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Online classes

Effective: Early Spring 8-Week 2017/2018

ENGL 231: British Literature I

Course Description

 Survey of British literature from Old English through the late eighteenth century.

Prerequisite: ENGL 112

Proctored Exams: Midterm



Syllabus Contents

Textbooks

Required

  • Greenblatt, Stephen. Ed. (2012). The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Vol. 1 (9th). Norton & Co..
    • [ISBN-978-0393912470]

MBS Information

Textbooks for the course may be ordered from MBS Direct. You can order

For additional information about the bookstore, visit http://www.mbsbooks.com.


Course Overview

In this class, you will read and talk about the beginnings of British literature to the eighteenth-century novel. You will read the earliest known poem in English, composed by an illiterate laborer.

You will read writings about heroes and monsters; you will read sly seduction poems; and also read the true account of an eighteenth-century surgery without anesthetic (not as gross as it sounds, but powerful).

You will have a chance to read plays by two brilliant Renaissance playwrights: William Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe. You will also see how the English language has changed from around 800 AD to 1800. Obviously, you can’t look at every important work in 1000 years of writing, but neither can you ignore important authors, so each week you will focus on a few main ideas that are especially important for the specific period.

Over the course of eight weeks, you will meet some of the most interesting minds, imaginations, and wordsmiths of the first thousand years of English writing.



Technology Requirements

Participation in this course will require the basic technology for all online classes at Columbia College:
  • A computer with reliable Internet access
  • A web browser
  • Acrobat Reader
  • Microsoft Office or another word processor such as Open Office

You can find more details about standard technical requirements for our courses on our site.


Course Learning Outcomes

  1. Identify the periods of British literary history beginning with Old English, and continuing through the late 18th century.
  2. Identify major and some minor authors of these periods.
  3. Explain historical and cultural contexts of literary works.
  4. Write argumentatively about literary works.
  5. Apply the terminology of literary study to interpret works in multiple genres.
  6. Demonstrate revisions of argumentative writing about British literary works.

Grading

Grading Scale
Grade Points Percent
A 900-1000 90-100%
B 800-899 80-89%
C 700-799 70-79%
D 600-699 60-69%
F 0-599 0-59%
Grade Weights
Assignment Category Points Percent
Discussions (16) 170 17%
Literary Analysis Essays (3) 480 48%
Midterm Exam 175 18%
Final Exam 175 18%
Total 1000 100%


Schedule of Due Dates

Week 1
Assignment Points Due
Introduction Discussion 10 Thursday/Sunday
Discussion 1 10
Discussion 2 10
Week 2
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 3 10 Thursday/Sunday
Discussion 4 10
Proctor Information N/A Sunday
Week 3
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 5 10 Thursday/Sunday
Discussion 6 10
Literary Analysis Essay 1 160 Sunday
Week 4
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 7 10 Thursday/Sunday
Discussion 8 10
Midterm Exam 175 Sunday
Week 5
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 9 10 Thursday/Sunday
Discussion 10 10
Literary Analysis Essay 2 160 Sunday
Week 6
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 11 10 Thursday/Sunday
Discussion 12 10
Week 7
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 13 10 Thursday/Sunday
Discussion 14 10
Literary Analysis Essay 3 160 Sunday
Week 8
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 15 10 Thursday/Saturday
Discussion 16 10
Final Exam 175 Saturday
Total Points 1000

Assignment Overview

Discussions

You will complete one main post per topic and respond to two classmates’ responses. Each discussion is worth 10 points. For all weeks, initial posts are due on Thursday, 11:59 p.m. CT and replies are due on Sunday, 11:59 pm CT, except for Week 8 when replies are due on Saturday, 11:59 p.m. CT. Initial posts should be a bare minimum of 60 words; many prompts will require 100 words or more to answer them effectively. The response should be of minimum 50 words. You must post first in the discussion before reading. Initial posts should clearly answer the prompt, show knowledge and familiarity with the texts and provide textual support in the form of quotes and paraphrase. Citations are not necessary for discussion posts. Responses should elaborate on a point or points made by the author of the original post.


Literary Analysis Essays

Literary Analysis Essay 1

You will write an analytical paper about one of the Medieval or Renaissance works in The Norton Anthology that we have studied or will study in the first three weeks of the course. Your essay should identify and discuss a subject or theme in this work that remains relevant to readers today and explain how it is relevant. Your paper may grow out of one of your discussion posts. It must conform to the MLA style of documentation and be 800-1000 words (4-5 pages) in length. A maximum of 20 percent of the paper may be direct quotations from the work; the bulk of it will be your own critical analysis, based on close reading of the text. This is due by 11:59 pm CT, Sunday of Week 3.

Literary Analysis Essay 2

You will write an analytical paper about one of the two Renaissance plays that we have studied: King Lear or The Tragical History of Dr. Faustus. Your paper should propose and defend a thesis about the protagonist or one of other the major characters of the play you choose. Your paper may grow out of one of your discussion posts. It must conform to the MLA style of documentation and be at least 800-100 words (4-5 pages) in length. A maximum of 20 percent of the paper may be direct quotations from the work; the bulk of it will be your own critical analysis, based on close reading of the text. This is due by 11:59 pm CT, Sunday of Week 5.

Literary Analysis Essay 3

You will write an analytical paper about one of the book-length works of poetry, prose or drama in The Norton Anthology that we have studied or will study in the second half of the course: Paradise Lost; Volpone, Gulliver’s Travels, Rasselas, Oroonoko; alternately, you may choose one of the poets or essayists that we have studied or will study and write an analytical paper that addresses 2-4 of their short works (essays, poems, etc.). Your paper should propose and defend a thesis about character, theme, or some element of literary craft or style; it should not be biographical, about the author. Your paper may grow out of one of your discussion posts.  It must conform to the MLA style of documentation and be at least 800-1000 words (4-5 pages) in length. A maximum of 20 percent of the paper may be direct quotations from the work; the bulk of it will be your own critical analysis, based on close reading of the text. This is due by 11:59 pm CT, Sunday of Week 7.


Exams

There are two exams in this course: Midterm Exam and Final Exam. The Midterm is proctored and covers the chapters in Weeks 1 to 4. The Final Exam is open-book and covers the chapters in Weeks 5 to 8. Each exam is worth 175 points, with a combination of passage identification, multiple choice, short answer, and essay questions. Only one attempt is allowed for each exam. Time allotted for each exam is 120 minutes. You will take them online during the 4th and 8th weeks of class. The Midterm exam opens on Tuesday, 12:01 am CT and closes on Sunday, 11:59 pm CT of Week 4. Books and notes are not allowed.  The Final exam opens on Tuesday, 12:01 am CT and closes on Saturday, 11:59 pm CT of Week 8.



Course Outline

Click on each week to view details about the activities scheduled for that week.

Week 1: Anglo-Saxon Literature: Oral Tradition and Heroic Themes Merge with Christianity
Readings

Greenblatt: The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Vol. I

  • The Middle Ages (Introduction), pp. 3-10
  • “Caedmon’s Hymn” and “The Dream of the Rood,” including introductions, pp. 29-36
  • “The Wanderer,” pp. 117-120
  • Beowulf, pp. 36-108
Introduction Discussion

Introduce yourself and be sure to include your current job position and any personal information that you are willing to share to help us know you better.

Discussion 1

One common feature of Anglo-Saxon poetry is its elegiac quality. How do Beowulf and The Wanderer both lament and mourn the passage of time and the loss of more glorious or better days?

In your post, please cite and discuss the impact of specific lines or passages. It is not enough to simply quote; you must discuss the passages.

Discussion 2

The introduction to this section states “For Anglo-Saxon poetry, it is difficult and probably futile to draw a line between “heroic” and “Christian,” for the best poetry crosses that boundary" (8).

How is that true in one of the works you read this week? Provide and discuss specific textual examples.

Week 2: Two Essential Texts of Literature in Middle English: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and the Canterbury Tales
Readings

Greenblatt: The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Vol. I

  • The Middle Ages (Introduction), pp. 10-28
  • Chaucer introduction and introduction to The Canterbury Tales and “General Prologue,” pp. 238-263
  • Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, pp. 183-238
  • “The Pardoner’s Prologue and Tale,” pp. 310-325
Discussion 3

Morality and honor are important themes in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. The protagonists in chivalric romance are governed by quite strict morality, through a code of chivalry that ensures their integrity. How does that code of chivalry shape Gawain’s behavior throughout the poem?

Discussion 4

The pilgrims in Chaucer’s “General Prologue” to The Canterbury Tales portray a range of specific types of human beings, as well as members of the three tiers or “estates” of medieval British society. In contrast to the characters in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, are they more realistic? You may want to consider what the Pardoner reveals about himself in the Prologue to “The Pardoner’s Tale” too in forming your answer.

Proctor Information
Submit your proctor form to the appropriate Dropbox folder by the end of the week. Remember to “Save” the form before placing it in Dropbox. See the Content area for more information.
Week 3: New Worlds and Female Rule: The 16th Century
Readings

Greenblatt: The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Vol. I

  • The Sixteenth Century (Introduction), pp. 531-555
  • Thomas More and Utopia, pp. 569 -597
  • Shakespeare sonnets #18, 116, 130, pp. 1166-1186
  • Spenser’s Amoretti, sonnet 75, p. 989
  • The Faerie Queene, Book 1, Cantos 1-8, pp. 775-880
Discussion 5

The Norton introduction to Spenser’s epic The Faerie Queene says, “As a romance, Spenser’s poem is designed to produce wonder, to enthrall its readers with sprawling plots, marvelous adventures, heroic characters, ravishing descriptions and esoteric mysteries.”

Does this aim complement or conflict with the poem’s other purpose of promoting great moral virtues? Explain.

Discussion 6

In Spenser’s letter to Sir Walter Raleigh that precedes The Faerie Queene, Spenser explains the purpose of his allegory and states that the Faerie Queene herself represents Queen Elizabeth. Based on your reading in Book I, discuss the concepts or qualities that some of the primary characters of that book, like Redcrosse Knight, Una, Duessa, or /and Sansfoy, Error, represent. Use evidence from the narrative of the poem to explain how we know what they represent.

Literary Analysis Essay 1

Write an analytical paper of 800-1000 words about one of the medieval or Renaissance works in The Norton Anthology that we have studied or will study in the first three weeks of the course.  Your essay should identify and discuss a subject or theme in this work that remains relevant to readers today and explain how it is relevant. Your paper may grow out of one of your discussion posts. A maximum of 20 percent of the paper may be direct quotations from the work; the bulk of it will be your own critical analysis, based on close reading of the text. It must conform to the MLA style of documentation and be 800-1000 words (4-5 pages) in length. A maximum of 20 percent of the paper may be direct quotations from the work; the bulk of it will be your own critical analysis, based on close reading of the text. This is due by 11:59 p.m. CT, Sunday.

Week 4: Renaissance Drama: Two Timeless Tragedies
Readings

Greenblatt: The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Vol. I

  • The Sixteenth Century (Introduction), pp. 555-563
  • Christopher Marlowe, Doctor Faustus pp. 1106-1107 and 1128-1165; or King Lear, pp. 1251-1339
Discussion 7

How does a rigid character trait of the protagonist affect the tragic outcome in Doctor Faustus or King Lear?

Discussion 8

In the course of Shakespeare’s play, Lear loses his sanity. An argument can be made that Faustus, too, loses his sanity in Marlowe’s play, but one could also argue that Faustus remains supremely sane and rational.

Discuss the portrayal of sanity vs. insanity in the play that you have read this week.

Midterm Exam

The Midterm is proctored and covers the chapters in Weeks 1 to 4. It will consist of passage identification, multiple choice, short answer, and essay questions. You will have only one attempt and 120 minutes to complete the exam. It opens on Tuesday 12:01 am and closes on Sunday, 11:59 pm CT. Books and notes are not allowed.

Week 5: The Seventeenth Century: Alive with Poetry
Readings

Greenblatt: The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Vol. I

Early Seventeenth Century (Introduction), pp. 1341-1369 plus brief introductions to poet Mary Wroth’s, “Song #74,” p. 1570

George Herbert:

  • “The Altar,” p. 1707
  • “Prayer (1),” p. 1711
  • “The Collar,” p. 1720; Love (3), p. 1725

Robert Herrick:

  • “Delight in Disorder,” p. 1758
  • “Corinna’s Going A-Maying,” p. 1760
  • “To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time,” p. 1762

Andrew Marvell:

  • “A Dialogue Between the Soul and Body,” p. 1792
  • “To His Coy Mistress,” p. 1796

John Donne:

  • “The Flea,” p. 1373
  • “A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning,“ p. 1385
  • “The Sun Rising,” p. 1376
  • Holy Sonnets, pp. 1410-1418

Ben Jonson, “On My First Son,” p. 1542

John Milton, Paradise Lost, 1943-1986

Discussion 9

Discuss the theme of carpe diem in two of three of the shorter, lyric poems assigned for this week.

Discussion 10

The introduction to Paradise Lost also points out elements of the epic tradition that Milton uses in his great poem.

Comment in your post on two or three these elements: a beginning in media res (in the middle of things), an invocation of the poet’s muse, epic (extended) simile, grand battles, catalogs (lists) of combatants, supernatural intervention, a journey to the underworld.

Literary Analysis Essay 2

Write an analytical paper of 1000 words about one of the two Renaissance plays that we have studied: King Lear or The Tragical History of Dr. Faustus.  Your paper should propose and defend a thesis about the protagonist or one of other the major characters of the play you choose. It must conform to the MLA style of documentation and be 800-1000 words (4-5 pages) in length. A maximum of 20 percent of the paper may be direct quotations from the work; the bulk of it will be your own critical analysis, based on close reading of the text. This is due by 11:59 pm CT, Sunday.

Week 6: The Seventeenth Century: New Perspectives on the Self, Science, and Modernity
Readings

Greenblatt: The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Vol. I

  • Francis Bacon, Essays, pp. 1662-1671
  • Thomas Browne, Religio Medici, pp. 1696-1705
  • Margaret Cavendish, excerpt from “A True Relation of my Birth, Breeding, and Life,” pp. 1888-1890
  • Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, 1855-1867
  • Ben Jonson, Volpone, 1441-1539
Discussion 11

Much of the prose we have read this week belongs to the new 17th century genre of personal essay writing (nonfiction about one’s self). What ties the pieces together is that each shows us how writers in the seventeenth century were beginning to express personal experience, individual preoccupations, and knowledge about the world in writing. Choose one of the selections from this week. What details from this piece tell you about the author’s self and vision?

Discussion 12

Ben Jonson is often associated with a kind of play called the “comedy of humors,” in which characters are motivated by dominant traits that were believed to be the result of a physiological imbalance.

Choose two characters from Volpone, and explain how they are defined by particular traits. Please provide specific textual support from the play.

Course Evaluation
Please evaluate the course. You will have an opportunity to evaluate the course near the end of the session. A link sent to your CougarMail will allow you to access the evaluation. Please note that these evaluations are provided so that I can improve the course, find out what students perceive to be its strengths and weaknesses, and in general assess the success of the course. Please do take the time to fill this out.
Week 7: Major Eighteenth-Century Voices
Readings

Greenblatt: The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Vol. I

  • Introduction, “The Restoration and the Eighteenth Century,” pp. 2177-2205
  • Samuel Pepys, Diary, pp. 2260-2269
  • Frances Burney, Journal and Letters, pp. 3005-3011
  • Addison and Steele, Periodical Essays, pp. 2639-2665
  • John Locke, “An Essay Concerning Human Understanding,” p. 2280
  • David Hume, “Of the Liberty of the Press,” 3024-3028
  • Alexander Pope, “The Rape of the Lock,” pp. 2685-2704
  • Jonathan Swift, “A Modest Proposal,” pp. 2633-2639
  • Christopher Smart, “My Cat Jeoffry,” p. 3059
Discussion 13

Pope’s poem “The Rape of the Lock” is a comic satire and a mock epic. Is Belinda a heroine or a victim in this poem?

What elements of the epic do you recognize from our study of Paradise Lost?

Discussion 14

The introduction to this unit speaks of “the widespread devotion to the direct observation of experience” (in other words, firsthand accounts about true events) during this age.

How do you see “the direct observation of experience” in one or more of our readings this week? Please provide specific textual examples and some analysis.

Literary Analysis Essay 3

Write an analytical paper of 800-1000 words about one of book-length works of poetry, prose or drama in The Norton Anthology that we have studied or will study in the second half of the course: Paradise Lost; Volpone, Gulliver’s Travels, Rasselas, Oroonoko. Alternately, you may choose one of the poets or essayists we have studied or will study and write an analytical paper that addresses 2-4 of their short works (essays, poems, etc.).  Your paper should propose and defend a thesis about character, theme, or some element of literary craft or style; it should not be biographical about the author. Your paper may grow out of one of your discussion posts. It must conform to the MLA style of documentation and be 800-1000 words (4-5 pages) in length. A maximum of 20 percent of the paper may be direct quotations from the work; the bulk of it will be your own critical analysis, based on close reading of the text. This is due by 11:59 pm CT, Sunday.

Week 8: Looking Toward the Novel
Readings

Greenblatt: The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Vol. I

  • Daniel Defoe, Roxanna, pp. 2424-2431
  • Aphra Behn, Oroonoko, pp. 2313-2358;
  • One of the following (both, if you like!):
    • Jonathan Swift, Gulliver’s Travels, pp. 2487-2531
    • Samuel Johnson, Rasselas, pp. 2857-2923
Discussion 15

How does Defoe’s heroine Roxanna voice a feminist perspective? Be specific about the points of her argument.

Discussion 16

A proliferation of great prose writing, increasing literacy and a middle class that could read, along with new, cheap printing technology, helped set the stage for the novel as we know it. You have read parts of two 18thcentury novel-like works (proto-novels) this week.

How do they differ in terms of structure, narrative perspective, and details of the stories from the novels (full-length books of fiction) that you are used to?

Final Exam

The Final Exam is open-book and covers the chapters in Weeks 5 to 8. It will consist of passage identification, multiple choice, short answer, and essay questions. You will have only one attempt and 120 minutes to complete the exam. It opens on Tuesday 12:01 am and closes on Saturday, 11:59 pm CT.



Course Policies

Student Conduct

All Columbia College students, whether enrolled in a land-based or online course, are responsible for behaving in a manner consistent with Columbia College's Student Conduct Code and Acceptable Use Policy. Students violating these policies will be referred to the office of Student Affairs and/or the office of Academic Affairs for possible disciplinary action. The Student Code of Conduct and the Computer Use Policy for students can be found in the Columbia College Student Handbook. The Handbook is available online; you can also obtain a copy by calling the Student Affairs office (Campus Life) at 573-875-7400. The teacher maintains the right to manage a positive learning environment, and all students must adhere to the conventions of online etiquette.

Plagiarism

Your grade will be based in large part on the originality of your ideas and your written presentation of these ideas. Presenting the words, ideas, or expression of another in any form as your own is plagiarism. Students who fail to properly give credit for information contained in their written work (papers, journals, exams, etc.) are violating the intellectual property rights of the original author. For proper citation of the original authors, you should reference the appropriate publication manual for your degree program or course (APA, MLA, etc.). Violations are taken seriously in higher education and may result in a failing grade on the assignment, a grade of "F" for the course, or dismissal from the College.

Collaboration conducted between students without prior permission from the instructor is considered plagiarism and will be treated as such. Spouses and roommates taking the same course should be particularly careful.

All required papers may be submitted for textual similarity review to Turnitin.com for the detection of plagiarism. All submitted papers may be included in the Turnitin.com reference database for the purpose of detecting plagiarism. This service is subject to the Terms and Conditions of Use posted on the Turnitin.com site.

Non-Discrimination

There will be no discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, ideology, political affiliation, veteran status, age, physical handicap, or marital status.

Student Accessibility Resources

Students with documented disabilities who may need academic services for this course are required to register with the office of Student Accessibility Resources. Until the student has been cleared through this office, accommodations do not have to be granted. If you are a student who has a documented disability, it is important for you to read the entire syllabus as soon as possible. The structure or the content of the course may make an accommodation not feasible. Student Accessibility Resources is located in Student Affairs in AHSC 215 and can be reached by phone at (573) 875-7626 or email at sar@ccis.edu.

Online Participation

You are expected to read the assigned texts and participate in the discussions and other course activities each week. Assignments should be posted by the due dates stated on the grading schedule in your syllabus. If an emergency arises that prevents you from participating in class, please let your instructor know as soon as possible.

Attendance Policy

Attendance for a week will be counted as having submitted any assigned activity for which points are earned. Attendance for the week is based upon the date work is submitted. A class week is defined as the period of time between Monday and Sunday (except for week 8, when the work and the course will end on Saturday at midnight.) The course and system deadlines are based on the Central Time Zone.

Cougar Email

All students are provided a CougarMail account when they enroll in classes at Columbia College. You are responsible for monitoring email from that account for important messages from the College and from your instructor. You may forward your Cougar email account to another account; however, the College cannot be held responsible for breaches in security or service interruptions with other email providers.

Students should use email for private messages to the instructor and other students. The class discussions are for public messages so the class members can each see what others have to say about any given topic and respond.

Late Assignment Policy

An online class requires regular participation and a commitment to your instructor and your classmates to regularly engage in the reading, discussion and writing assignments. Although most of the online communication for this course is asynchronous, you must be able to commit to the schedule of work for the class for the next eight weeks. You must keep up with the schedule of reading and writing to successfully complete the class.

Late discussions will not be accepted. Late essays cannot be accepted after the end of the course; late final papers will receive an automatic 10 percent late penalty. If you miss the exam period, you should not expect the instructor to reopen the exam except in the case of medical or weather emergencies. The instructor needs documentation to consider late submissions, and is willing to consider requests from students who are having problems with scheduling as long as they communicate them responsibly. Please contact your instructor by e-mail about your coursework so that there is a “paper trail” of any individual arrangements that are made.

Course Evaluation

You will have an opportunity to evaluate the course near the end of the session. A link will be sent to your CougarMail that will allow you to access the evaluation. Be assured that the evaluations are anonymous and that your instructor will not be able to see them until after final grades are submitted.

Proctor Policy

Students taking courses that require proctored exams must submit their completed proctor request forms to their instructors by the end of the second week of the session. Proctors located at Columbia College campuses are automatically approved. The use of ProctorU services is also automatically approved. The instructor of each course will consider any other choice of proctor for approval or denial. Additional proctor choices the instructor will consider include: public librarians, high school or college instructors, high school or college counseling services, commanding officers, education service officers, and other proctoring services. Personal friends, family members, athletic coaches and direct supervisors are not acceptable.


Additional Resources

Orientation for New Students

This course is offered online, using course management software provided by Desire2Learn and Columbia College. The course user guide provides details about taking an online course at Columbia College. You may also want to visit the course demonstration to view a sample course before this one opens.

Technical Support

If you have problems accessing the course or posting your assignments, contact your instructor, the Columbia College Helpdesk, or the D2L Helpdesk for assistance. Contact information is also available within the online course environment.

Online Tutoring

Smarthinking is a free online tutoring service available to all Columbia College students. Smarthinking provides real-time online tutoring and homework help for Math, English, and Writing. Smarthinking also provides access to live tutorials in writing and math, as well as a full range of study resources, including writing manuals, sample problems, and study skills manuals. You can access the service from wherever you have a connection to the Internet. I encourage you to take advantage of this free service provided by the college.

Access Smarthinking through CougarTrack under Students -> Academics -> Academic Resources.


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