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                                    English131:Introduction to Literature
                                      University of Northern Colorado
                                            Ann E. Rasmussen
                                                 Fall 2012

Office: Ross Hall 1187                                                       Office Hours:
Phone: 351‐2198                                                            MWF: 10:15-11:15
Website:                                  12:30-1:15
Textbook: Gardner, Lawn, Ridl, & Schakel:                                     Tues.: TBA
Literature: A Portable Anthology                                                  And
From the Dover Press: Lysistrata; Much A Do                                 By appointment
About Nothing

Course Description: As stated in the 2012-2013 UNC Catalog, English 131 is “the study of selected
poetry, plays, and works of fiction with an emphasis on developing skills in analysis, interpretation and
critical thinking.” Successful completion of this course will fulfill the Liberal Arts Core requirement for
Area 3b. It also serves as an elective for the English major. In this course, students will study a variety of
literary works: short stories, poetry, drama, and film.

Disabilities Support Services: Students with disabilities who believe that they may need accommodations
in this class are encouraged to contact the Disability Access Center (970-351-2289) as soon as possible to
better ensure that such accommodations are implemented in a timely fashion. Students who do have
accommodations provided must provide a copy of their documentation to the instructor at the beginning of
the semester.

Course Objectives:
    Students will develop an appreciation and understanding of good literature.
    Students will come to understand and appreciate literature as it relates to culture, history,
       philosophy, and other areas of the human experience, including their own.
    Students will develop and demonstrate critical thinking skills as they strive to understand and
       interpret literary works.
    Students will demonstrate critical analysis skills through research and writing about the literature
       they study in English 131.

Students with disabilities who believe they may need accommodations in this class/program are
encouraged to contact the Disability Access Center (970-351-2289) as soon as possible to better
ensure that such accommodations are implemented in a timely fashion.

Classroom Policies and Etiquette:
Cell Phones:
• Not allowed
• Please turn off cell phones during class.
• Please refrain from texting during class; if texting persists students will be warned. After multiple
warning, students’ final grades may be lowered by a full letter grade.
• Do not answer your cell phone during class.
• Do not leave class to answer your cell phone; if you do so, do not return to class. Leaving class to answer
your cell phone will count as an absence.
Laptops: Not allowed. Exception: Peer Review Days in Michener Library
MP3s: Not allowed.
Drinks in class are okay, but, please, no food.

Attendance is required. Students will be allowed 3 absences without consequences. Please call the
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instructor or email her when you do miss class. After the 3 free absences, 3 points will be deducted from
the students’ grades for each absence. If students have lengthy absences from class (serious illness, injury,
family emergency, or other unforeseen situation), they should notify the Dean of Students and their course
faculty. Dean of Students:
University Center 3030 351-2796

Participation in class discussion: In academia students must feel free to express their opinions openly and
honestly without fear of unfair, harsh, or cruel criticism. While healthy class discussion and disagreement
can stimulate good discussion, students are expected to respond and to listen politely without fear of
unhealthy criticism from classmates. All opinions deserve respect.

Final Note: Keep in mind that the classroom environment is an academic environment where eating
sleeping, using cell phones, visiting, and other unacademic activities must be avoided.

Plagiarism: All work for this class must be the students’ original work created specifically for this class.
Work suspected of plagiarism will be challenged. Students whose wore is suspected of being original will
face the strictest of consequences to include failing the assignment, failing the course, or expulsion from
the university. One simple way to avoid plagiarism: document all borrowed ideas and material using MLA
documentation. (See your A Writer’s Reference handbook.)

UNC’s Student Code of Conduct defines cheating as “the act of using or attempting to use, in examination
or other academic work, material, information, or study aids which are not permitted by the instructor (pg.
8). Cheating comprises a number of different activities, including, “submitting large portions of the same
work as part of the academic work for more than one course (unless such submission is permitted by the
instructor)” (pg. 9).

If you intend to use in this course written material that you produced for another class, you must consult
with your instructor before doing so for each individual assignment. Otherwise, you may be guilty of
cheating and can be penalized with a failing grade for the assignment and/or for the semester.

All final drafts will be submitted to Safe Assignment by the deadline, and hard copies will be turned in on
the due date. Late papers not accepted. Five points will be deducted for not submitting to Safe
Assignment on time.

Course Objectives:
• Students will develop an appreciation and understanding of good literature.
• Students will develop an understanding and appreciation of literature as it relates to culture, history,
philosophy, and other areas of the human experience, including their own.
• Student will demonstrate critical analysis and critical thinking skills as they strive to understand and
interpret literary works.

Keep in mind that the classroom environment is an academic environment where eating sleeping, using cell
phones, visiting, and other unacademic activities must be avoided.

Note: The Instructor reserves the right to amend this syllabus and weekly schedule as needed

Handouts, assignments links, and announces are in the course web page:
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                                    Weekly Schedule English 131

  Week             Date                             Assignment                              Due Date
   1          Aug. 27-31       Introduction to Literature, Literary criticism; Ancient   Read Chpt.    8
                               Greece, video Greece: A Moment of Greatness. Form         Portable
                               Literary Groups Ancient Greek Drama Lecture:              Anthology
                               Aristotle’s Poetics;
     2        Sept. 5-7        No class Monday. Lysistrata                               Study questions
                                                                                         due Sept. 5;
                                                                                         Short essay due
                                                                                         Sept. 10
     3        Sept. 10-14      Mon.: Fairytale tradition and motifs
                               The Fairytale: Read Grimm’s “Cinderella” vs. Disney
                               Wed.: Group Discussion. Meet in class to prepare
                               Fri.: Group Discussions. Present answer to class

     4        Sept. 17-21      Mon.: Understanding the Short Story
                               Wed.: Groups meet in class to plan presentation
                               Fri.: “The Metamorphosis”
     5        Sept. 24-28      Mon.: “The Rocking Horse Winner”
                               Wed.: “The Chrysanthemums”
                               Fri.: “Everyday Use”
     6        Oct. 1-5         Mon.: “Where Are You Going, Where Have You                Essay due Oct.
                               Been?”                                                    10
                               Wed.: “The Things They Carried”

                               Fri.: Final notes on short stories
     7        Oct. 8-12        Mon.: Introduction to Poetry; Poetic Literary
                               Movements Romanticism to Post Modernism
     8        Oct. 15-19       Patricia Smith, Brian Turner (Youtube); Shakespeare
                               sonnets 18 and 130
    9         Oct. 22-26       Bradstreet, Wordsworth, E.B. Browning
    10        Oct. 29-Nov. 2   R. Browning/Sepera, Handout; Dickenson Video              Browning group
    11        Nov. 5-9         Yeats; Frost Video
    12        Nov. 12-16       Cummings, Sexton, Percy. Conclude poetry. Return          Poetry     Test
                               to Smith.                                                 Black    Board
                                                                                         Opens Nov. 14
                                                                                         Noon;    Closes
                                                                                         Nov.         16
    13        Nov. 19-23       No class Wed, Thurs, Fri. Thanksgiving. No class
    14        Nov. 26. Nov.    Much Ado About Nothing                                    Study notes due
              29                                                                         Nov. 23
    15        Dec. 3-5         View Much Ado About Nothing
  Finals      Dec. 10-14       Final Exam: Essay Question

Note: See website where you will find links to
Authors and useful websites on the authors and works that we are reading. In addition, these dates
may change so make sure to visit the Eng. 131 Home Page on the course website for the current
weekly assignments. Remember that there will be unannounced quizzes and other
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Before we begin: Required Reading: Literature: A Portable Anthology: Chapter 4: Writing About
Literature; Writing about Stories; Theories of Literary Criticism: and Chapter 5 How to Write About
                                               List of Works
                  Dates will be announced in class and posted on Eng. 131 Home Page

Greek Comedy: Video: Greece: A Moment of Greatness; read and discuss Lysistrata
    Lysistrtata: Study Questions 25 points
    Short essay on video 250 words 25 points

Folklore and Fairy Tale: Grimms’ “Cinderella” copy on web site. Link on English 131 home page

Short Stories:
     Franz Kafka “The Metamorphosis”
     DH Lawrence “The Rocking Horse Winner”
     John Steinbeck “The Chrysanthemums”
     Alice Walker “Everyday Use”
     Joyce Carol Oats “Where are You Going, Where have You Been?”
     Time O’Brian “The Things They Carried”

Short Story Assignments
1. Group Presentation Assignment 60 points. Student will be placed in 6 groups of 6 students each. Each
group will be assigned a short story that they will study, analyze, and present their discoveries and
conclusions to the class. In addition the groups will facilitate a class discussion the short story. Students
will discuss these elements of short story for their discussion:
     1. Author’s background as it may or may not relate to the story
     2. Plot and setting of the story
     3. Cultural/Historical/Social context of the story and how they contribute to the development of the
     4. Characterization
     5. Symbolism found in the story
     6. Lesson for a contemporary audience
Note that the groups must do analysis of these elements, not just describe how they function in the story.

√ Each student will present one of these elements. Students will want to search for sources on the Internet;
they must provide source documentation
√ Each student will hand in a typed manuscript of his/her portion of the discussion/presentation
√ Individual presentations will be worth 10 points. All presentations from the group will averaged together
to get the final grade of 60 points.
√ Groups will have 50 minutes to present their material and conduct a class discussion

2. Short Story Literary Criticism100 points. Study the different theories of literary criticism found in the
textbook beginning on page 1303. Decide which theory either best suit the story or best suits your thoughts
on the story; for example you may choose to write about DH Lawrence’s “Rocking Horse Winner” either
by using a feminist approach to help the reader understand the story or to discuss the story’s literary value.
750-1,000 words.

         Brian Turner: “Here Bullet” Youtube
         Patricia Smith: “34” Youtube
         William Shakespeare: Sonnets 18 and 130
         Anne Bradstreet: “To My Dear and Loving Husband”
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        William Wordsworth: “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud”
        Elizabeth Barrett Browning: “How Do I Love Thee, Let me Count the Ways” and #44
        Robert Browning: “My Last Duchess” and Garbriel Sepera “My Ex Husband”
        Emily Dickenson: Video and all works
        William Butler Yeats: “The Stolen Child” and “Leyda and the Swan”
        Robert Frost: Video and All poems
        Anne Sexton: “Cinderella”
        Marge Piercy: “Barbie Doll”

Poetry Assignments
     Daily unannounced quizzes
     Black Board Midterm exam: Literary Devices, Poetry Content, class notes (50 points)
     Poetry Explication: Student will select one the poems studied in class to explicate. Keep in mind
        this not a Why I like this poem or What this poem means to me; instead, it is an explication that
        discuss specific elements of the poem. See helpful links of English 131 home page. Grammar and
        punctuation counts.750-1,000 words 100 points.

Drama: William Shakespeare: Much A Do About Nothing
    Read and discuss play. Do study questions (25 points)
    View movie

Final Exam: 2 essay questions inclusive from the beginning of the semester. Students will be given a
number of essay questions to choose from to write short answer essays. (100 points)

Final Notes:

While most students in English 131 are not English majors, good writing standards must apply to written
assignments. I certainly encourage students to use the Internet (and other resources) to research the literary
works discussed in class. Doing such research will enrich their understanding and appreciation of the
literature and add to the essays they will write for this course. Students must use MLA documentation to
document any borrowed material. In addition essays must reflect good writing: these sentences,
organization, sentence structure, grammar, and punctuation. With more than 3 comma errors, 3 pronoun
agreement errors, and miscellaneous sentence problems, essays will receive a 70%, or a C-. Students are
encouraged to visit the Writing Center for tutoring on their essays. Students should provide proof of their
visits to the Writing Center. Make appointments early. Document all borrowed material, thoughts or ideas
that are not your original to avoid plagiarism.

Do no procrastinate:

The most successful English 131 class has lively discussion. Please be prepared to contribute to class
discussion. Using the class roster, I will call on students at least once during the semester, giving them the
opportunity to voice their opinion or thoughts on the literature.

Finally, my goal for this course is not to turn my students into great literary critics; rather, I want students
to appreciate good literature, enjoy classic literature, and perhaps get a new view of works that they have
studied in the past. Nor is it my goal to make student love all of the works in class; in fact, students should
feel free to discuss why they dislike a particular work either in class or in any of the written assignments,
providing that they offer good reason for their opinions. This course is not about liking or loving certain
literary works; it is about understanding literature, doing an academic and critical analysis of each work,
and appreciating classic literature for what it has contributed to American culture, and thus enriching
students intellectually.

Be sure to check the companion Eng 131 home page for weekly assignments and activities @
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