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ENGLISH 2D03 Creative Writing Inquiry

Academic Year: Winter 2018

Term: Winter

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Dr. Jeffery Donaldson


Office: Chester New Hall 308

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 24132


Office Hours: Thursday 12:30pm

Course Objectives:

General Rubric

This course combines certain features of a creative writing workshop with the challenges of self-directed and co-operative learning.  Our itinerary includes both lectures and group workshops.  The lectures will provide students with some of the basic tools of imaginative writing.  In the workshop hours students will present instalments of their own work and respond to those of others according to the schedule provided.  Our objective is to improve students’ mastery of their own writing habits and potentials via a three-pronged approach:  exercising their own creative intuitions; accommodating the criticism of others in revising their work; offering other students criticisms of their own work. 

Method of Assessment:


Assignment 1                                      10%

Assignment 2                                      10%

Assignment 3                                      10%

Assignment 4                                      30%

Critical responses                                30%

Participation                                       10%

Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

Written assignments are due at the beginning of lecture on the date indicated.  Unauthorized late papers are penalized two percentage grades per day (78 to 76 to 74 etc).  Graders reserve the right to omit commentary on late papers

Please Note the Following Policies and Statements:

Academic Dishonesty

You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity.

Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: "Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty"), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.

It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:

  1. Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
  2. Improper collaboration in group work.
  3. Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.

Email correspondence policy

It is the policy of the Faculty of Humanities that all email communication sent from students to instructors (including TAs), and from students to staff, must originate from each student’s own McMaster University email account. This policy protects confidentiality and confirms the identity of the student.  Instructors will delete emails that do not originate from a McMaster email account.

Modification of course outlines

The University reserves the right to change dates and/or deadlines etc. for any or all courses in the case of an emergency situation or labour disruption or civil unrest/disobedience, etc. If a modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with an explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. Any significant changes should be made in consultation with the Department Chair.

McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)

In the event of an absence for medical or other reasons, students should review and follow the Academic Regulation in the Undergraduate Calendar Requests for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work. Please note these regulations have changed beginning Fall 2015. You can find information at If you have any questions about the MSAF, please contact your Associate Dean's office.

Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities

Students who require academic accommodation must contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) to make arrangements with a Program Coordinator. Academic accommodations must be arranged for each term of study. Student Accessibility Services can be contacted by phone 905-525-9140 ext. 28652 or e-mail For further information, consult McMaster University's Policy for Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities.

Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances

Students requiring academic accommodation based on religion and spiritual observances should follow the procedures set out in the Course Calendar or by their respective Faculty. In most cases, the student should contact his or her professor or academic advisor as soon as possible to arrange accommodations for classes, assignments, tests and examinations that might be affected by a religious holiday or spiritual observance.

Topics and Readings:


Week 1            Jan 4


Week 2            Jan 9               


                        Jan 11

                        Preliminary Exercise

Week 3            Jan 16

                        Assignment 1 Workshop:  Sonnet

                        2:30:    Cluster A:  CNH B107

                                    Cluster B:  CNH 332

                                    Cluster C   BSB 105  

                        3:30:    Cluster D:  CNH B107

                                    Cluster E:  CNH 332

                                    Cluster F:  BSB 105

                        Jan 18


Week 4            Jan 23

                        Assignment 1 WorkshopVillanelle

                        2:30:    Cluster D:  CNH 332

                                    Cluster E:  CNH B107           

                                    Cluster F:  BSB 105   

                        3:30:    Cluster A:  CNH 332

                                    Cluster B:  CNH B107

                                    Cluster C:  BSB 105

                        Jan 25


Week 5            Jan 30

                        Assignment 2 Workshop

                        2:30:    Cluster D:  TSH 122

                                    Cluster E:  TSH B107

                                    Cluster F:   BSB 105              

                        3:30:    Cluster A:  TSH 122

                                    Cluster B:  TSH B107

                                    Cluster C:   BSB 105

                        Feb 1  

                        Elements of Short Fiction Form

Week 6            Feb 6

                        Assignment 2 Workshop

                        2:30:    Cluster A:  TSH 122

                                    Cluster B:  TSH B107

                                    Cluster C:   BSB 105                         

                        3:30:    Cluster D:  TSH 122

                                    Cluster E:  TSH B107

                                    Cluster F:   BSB 105

                        Feb 8

                        Elements of Short Form

Week 7            Feb 13

                        Assignment 3 Workshop

                        2:30:  Cluster D:  TSH 122

                                  Cluster E:  TSH B107

                                  Cluster F:   BSB 105

                        3:30:  Cluster A:  TSH 122

                                  Cluster B:  TSH B107

                                  Cluster C:   BSB 105

                        Feb 15

                       Critiquing Final Assignments

Reading Week Feb 19-22

Week 8            Feb 27

                        Assignment 3 Workshop

                        2:30:  Cluster D:  TSH 122

                                  Cluster E:  TSH B107

                                  Cluster F:   BSB 105                            

                        3:30:  Cluster A:  TSH 122

                                  Cluster B:  TSH B107

                                  Cluster C:   BSB 105

Mar 1

Final Assignment Due

Schedule TBA

Week 9            Mar 6

                        Assignment 4 Plenary (7 Presentations)

                        Mar 8

                        Assignment 4 Plenary (3 Presentations)

Week 10          Mar 13

                        Assignment 4 Plenary (7 Presentations)

                        Mar 15

Assignment 4 Plenary (3 Presentations)      

Week 11          Mar 20

                        Assignment 4 Plenary (etc)

                        Mar 22

Assignment 4 Plenary          

Week 12          Mar 27

                        Assignment 4 Plenary

                        Mar 29

                        Assignment 4 Plenary

Week 13          Apr 3

                        Assignment 4 Plenary

                        Apr 5

                        Assignment 4 Plenary



Other Course Information:

Students will be asked to fill out a online course evaluation upon completion of the course.