的作品有很好的清晰度,應該仔細地校對,以表明對讀者的尊敬。

在這一水準上,你堅持不懈、持續一致地努力學習的能力,將是讓你的努力成果得到A等的基準。但在這點上是很難提供一個契約的。


"The inner fire is the most important thing mankind possesses."
- Edith Södergran, Scandinavian poet

"Contrary to popular myth, original thought is not restricted to rare individuals in isolation. It is a uniquely human enterprise that requires critics and supporters, senders and receivers, real-world grounding and unrestricted flights of the imagination."
- Jerry Hirschberg, automotive designer

Introduction

Creativity - "the mastery of information and skills in the service of dreams" (Hirschberg) - is much prized in the arts, science, business and the classroom. What does the creative process look like? Under what conditions does it flourish - what ignites the creative spark? Attempting to answer these questions, this class explores ways creativity has been understood in Western culture: what we prize and fear about creativity and its wellsprings; how writers, artists, scientists and inventors have described their own creative processes; how psychologists and philosophers have theorized it; ways in which creativity has been represented, particularly in 20th century films; and creativity in everyday life, including our own lives. Readings include portions of psychologist Rollo May's The Courage To Create, and essays by Joan Didion, John Updike, Alice Walker, Oliver Sacks, and others. In addition, we'll watch video profiles of choreographer Paul Taylor, architect Maya Lin, and jazz musician Dave Brubeck. We'll keep journals in which we note our own observations and reflections on creative process. We will also watch a film together as a class one evening early in the term.

Successfully completing this class gives you Communication Intensive, HASS Writing credit.

Objectives and Assignments

The primary work of this class is to develop your skills in writing and speaking clearly and effectively, and to help you become aware of your own purposes as writers and aware of the audience(s) you are writing for. You will write three essays on themes relating to the creative process for a minimum total of 20-22 pages, and give considerable attention to revision. In homework and class discussions, you'll look at the way accomplished writers engage readers and shape the parts of their essays into a satisfying whole; you'll also write about the writers' ideas. To help you become better readers - not only of others students' writing, but also of your own - you'll review peers' writing in workshops.

  • Journals comprise 10 short entries on the topic of creative process: your observations, responses to readings and discussions, memories, questions, beliefs. (Journal writing will not be revised.)
  • Essay I is a 5-page personal, exploratory essay inspired by our first group of readings and the documentary Dancemaker. It gives you practice in developing ideas based on your own experience and heightening your awareness of the audience(s) you write for.
  • Essay II, a 10-12 page research essay focusing on a movie of your choice from a list I will provide, gives you the opportunity to develop your investigative and critical skills along with practice using sources responsibly.
  • Essay III is a 5-6 page analytical essay that examines one or more of the theories about creativity we've read and discussed. It gives you more practice working with other writers' ideas.
  • You'll also give two brief oral presentations: a five-minute talk on an element of writing that I'll assign individually; and a 10-minute presentation on an aspect of creativity of your choice.

The major class assignments and homework assignments are detailed on our class site. The schedule of class meetings and homework assignments (our syllabus) is also available.

Reading Materials

  • There is no textbook for this class. A few readings will be handouts or available through web links.
  • You will need a guide to citation, integrating quotations, and other research-related writing practices. I recommend A Pocket Style Manual, edited by Diana Hacker, Bedford Books. It is concise and contains most of the important elements of MLA style, which we will follow in this class. If you do not choose to purchase it, note that you will still be responsible for following the research protocols and style guidelines we use.
  • I also strongly urge you to purchase a good college dictionary if you do not already own one. By that I mean, not a pocket dictionary. Do not imagine that access to on-line dictionaries is an adequate substitute: it's not! If English is not your first language, you will need at least two good dictionaries.

Course Policies

Attendance

This class is structured more like a workshop than a lecture class. Therefore, attendance is important. Your responsibility in the class is not only to be a writer, but also to read and respond to classmates' work and to participate in discussions. If you miss more than two classes for any reason, you risk getting a lower grade. With five unexcused absences you will be withdrawn from the class. It is your responsibility to let me know why you are absent and to keep up with assignments when you do miss class. Lateness is discourteous to your classmates and to your professor. If you are 10 minutes late three times it will count as an absence.

Deadlines

To participate in class discussions, you must read assignments on time. It is also imperative that you bring a draft to class on workshop days, post drafts to workshop partners on time, and be prepared for oral presentations. Your will be graded down if you are not prepared for class. Due dates for all drafts are listed on the course syllabus. Portfolios (see below) are due no later than Session 25.

Evaluation

I'll give you evaluative comments on all essay drafts, and , + or - for homework, journal entries and oral presentations. You will receive one grade at the end of the term for all of your work, which is to be handed in to me in a portfolio. This means I will not be grading individual essays but, rather, guiding you toward effective revision of your work. You will revise each essay at least twice. The quality of your writing will be the primary criterion for your semester grade. I'll also take into consideration effort and improvement, especially as demonstrated by revision; homework, including journals, and class participation, including your participation in workshops. A grade of C or better satisfies the Communication Intensive requirement for students who have matriculated since the summer of 2001. No later than mid-term we will consult on your progress.

Note: All required work must be completed satisfactorily for you to receive a passing grade for the course.

Plagiarism

To borrow someone else's language and/or ideas without attribution is academically and professionally dishonest, and cheats both you and your readers. It can also have serious consequences to your academic career. MIT takes plagiarism seriously: Plagiarism in this class will result in an automatic F and a letter in your file; a second violation can result in expulsion. We'll discuss in class ways to properly acknowledge sources. Style handbooks such as A Pocket Style Manual contain discussions of plagiarism, and offer many examples of how to cite sources, as does The Mayfield Handbook for Technical Writing .

Note: For this class and most classes, it is not acceptable to hand in a paper that you wrote for another class, even though it is your own work. If you are ever in doubt, ask your instructor.

Conferences

You are required to have two conferences with me and may have more. Bring specific questions about your writing, such as how to make an introduction more vivid or how to connect the ideas in your essay. You are also welcome to use conference time to continue discussions begun in class or try out ideas sparked by your reading. If you can't make a conference appointment, please e-mail me or call my office number and let me know.

On Portfolios and Contract Grading

This document is adapted from one with the same title by MIT writing instructor Lucy Marx. It is the best description I have seen of my own philosophy of grading, so I give her comments to you here with slight modifications to represent the differences between her class and ours.

So, yes, let's talk about grades, since we all know that at the end of the day - that is, in twelve weeks - each of you will be getting one, and I will have to sit down and decide what it's going to be.

The good news (at least for me) is that we won't have to think much about grades before then. That's because, though I will always respond fully to your work, I won't be putting any grades on your writing - until you submit your final portfolio. I've settled on this grade-free policy not only because I dislike grading (which I do) but also because I'm convinced that the more we can push grades to the back of our minds the better we will function as a group of writers, the better I will be able to help and guide you as you take on new writing challenges, and the more you will ultimately develop as a writer.

Peter Elbow - the guru of freewriting - hands out a letter to his students each year in which he invites them to:

"Imagine that this weren't an official course for credit, but instead that you had all seen my advertisement in the paper and were freely coming to my home studio for a class in painting or cooking or computers (and paying me directly). We would have classes or workshops or lessons, but there would be no official grading. Of course I'd give you evaluative feedback…pointing out the good things you do and the places where I see problems. And I'd give you suggestions for improving your work. But I wouldn't put grades on your individual paintings or omelets or give you an official grade for the course."

He then points out, "Notice how different the evaluative situation would be from what we have in this course - where many of you are not here by choice and I am obliged to give an official University grade." And he concludes, "But I believe that home-studio situation is more conducive to learning."

The Portfolio Approach

Well, I agree. When I grade every piece of your writing, I know I am inviting you to write while looking over your shoulder to see how you are doing in relation to others. I know I am encouraging you to regard what you've created as a static "product" to be submitted for judgment by me and then put away as a failure or success. Ultimately - and this troubles me the most - I know I am asking you to think more about what I want you to write and less about what you want to say.

On the other hand, when I refrain from grading individual pieces of writing, and wait until your final portfolio is submitted to give you a grade, I know that I am encouraging you to loosen up. I am asking you to put my response in the context of the multiple responses that our class will be organized to give you. And I am acknowledging what should be obvious (but what's often, I'm afraid, obscured in the classroom setting) - that no one can stand as ultimate authority on the merits of someone else's words.

For me, the portfolio approach allows me to engage with your work with the respect and enthusiasm of a fellow writer, and it lets me try to offer you what I would offer a peer: a thoughtful and attentive response based - I hope - in sensitivity to what you are trying to do, and sometimes even an insight that can inspire revision.

But really most important is this: As you turn away from looking at your writing as a product, a vehicle for acquiring grades, you'll feel encouraged to take more risks and to think primarily about what you want to say, not what somebody else wants you to say. You will find yourself approaching your own words in a very different way - looking at your writing as a continuing enterprise, one which you are free to return to, revising with whatever new skills and perspective you will be acquiring along the way. Who knows, you may even begin to find yourself wanting to revisit your own work, to re-envision, to reshape, and to clarify your stories and essays based on others' responses and your own fresh insights. This then will be our success. So what perhaps is most valuable, and liberating, about the portfolio approach is that it encourages you to take risks, to forget about that high school mode of psyching the teacher out and to think, instead, about what you want to say.

Contract Grading

But then of course, there's always the "real world" to come back to - in this case the highly competitive real world of the elite academic institution in which we all are functioning. So, I do want to be as clear as possible from the beginning about the criteria on which your grade will ultimately be based. To this end, I've taken the policy that Peter Elbow first developed, what he calls "contract grading", and adapted it to our course. This is what I want to assure you: You will be guaranteed a final grade of B or better if you meet a basic set of conditions which in turn, I believe, will ensure that you grow significantly as a writer over the course of the semester. Most of these requirements are clearly outlined in the syllabus but I will spell them out again here to avoid confusion.

  1. Don't miss more than two classes (or any conferences).
  2. Don't be habitually late. And remember that three latenesses are equivalent to an absence.
  3. Bring in enough copies of assigned versions of your work on time and make them full versions, not drafts.
  4. Read assignments carefully, and bring copies of readings to the class in which we will discuss them.
  5. Use your written homework assignments and Journal to really engage with the readings, and do them on time.
  6. Give full and thoughtful responses to peers' writing.
  7. Contribute regularly to class discussion.
  8. Make good use of revision. Use this opportunity to extend or clarify your thinking and reshape your writing.

Getting an A

At a less quantifiable level, this is what you might try to focus on in your own writing: For every essay, try looking for what you do not already know, deepening your thinking and exploring your experience, aiming towards fresh insight, and extending your use of language in order to express what it is you have to say. Let your writing move somewhere, and press beyond what is glib or easy or clichéd. Aim for exemplary clarity, and show that you respect your readers by proofreading very carefully.

The ability to work more and more consistently at this level might well be what distinguishes the fruits of your efforts as A level writing. But for this, it would be difficult to provide a contract.


 
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