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English 251:01 | Mary Adams, Instructor

TR 9:30-10:45
Coulter 301
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Download Paper 1 Assignment

Course Objectives

Upon completion of this class, students will be able to:

  1. Critical Reading of Primary Texts
    read critically a wide variety of works of English literature from its beginnings through the eighteenth century;
  2. Critical Writing About Primary Texts
    analyze and interpret in writing those works of English literature using appropriate evidence, conventions, and language;
  3. Oral Presentation and Critical Discussion
    discuss and present, in an informed manner, ideas about or relating to these works and periods.


To help you get the most out of the course, I have instituted these policies:

  • Absences: You may miss three classes for any reason. These absences include excused or unexcused absences, family tragedies, medical emergencies, or other unforseeable circumstances. After the third absence, I will lower your grade a letter for each additional absence. After the sixth absence, you will fail the course.
    • The only exceptions to this policy: school activities, such as musical performances or athletics, if you have a note from the instructor, and absences because of storms or winter weather, if you live off campus and can demonstrate that you were unable to get here. Please budget carefully.
  • Tardiness: Once I close the door, you are tardy. After three tardies, I will mark you down for one absence. If you arrive 15 or more minutes late, or leave early, I will mark you absent. Please arrange your schedule accordingly.
  • Food and Drink in class. You may bring a beverage to class, but no food. You are responsible for cleaning up any mess caused by your beverage.
  • Cell phones, Laptops, and other Electronic Devices in class.
    • Laptops. Due to frequent abuse of my laptop policy, I am going to forbid their use unless you have a documented disability that requires the use of a laptop.
    • Cell phones: Please turn them off. I will warn the first student whose cell phone rings in class. Subsequent abuses by any student will result in an absence. Few students would be so rude as to send text messages in class. Such students are so insensitive that they only respond to overt public humiliation.
    • MP3 players, Ipods, and other gadgets: Don't be ridiculous! I can't think of anything more rude than sitting in a class with your headphones on.
  • Academic honesty: Turning in work not your own will result in failure for the paper without the opportunity to revise and may also result in failure for the course. I will also place a letter in your files and make a formal report to the Head of the English Department and the Dean of Student Affairs.
  • Accommodations for Students with Disabilities: Western Carolina University is committed to providing equal educational opportunities for students with documented disabilities. Students who require disability services or reasonable accommodations must identify themselves as having a disability and provide current diagnostic documentation to Disability Services. All information is confidential. Please contact Disability Services for more information at (828) 227-2716 or 144 Killian Annex.


  • Quizzes: I will give frequent unannounced quizzes at the beginning of class on the reading due for that day. These may be on the reading or the introductory material in the Norton. You may use your notes, but you may not refer to the textbook.
  • Reading Sheets: These are due every day with a RS next to it on the online syllabus. I grade the journals and return them to you, and you collect them in a thin folder with brads (see texts). At the end of the semester I collect your folder with the semester's graded journals in it and give it a final grade. I will not record the grades until then, so keep your journals! No journals will be accepted late. No ungraded journals will count towards your final grade. You cannot do well if you don't do these reading sheets.
  • Paper: Students will do one 5-7 page paper during the semester. I will require a thesis first, then a rough draft, and then a completed draft. All parts will receive a grade. I will not accept the final paper without the additional parts attached.
  • Oral Presentation: Each student will do an oral presentation followed by a formal, annotated bibliography on a topic. This presentation should involve background reading and research, and it is a substantial part of the grade. The due date of the presentation depends on the topic; students will draw topics at random but will have the opportunity to trade with other students. We will create a class web site with the annotated bibliographies.


  • Greenblatt, Stephen, et. al., editors. The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Volume I. 8th Edition. REQUIRED.
  • Purchase: Shapiro, James. 1599: Year in the Life of Shakespeare. Harper Collins ISBN 0060088745. Buy Used on Amazon. REQUIRED.
  • One three ring notebook with dividers--strongly recommended (for your notes).
  • One folder with brads (reading sheets)--required.


Grades will be assessed as follows:

Assignment % of Grade Word Count

  • Paper 1: due in stages 15% 1200 + words
  • Oral Presentation and Annotated Bibliography for Class web page 20 %
  • Midterm 10%
  • Final exam 15%
  • Quizzes 15%
  • Reading Sheet Entries:  15% (Journal sheet attached)
  • Participation 10%

  • TOTAL: 100%