Catalog Description: A study of selected works by representative major authors reflecting
the chronological development of English literature to 1798.
Text:The Norton Anthology of English Literature. Volume 1. 8th Edition. New York
and London: Norton, 2006.
The earlier parts of English literature shine with stars like Chaucer, Spenser, Jonson.
Shakespeare, Donne, Milton, Swift, Pope, and Samuel Johnson. We'll be reading all
these and more, studying narrative and lyric poems, sonnet sequences, and drama and
talking about the development of English prose.
Most classes will mix lectures with group work on the meaning and form of assigned
selections. We'll average about sixty pages a week but the reading load will vary,
going from short, intense poetry assignments to longer readings in narrative poetry,
drama, and prose.
Four basic grades will make up your semester average:
Attendance, exercises daily grades 25%
Midterm and Final 25% each
Research Paper 25%
The midterm and final will combine short-answer items with broader discussion topics
from study guides provided beforehand.
Daily grades are quizzes over the day's readings. Exercises are written discussions
on some aspect of what you've read. These are important practice for the discussion
topics you'll encounter on the tests. Missing grades cannot be made up. You may miss
two with no penalty, but further misses will weigh against your average. If you pass
all quizzes and get all exercises in on time, you qualify for an 5-point bonus toward
your class net average—enough to go from a B (85%) to an A- (90%).
Attendance Policy: You are allowed up to three unexcused cuts. After you've missed
three classes, I'll want valid excuses. Anyone missing more than six classes without
a cast-iron excuse (something on the order of a hospital stay) will be penalized
five points per cut on his or her final average or asked to drop the class.