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Master Syllabus

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Administrative Unit: Humanities Department
Course Prefix and Number: ENGL 350
Course Title: Major Literary Figures
Number of:
Credit Hours 3
Lecture Hours 3
Lab Hours 0
Catalog Description: Study of the works of one-to-three major writers (e.g., Chaucer, Shakespeare, Mark Twain, Faulkner, Cervantes, or Melville and Whitman, Donne and Milton, Dante and Goethe, etc.). Prerequisites: ENGL 112 and a previous 200-level or higher English course.
Prerequisite(s) / Corequisite(s): ENGL 112 and a previous 200-level or higher English course.
Course Rotation for Day Program: Offered even Spring.
Text(s): Text selections will be based on designated writer(s) to be studied. Several well-edited, college level, inexpensive, soft-cover editions of literary classics are available: for example, those by Penguin, Dover, and New American Library, as well as Norton’s series of critical editions.

Course Objectives
  • To undertake an intensive course of readings, discussions and written exercises, focused on the designated major author(s).
  • To evaluate the significance of the designated major author(s) in the canon of literature in English.
  • To explain the current critical evaluation of the designated author(s).
  • To reinforce principals and methods of contemporary literary criticism.
    Measurable Learning
  • Describe specific literary and historical importance of the author(s) studied.
  • Demonstrate familiarity with the central works of the major author(s).
  • Demonstrate familiarity with current critical reception of the major author(s).
  • Describe the controversy over “canon” or “canonicity” in the contemporary literary world as well as the role of canonical literature in the literary period relevant to the major author(s) studied.
  • Apply critical thought to works of the author(s) in accord with basic principles of literary interpretation and contemporary critical methodologies.
    Topical Outline:
  • Departmental policy requires a minimum of 6,000 words of graded student writing, to include at least one research paper of at least 750 words, for this course.
  • The outline will vary with the literary figures designated for study. Considering relative complexity, students should be expected to read 100-150 pages each week.
    Culminating Experience Statement:

    Material from this course may be tested on the Major Field Test (MFT) administered during the Culminating Experience course for the degree. 
    During this course the ETS Proficiency Profile may be administered.  This 40-minute standardized test measures learning in general education courses.  The results of the tests are used by faculty to improve the general education curriculum at the College.


    Recommended maximum class size for this course: 30

    Library Resources:

    Online databases are available at You may access them from off-campus using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

    Prepared by: Danny Campbell Date: October 25, 2007
    NOTE: The intention of this master course syllabus is to provide an outline of the contents of this course, as specified by the faculty of Columbia College, regardless of who teaches the course, when it is taught, or where it is taught. Faculty members teaching this course for Columbia College are expected to facilitate learning pursuant to the course objectives and cover the subjects listed in the topical outline. However, instructors are also encouraged to cover additional topics of interest so long as those topics are relevant to the course's subject. The master syllabus is, therefore, prescriptive in nature but also allows for a diversity of individual approaches to course material.

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