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Online classes

Effective: Early Spring 8-Week 2017/2018

ENGL 211: Introduction To Poetry

Course Description

An introduction to the elements of poetry.

Prerequisite: ENGL 112

Proctored Exams: Midterm



Syllabus Contents

Textbooks

Required

  • Meyer, Michael. Thinking and Writing About Poetry. 1st. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2016.
    • ISBN-978-1-4576-8750-1
  • O’Hara, Frank. Meditations in an Emergency. 2nd. New York: Grove Press, 1967.
    • ISBN-0-8021-3452-1

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

The course will provide a comprehensive introduction to the elements and major writers of poetry, with a strong focus on how to read, understand, and write about poetry.  We will cover poems from all time periods, cultures, and voices. The course will look closely at the forms and distinctive characteristics, with an emphasis on close readings of the texts. You will develop the ability to analyze, discuss, and write critically about poetry. The course will look at classic and contemporary works, make connections between poems from different literary periods, and consider each text’s place in the literary canon.


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
  • Adobe 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 generic elements of poetry.
  2. Write argumentative analyses of poems.
  3. Explain poetry originating in different literary periods.
  4. Analyze poetry written by a variety of authors and in a variety of forms.

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 240 24%
Critical Essays 360 36%
Quizzes 150 15%
Midterm Exam 125 12%
Final Exam 125 12%
Total 1000 100%


Schedule of Due Dates

Week 1
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 1 15 Wednesday/Sunday
Discussion 2 15
Quiz 1 30 Sunday
Week 2
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 3 15 Wednesday/Sunday
Discussion 4 15
Quiz 2 30 Sunday
Proctor Information N/A
Week 3
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 5 15 Wednesday/Sunday
Discussion 6 15
Critical Essay 1 120 Sunday
Quiz 3 30
Week 4
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 7 15 Wednesday/Sunday
Discussion 8 15
Midterm Exam 125 Sunday
Week 5
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 9 15 Wednesday/Sunday
Discussion 10 15
Critical Essay 2 120 Sunday
Week 6
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 11 15 Wednesday/Sunday
Discussion 12 15
Quiz 4 30 Sunday
Week 7
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 13 15 Wednesday/Sunday
Discussion 14 15
Critical Essay 3 120 Sunday
Quiz 5 30
Week 8
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 15 15 Wednesday/Saturday
Discussion 16 15
Final Exam 125 Saturday
Total Points 1000

Assignment Overview

Discussions

All discussions must take place in the Discussions area, meaning that uploading an attachment as your post will not count.  There will be two discussions per week, each worth 15 points. Each discussion topic will address your knowledge and understanding of the readings with a minimum length of 200 words. Each week’s discussion will take place from Monday to Sunday, except for Week 8, which ends on Saturday, with your initial post due by 11:59 p.m. Central Time (CT) on Wednesday and two responses (minimum 100 words each) to classmates’ posts due by 11:59 p.m. CT on Sunday. During Week 8, the two responses are due by 11:59 p.m. CT on Saturday.

Each discussion is set so that you must post your original thoughts before reading the posts of your classmates. The entire post should be written in your own words, without quoting any other sources. If you are writing about a reading from our text, be sure to include the author and title in the first sentence or two so others know what piece you are referencing.

Your responses to others’ posts should also be well-developed, fully explaining your response to the classmates’ posts.  Make responses that add to the conversation and take it further; simply posting “I agree” or “good job” does not help develop ideas.  For maximum learning and point benefits, respond to at least two students’ posts.

Critical Essays

You must write 3 critical essays, one each in Weeks 3, 5, and 7. The essays will require explication, definition, analysis, comparison, discussion, and imagination. Each essay should be between 1,000 and 1,200 words in length. The essays should be written in MLA format, double-spaced (no extra space: format paragraph spacing set at 0 pt. – before and after); 12 pt. Times New Roman font; 1-inch margins, pages numbered, no title page —put name, instructor, class, and date on first page at the top, flush left (double-spaced). You will have to submit each essay as a Word .doc to the appropriate Dropbox in the online classroom, on Sundays (by 11:59 p.m. CT) of the assigned weeks. Each Critical Essay is worth 120 points.

Refer to the speaking voice in the poem as the “speaker.” Use the present tense when writing the analysis. To avoid unnecessary repetition of “says” or “states” in your compositions, consider the following verbs when writing the analysis: dramatizes, emphasizes, presents, suggests, illustrates, asserts, characterizes, argues, underlines, stresses, asks, offers. Follow MLA guidelines for quoting and citing lines of poetry in your text:

  • Introduce your borrowed parts of the poem with an effective signal phrase.
  • Use a forward slash (/) between lines where they end in the poem when you are quoting 1-3 lines.
  • Give the line numbers in the parenthetical reference at the end of your sentence. For your first borrowing, use the words “lines” before the numbers: (lines 29-31). Thereafter, use just the numbers (12-13). No need to use page numbers.
  • Set off 4 or more lines of poetry using a block indent format.

Please refer to the Purdue OWL or your MLA handbook for further support, or email me with specific questions.


Quizzes

There will be 5 quizzes covering the weekly readings; they will assess understanding of the elements and forms of poetry. Each quiz is worth 30 points. There is only one (1) attempt for each quiz. There will be 5 multiple choice questions and the allotted time is ten (10) minutes. Quizzes will be made available at 12:01 a.m. CT, Monday and will close on 11:59 p.m. CT, Sunday of the assigned week.  

Exams

You will take a Midterm exam and a Final exam, which will include multiple choice, short essay, and essay questions. The Midterm will cover the readings from Weeks 1-4, while the Final will cover the readings from Weeks 5-8. You will have two (2) hours to complete each exam. 

The Midterm must be taken with a proctor and proctor information must be complete and submitted to the appropriate Dropbox by (Sunday 11:59 p.m. CT) Week 2 of the course. The final exam is not proctored. Each exam is worth 125 points. 

You may not use your books or any other materials to assist you during the exams.  The Midterm will open Monday of Week 4 at 12:01 a.m. and is due by Sunday, 11:59 p.m. CT. The Final exam will open Monday of Week 8 at 12:01 a.m. CT and is due by Saturday, 11:59 p.m. CT.


Course Outline

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

Week 1: Week 1: Introduction/Reading Poetry Responsively
Readings

Meyer:

  • The Nature of Literature, pp. 1-3
  • The Value of Literature, pp. 3-5
  • The Changing Literary Canon, pp. 5-6
  • Reading Poetry Responsively, pp. 9-13
  • The Pleasure of Words, pp. 13-29
  • Poetry in Popular Forms, pp. 29-43
Discussion 1

Introduce yourself to the class, giving us enough information about you. Tell us about what kind(s) of poetry you have read and what kind(s) you like to read. Tell us why you prefer that/those kind(s). What else do you like to read? We need to be able to connect with one another, and this assignment is one way we can.  What are your initial reactions to the Meyer textbook?  What initial ideas are you drawn to in your introductory reading?

Discussion 2

Consider Robert Francis’ “On Hard Poetry” on p. 34 of the Meyer text. What is the distinction between “hard” and “soft” poetry?  How would you categorize the poems from this week’s readings?  Would you categorize these poems as hard or soft?

Quiz 1
This quiz will assess your understanding of the elements and forms of poetry. It is worth 30 points. You can attempt the quiz only once. It consists of 5 multiple choice questions and the duration is 10 minutes. It will be available from 12:01 a.m. CT, Monday and will close on 11:59 p.m. CT, Sunday.
Week 2: Week 2: Writing About Poetry
Readings

Meyer:

  • From Reading to Writing, pp. 44-51
  • Word Choice, Word Order, and Tone, pp. 52-81
  • Poetry’s Appeal to the Senses, pp. 82-100
  • Figures of Speech, pp. 101-119
  • Symbol, Allegory, and Irony, pp. 120-144
  • Reading and the Writing Process, pp. 347-377
Discussion 3
Examine a poem from this week’s reading. Describe the poet’s word choice, word order, and tone.  Consider the diction and indicate how the poet arranges the words to convey the poem’s theme.
Discussion 4

Examine a poem from this week’s reading and characterize the poem’s speaker.  Identify the tone of the poem.  Explain the literal meanings you find in the poem and then allow the elements of the poem to help you determine any symbolic readings of the work.

Quiz 2
This quiz will assess your understanding of the elements and forms of poetry. It is worth 30 points. You can attempt the quiz only once. It consists of 5 multiple choice questions and the duration is 10 minutes. It will be available from 12:01 a.m. CT, Monday and will close on 11:59 p.m. CT, Sunday.
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: Week 3: Listening to Poetry
Readings

Meyer:

  • Listening to Poetry, pp. 145-152
  • Rhyme, pp. 152-156
  • Sound and Meaning, pp. 157-171
  • Patterns of Rhythm, p. 172
  • Some Principles of Meter, pp. 172-191
Discussion 5
Consider your first encounters with poetry. It was most likely rhymed. Did these early encounters inform your current views on what poetry is? Taking that a step further, what is your own response to rhymed poetry? Do you prefer poetry with or without rhyme? What do you think informs your preference? Illustrate your response with examples from this week’s readings.
Discussion 6

Review Louise Bogan’s “On Formal Poetry” on page 190-191 of the Meyer text. Consider Bogan’s thoughts on form as you re-examine this week’s readings, using two or three poems from the reading to illustrate your answer.

Critical Essay 1

Read David Lenson’s “On the Contemporary Use of Rhyme” (pp. 156-157 of the Meyer text) and focus on how these ideas can be used to analyze a piece of writing. In your essay, you must consider Lenson’s ideas and analyze how these concepts are reflected in contemporary music and poetry:

  • Consider some of your favorite music. Select two or three contemporary songs. These can cover a range of groups or vocalists. Directly address Lenson’s ideas to answer the question: Is Lenson correct in his assessment that irregular rhyme is not much used in songwriting? Why or why not? 
  • Examine the rhymed couplets of these songs. Discuss whether or not they are used to sharpen social insight and enhance meaning for the listener. What is the effect of using rhyme in this way?
  • How do these songs compare to poems from our weekly readings? How do these songs and poems correlate with what Lenson is stating? Identify examples to support your point-of-view.

Be sure to be detailed and utilize terminology from the text, as you focus on works from our weekly readings and contemporary music. Analyze the rhythmic qualities of these works. This essay is an analysis that examines the possible meanings and relationships found in words and images. It is an unpacking and unfolding, or revealing of the words’ meaning as the song develops this meaning from beginning to end. This is an excellent way for you to connect with words and gain a better understanding of how they function. This essay will require your thoughtful consideration of the works’ main elements and your personal inference of the meaning with an eye towards uncovering the impact.

Quiz 3
This quiz will assess your understanding of the elements and forms of poetry. It is worth 30 points. You can attempt the quiz only once. It consists of 5 multiple choice questions and the duration is 10 minutes. It will be available from 12:01 a.m. CT, Monday and will close on 11:59 p.m. CT, Sunday.
Week 4: Week 4: Poetic Forms
Readings

Meyer:

  • Poetic Forms, pp. 192-218
  • Emily Dickinson’s “A narrow Fellow in the Grass,” p. 2; “To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee,” p. 43; “Wild Nights – Wild Nights!,” p. 94; “Presentiment – is that long Shadow – on the lawn –,” p. 104; “A Bird came down the Walk –,” p. 148; “I know that He exists,” “The Bustle in a House,” “Much Madness is divinest Sense –,” pp. 301-302; “There’s a certain Slant of light,” p. 363.
  • Percy Bysshe Shelley’s “Ozymandias,” p. 318
  • William Wordsworth’s “A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal” and “The Solitary Reaper,” p. 321
Discussion 7
Select a poem from this week’s reading and indicate how the poem’s form works in the piece. Describe how the poet uses form to organize their thoughts and ideas. How are you able to distinguish the poem’s specific form from another poem’s form?
Discussion 8
Consider Marvin Bell’s statement that “a short poem need not be small.” In reference to poetic form, how do you interpret this statement? Analyze one or two of Emily Dickinson’s poems from this week’s reading and conclude how Dickinson utilizes form to convey larger meaning. How might form keep her poems from being small?
Midterm Exam
The midterm exam will include multiple-choice, short essay, and essay questions. It will cover the readings from Weeks 1-4. The Midterm must be taken with a proctor and proctor information must be complete and submitted to the appropriate Dropbox by Week 2 of the course. The exam is worth 125 points. You will have 2 hours to complete the exam. You may not use your books or any other materials to assist you during the exam. The Midterm will open Monday of Week 4 at 12:01 a.m. and is due by Sunday, 11:59 p.m. CT.
Week 5: Week 5: Open Form
Readings

Meyer:

  • Open Form, pp. 219-236
  • Combining the Elements of Poetry: A Writing Process, pp. 237-246
  • A Study of Robert Frost, pp. 247-281
  • William Carlos Williams’ “This Is Just to Say,” p. 634
  • Walt Whitman’s,” “When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer,” and “One’s-Self I Sing,” p. 320
Discussion 9

Examine William Carlos Williams’ “The Red Wheelbarrow.” What “depends upon” the things mentioned in the poem? What is the effect of these images? Do they have a particular meaning? Do these lines have any kind of rhythm? Consider our look at the open form and how poems function. How does this poem resemble a haiku? How is it different?

Discussion 10
Consider Robert Frost’s statement “I’d sooner write free verse as play tennis with the net down.” Select one open form poem from our weekly reading and one of Frost’s poems. Identify how the poet organizes the poem. How does each poem present its theme? Does the open form poem allow the poet to write more freely? Why or why not?
Critical Essay 2

Consider Walt Whitman’s “From ‘I Sing the Body Electric’” on page 220 and his “On Rhyme and Meter” on pages 221-222. In your essay you will need to address the following:

  • According to Whitman, what determines the shape of a poem?  
  • Why does Whitman prefer open forms over fixed forms such as the sonnet?  
  • Is Whitman’s poetry devoid of any structure or shape?  
  • Examine “From ‘I Sing the Body Electric,’” as well as his other poems (listed in the index of Thinking and Writing About Poetry) and indicate and explain which of his poems best illustrate your answers.  

This essay will require analysis.  Be detailed and utilize the terminology from the text, as you focus on Whitman’s works and the arrangement of his words on the page.  Analyze the rhythmic qualities of his poems, from the repetition of words, phrases, or grammatical structures to its discipline and shape.

Week 6: Week 6: Poetic Themes
Readings

Meyer:

  • A Thematic Case Study: Humor and Satire, pp. 282-295

O’Hara:

  • Meditations in an Emergency
Discussion 11
Analyze Bob Hicok’s poem “Making it in poetry” (p. 130) and how it compares to Tony Hoagland’s poem “America” (p. 291). How would you categorize each poem? How are the poems similar? What distinguishes one from the other?
Discussion 12
Describe the central theme of Frank O’Hara’s collection Meditations in an Emergency. Consider the book’s purpose. How do the poems work together thematically as a collection? Select one or more of O’Hara’s poems, restate what happens in the poem and explain how the theme shifts from beginning to end.
Quiz 4
This quiz will assess your understanding of the elements and forms of poetry. It is worth 30 points. You can attempt the quiz only once. It consists of 5 multiple choice questions and the duration is 10 minutes. It will be available from 12:01 a.m. CT, Monday and will close on 11:59 p.m. CT, Sunday.
Course Evaluations
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.
Week 7: Week 7: Contemporary Strategies and Approaches to Poetry
Readings

Meyer:

  • Critical Strategies for Reading, pp. 327-346;
  • Explication, pp. 362-366
Discussion 13

Of all the critical strategies that we have studied in this section, which do you find most interesting? Which strategy allows for the most interaction with a poem? Which strategy do you find most beneficial when looking at a poem?

Discussion 14

Consider the goals of this course and the poems and poets we have covered. Looking back on what we’ve studied and what you’ve learned, what do you identify as the decisive factor in determining whether a work (poem/poet) should be taught or not? What elements influence your decision? What factors should not be considered? Why?

Critical Essay 3

This essay asks you to consider a poem of your choosing. Identify the main features and content of the poem. Make detailed notes on the poem’s theme and form, utilizing the terminology you have learned during this course. Use these notes to identify the poem’s meaning in reference to theme and form.

You will write an explication of the poem. An explication is a line-by-line explanation of the poem. The key word is “explain.” An explication begins with the larger issues and basic elements of the poem and works through each line to the more specific details and patterns. This essay will require your thoughtful consideration of the poem’s main elements and your personal interpretation of the poem’s meaning. The essay should focus on the poem’s central meaning, going line-by-line, expanding the discussion of the meaning and conflict of the poem in terms of words, diction, image, speaker, tone, figures of speech, form, symbolism, and allusion. The essay should express the overall meaning or theme that you say is the particular thread running through the poem. This essay should follow this thread from beginning to end.

Quiz 5

This quiz will assess your understanding of the elements and forms of poetry. It is worth 30 points. You can attempt the quiz only once. It consists of 5 multiple choice questions and the duration is 10 minutes. It will be available from 12:01 a.m. CT, Monday and will close on 11:59 p.m. CT, Sunday.

Week 8: Week 8: Strategies and Approaches in Poetry Applied
Readings

Meyer:

  • A Collection of Poems, pp. 296-324
  • The Literary Research Paper, pp. 378-397
  • Taking Essay Examinations, pp. 398-402
Discussion 15

Review all of the readings we have had during this session. Do you have a favorite poem? Favorite poet? Explain and identify the elements that have drawn you to this work.

Discussion 16

Which are the more classic works in reference to the contemporary poems we have covered in this course? What are the main differences in these works? What are the similarities?  Should the two be studied together? Describe and identify the advantages and/or disadvantages of studying classic and contemporary works together.

Final Exam
The Final Exam will include multiple choice, short essay, and essay questions. It will cover the readings from Weeks 5-8. It is not proctored. It is worth 125 points. You will have two (2) hours to complete the exam. You may not use your books or any other materials to assist you during it. The Final Exam opens at 12:01 a.m. CT, Monday and is due by 11:59 p.m. CT, Saturday of Week 8.


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. Students must keep up with the set schedule of reading and writing to successfully complete the course.

The grades for assignments submitted late will be reduced by 5% of the total points possible for each day it is late. After 5 days, a late assignment can no longer be submitted. However, during the last week of class, no late assignments will be accepted.

Due to the criteria and timeframes of discussion posts and responses, no credit can be awarded for late submissions to the discussion forum. Late submissions for quizzes and exams are rarely allowed and will only be granted on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of the instructor and Columbia College.

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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