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Master Syllabus

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Administrative Unit: Humanities Department
Course Prefix and Number: ENGL 361
Course Title: Readings in Poetry
Number of:
Credit Hours 3
Lecture Hours 3
Lab Hours 0
Catalog Description: Intensive study of major literary development and achievement in the genre, possibly from a special perspective (e.g., American poetry, lyric poetry, epic poetry). 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: Occasional offering.
Text(s): Whatever the focus within the genre of poetry, a generous and historically representative anthology of major poets is recommended, such as the latest edition of the appropriate Norton Anthology of Poetry or other cumulative anthologies. The instructor may choose to present, in depth, several poets whose works are available in inexpensive editions. Another advantage of an anthology such as the Norton is its inclusion of important secondary sources.

Course Objectives
  • To understand the works of approximately eight to ten major American poets, from the seventeenth through twentieth centuries.
  • To demonstrate scholarly and critical thinking skills in the reading and analysis of poetry.
    Measurable Learning
  • Explain and discuss various major poetic works through explication and analysis.
  • Recognize and use the terminology of poetry.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of scansion, meter and rhyme.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of eight to ten major poets (both biographical knowledge and knowledge of their work).
  • Demonstrate mastery of MLA citation and research methodology.
    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
  • Basic intellectual, cultural and literary background of each literary period represented by selected poets
  • Intensive reading and critical discussion of all reading assignments, both primary and secondary
  • A number of critical essays (for a minimum of 6,000 words) to be written both in and out of class
  • Objective quizzes and/or brief written exercises as needed
  • Memorization and oral presentation of at least one (20 line) poem of each student’s choice
  • A final examination in the form of a critical essay
    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: Pamela McClure Date: November 16, 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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