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English 350: The Renaissance

download journal form here
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MWF: 1:00 - 1:50 PM
Professor: Mary AdamsOffice: Coulter 409
Telephone: 227-3921
Office Hours: MWF 11-12 and 2-2:30 PM or by appointment
E-mail address:madams@email.wcu.edu
Course Description and Goals: This course examines various aspects of what we call the Renaissance, both in Europe and America, with particular emphasis on British literature. You will be expected to supplement your reading in the textbooks with possible reserve reading (available at Hunter Library) and texts on the Internet. Your writing and participation will be assessed two ways:
  • Informal assignments: I grade daily (journal) writings and class participation based on how much work you do and how well you show that you've read the material, but I don't grade your grammar or mechanics. 
  • Formal Assignments: I grade your papers, exams, and oral presentations based not only on detail and effort, but on mechanics and grammar. 
At the end of this course you should not only have a fuller understanding of the Renaissance period and its connection to our time, but you should also have written solid, mechanically clean papers and presentations in which you demonstrate your ability to do good research and to analyze literary texts in terms of their historical or cultural background. The final exam will test your knowledge of content and your understanding of overriding themes we have discussed in class. 
Course Policies
  • Attendance:  After seven  absences, you will have missed the equivalent of two full weeks of a regular semester, so your final grade will be dropped one letter for each additional absence. It doesn't matter if your absences are excused or not, so please budget carefully and don't ask me to excuse you for family emergencies, court appearances, car accidents, illnesses, or anything else. Extreme or extensive tardiness could count as an absence. If you are absent on the day you are assigned minutes or are making a presentation, you should arrange for a substitute to avoid losing credit for that assignment. 

  • When will I mark you absent
    • When you aren't here, no matter what your excuse is
    • When you are significantly tardy at least twice
    • When you leave before class is over
    • When you don't have the book(s)
  • Missed assignments. I hold you responsible for assignments made in class whether you are here or not. Ask classmates for the assignments. I will never consider "I didn't know" a valid excuse. 
  • Journals: 30% of your grade is comprised of journals, which are due every day we have class, unless I say otherwise. Journals for an assigned reading can only be handed in on the day we discuss it, not afterwards. If you have more than one assignment on a class day, you can choose which one to write the journal about unless I specify. I grade each journal based on detail and on evidence that you did the reading, but I do not record the grade until you hand in all the journals in a folder at the end of the semester. The moral: do journals regularly, and never throw them away. 
  • Academic Dishonesty is defined as: An intentional act of deception in which a student seeks to claim credit for the work or effort of another person or uses unauthorized materials or fabricated information in any academic work. Students are expected to be honest and ethical in their academic work. Academic dishonesty includes: 
    • CHEATING- use or attempted use of unauthorized materials, information or study aids OR an act of deceit by which a student attempts to misrepresent mastery of academic effort or information. This includes unauthorized copying or collaboration on a test or assignment or using prohibited materials and texts. 
    • FABRICATION- falsification or invention of any information (including falsifying research, inventing or exaggerating data and listing incorrect or fictitious references. 
    • ASSISTING- helping another commit an act of academic dishonesty. This includes paying or bribing someone to acquire a test or assignment, changing someone's grades or academic records, or taking a test/doing an assignment for someone else (or allowing someone to do these things for you).
    • TAMPERING- altering or interfering with evaluation instruments and documents. 
    • PLAGIARISM- representing the words or ideas of another person as one's own OR presenting someone else's words, ideas, artistry or data as one's own. This includes copying another person's work (including unpublished material) without appropriate referencing, presenting someone else's opinions and theories as one's own, or working jointly on a project, then submitting it as one's own. 
  • Penalties for Academic dishonesty: Automatic failure on the assignment and possible failure for the course.
Website: http://teaching.maryadams.net/
Access our class page from my teaching page. Use this web page to check assignments, download journal forms, follow links, and find academic resources. Since it is updated regularly, always hit "reload" after you access the site. 
  • Required: (Rental) Damrosch, David, Constance Jordan, and Clare Carroll, eds.  The Longman Anthology of British Literature. 2nd Edition. Vol. 1B. New York: Addison-Wesley Educational Publishers, 2003. 
  • Required: (Purchase) Thompson, Stephen P., ed. The Renaissance. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 2000. 
Other required reading will be available online, on reserve, or in handout form.
Class Resources, Writing Guides, and other Links
Grading: Description of scale  A  93-100 

A-  90-92

B+  87-89 

B  83-86 

B-  80-82

C+  77-79

C  73-76 

C-  70-72

D+  67-69

D  63-66 

D-  60-62

F  0-59

Grade Breakdown:
  • Journals: 30%
  • Paper 1 (in stages) 10%
  • Paper 2 (in stages) 20%
  • Miderm 10%
  • Final 15%
  • Participation 5%
  • Presentation 10%
Paper grades: papers are graded in stages (thesis sentence, thesis + topic sentence/ body paragraph, final draft, revised draft). I cannot accept your paper unless you attach all preliminary work with grade. 

Exams: The final exam is divided into an essay portion (50%) and a short answer portion (50%). I will give a study guide before the exam. 

Final examinations during class, on the last day (July 3)

Does Participation Count? Participation counts for 5% of your grade. In addition, those who consistently prepare for class and participate in discussion will get credit if they are on the border between two grades. Those who aren't prepared when I call on them or haven't done the reading will receive 1/2 absence. Those who don't have the book in class will be asked to leave and marked absent. 

Computer Policies: 
  • Because I will use your WCU email address to contact you, make sure it is active. If you use another account, forward your WCU email to that account (use this link to forward: 

  •               https://alf.wcu.edu/vmsacct/mail_forward.html. consult the computer center in basement of Forsythe with questions). I will hold you responsible for information contained in my emails. 
  • We will use the online syllabus. Check it frequentlly for changes. Remember to always hit reload. You must have access to the online syllabus to do your journal entries. 
Policies Texts Online Resources Attendance Grading Computing  Academic Dishonesty Schedule