English 2030-021

9:40 am - 11:05 am  PH 325 Casal

The Experience of Literature

PRELIMINARY Course Description and Requirements

NOTE:  This is a preliminary description. After the start of the semester, you will get a printed course description and will have access to the class schedule on D2L.

Course Description and Goals

This is the last of the general education English requirements.  It assumes that you know the basics of writing an essay for an English class (center your work on a thesis, use standard English, support your assertions, credit your sources, etc.) and that you are ready to talk about the ideas found in imaginative literature.

Imaginative literature is all around us, even when we aren’t aware of it. Any story, any song, movie or television show—even advertisements, commercials and greeting cards—participates in the tradition and conventions of imaginative literature.  The goal of this class is to help you become a more sophisticated audience for the many examples of imaginative expression out there. 

Specifically, when you complete this class you should:

Though the class includes technical vocabulary and discussion of literary form, the purpose is not to give you a new set of “facts” to memorize for the test and then forget, but to give you tools for discussing imaginative literature in its many different genres.   For the purposes of this class, we will focus on three major genres: prose fiction, poetry and drama, but we will also refer to other genres.

Textbook:  Abcarian, Klotz and Cohen. The Literature Experience 11th Ed. ISBN: 978-1-4576-0429-4

(Important: We will be using the textbook in class, so you need to buy or rent the correct edition and bring it to every class.)

Other Materials:  You will need three blue examination books (the large size).

Assignments and Requirements

The most important requirement is to keep up with the reading and to come to class prepared to engage in intelligent discussion.   The main written requirements will be two partial exams (tests), two essays and a final exam.   The partials and final exam will each include an essay section in addition to multiple choice and short answer questions.

The essays will be roughly 1500 words each and must include a thesis and development with support from the reading. 

There will also be some shorter, informal assignments such as one-page responses and creative exercises and a few quizzes.

You prepare for the tests and exam by doing the reading, paying attention in class, and thinking about the material we are studying.   Budget your time so that you don't fall behind.

This is a web-assisted class, which means that all assignments will be posted on D2L (as well as announced and gone over in class).  There will also be a D2L message board for supplementary class discussion. If class has to be cancelled for some reason (such as bad weather) we will carry out some of our class discussion in the message board.

 All assignments and deadlines will be listed in the Schedule of Assignments, which will be posted on D2L.

Submission of Written Assignments and Late Work Policy

All essays and most out-of-class assignments will be submitted to a D2L drop box.  Deadlines for all essays are Fridays at midnight.  

The penalty for all late graded assignments is one point off for the first 1-24 hours that it is late, 2 additional points for the next 1-24 hours, and 3 points off for each of the next three days. After five days, the penalty goes up to 10 points for each day.   This very lenient  late work policy is aimed at encouraging students to do their best work without encouraging them to delay submitting their work indefinitely.  A timely submission (no more than 24 hours late) is usually in a student's best interests. 

My usual turn-around time for grading is between 10 days and two weeks.  If your work is very late (more than 5 days),  my turn-around time for grading your work may be longer than my usual estimate. This is not intended as a punishment but is a side-effect of my having other things scheduled for the relevant period.

Short assignments will not receive a grade if they are more than a week late but they may still be required.   Quizzes and in-class work may not be made up.  Exams may be made up with a satisfactory excuse, otherwise they will have a penalty of  5 points for each calendar day that the exam is delayed. (It is not fair to other students to give one student extra time without good reason.)

Attendance and Participation

Attendance is important because class participation is important.  If you are not in class, you can not participate.  The highest number of absences allowed without penalty is 4.  Typically, the fifth absence loses 3 points off the class participation grade and additional absences lose five points each in class participation.  There may also be a grade penalty off the final grade if you are absent more than 9 times unless all nine absences are justified and you do additional work.  (Note that I expect you to use the four allowed absences for job and family obligations, personal illness, etc. If you exceed four absences, you will need to explain all absences, not just the "extra" ones.)

Classes are more fun when everyone has done the reading and is ready to talk about it. I make allowances for shyness, but I want to see signs of engagement (nodding, shaking head, smiling or frowning as appropriate to others' comments) in all students.  

Courtesy towards others is important. Listen when others are speaking and avoid responses or comments that others may find painful or offensive. Note that texting, tweeting, e-mailing and reading or writing any material that is not part of the class is not allowed.  I do allow computers and e-readers in class, but I expect you to use them to support you through the discussion, not to take the place of classroom interaction.   Because eating in class can distract other students, no food is allowed, though you may bring coffee, sodas etc. to keep you going.

Grades and Weights:

I will average grades on the following scale:

 93 - 100   A

83 -  87    B

 73 - 77   C

63 - 67  D

 88 -  92    B+

78 - 82     C+

 68 - 72   D+

0 - 62  F

This grade scale presupposed that an A+ would be 98-102.  (My tests and some other assignments add up to 103 or have extra credit possible.) The university does not have an "A+" grade, so anything over a 92 is an A.  I do not normally give "minus" grades, but in cases where a student has worked hard and is on the borderline, I may give a B- instead of a C+ or a C- instead of a D+ (Unfortunately, the university does not have an A- option.)

To get a good grade in this class you must fulfill all course requirements in a timely fashion according to the standards for this course. Planning ahead and coming to me for help when you need it is your best guarantee of success. If you are not comfortable with the grading scale, the attendance policy, and/or other course requirements, please do not enroll in this class. 

Weights (Tentative)


If you have special needs that require accommodation, you need to get the documentation to me before the first assignment for which this will be required.


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